Those 4-letter words you love your trainer to say

Image of the words 4 letter words on a white background

Image of the symbols for expletives written on a chalkboard with chalkNow for a little silliness. Anyone who has ever exerted themselves from weight lifting to running to athletic competition are familiar with THE 4 letter words that sum up how you feel about that certain moment in time. You know which ones, the F-bomb, the S-hister. Well I want to talk about the other 4 letter words that my clients love to hear. Yes, I said, love! Now the normal F-bombs are reserved from their mouths. These words bring music to the ears either at the beginning, middle, or end of a session. So let’s get to them.



‘Yes, this your LAST set’

When my clients hear the word ‘last’. I can just sense their relief. After numerous sets, circuits, complexes, the last one is usual met with ?a slight grin. The biggest response is at the very end of the workout when I exclaim: ‘This is the Last of the Last!’ That grin becomes wider and I can almost see teeth.


‘Take a REST

Usually between complexes, I tell me clients to ‘rest’. Grab some water. Regroup. There’s usually a huge sigh of relief and run towards the water cooler to quench that thirst. This one gets a slight grin but usually they slap their thighs and say ‘thank God!’.


‘You’re almost HOME?

I ususally reserve this one right before the last complex or circuit. Gives my clients that relief that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.?



There are certain movement that I ask my clients to do that don’y follow the traditional rep scheme of, let’s say, 10 or 15 reps. I’m looking for a more cardio fitness attack. For example, conditioning exercises like mountain climbers, burpees, jumping jacks are performed within a give time like 20-30 seconds. I carry around a timer called the Gym Boss. Just before the timer hits 0, I say ‘TIME!’ and everything stops. Sometimes clients will look at me as if I’m asking them to do more than the time required. You get to appreciate just how long 30 seconds can be especially if you are doing burpees. Yeah, this one brings sweet relief.


And Done’

Like the ‘Time’ directive, DONE has a much stronger sense of something being finished. I would use this one at the end of a given complex/circuit or final set. The workout may not be over but whatever my client was doing is definitely over.


‘You’re gonna do LESS this time’

Sometimes, this one gets some push back. When a client has trouble with finishing a particular movement like a Chest Press or Step Up, I will use digressions. (This can also be used as a total program. Depending on a clients need state, you may want to lower the weight, the intensity, less complicated movements to keep body going if a total rest period is not needed). I love when my clients say, ‘Why are you lowering the weight or giving me less rests? I can do it’. Yeah mentally they may but their form suffers greatly or their body is fatigued to continue with the prior stimulus. So LESS is welcoming when needed.


‘This is the BEST you’ve done’

Proper training should ellicit some progress. That can be muscular strength & endurance, increase cardio fitness, lower body fat, etc. A way I measure most of these points is how quickly can a client perform 4 circuits of 4 movements, 3 rounds each, with a variety of reps and resistance within a 30 minute window. At the beginning of a clients journey, It seems like a daunting task?but over time when they finish, for example, 48 sets with 700+ reps in 28 minutes, I tell them that this is the BEST they’ve done, it’s a reminder to their progress and accomplishments. We all want to be our very best and this one is a biggie!


‘Things are great underneath the HOOD

One of the biggest satisfaction I get as a professional is when a client gets their yearly physical and their doctor is very pleased with the numbers. We all look externally for progress like the weight scale, how our clothes fit but what about things we don’t see? Like blood pressure, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, A1C, Etc. I would argue these are slightly more important markers of progress. So when a client brings me their blood work and tell them that things are going well underneath the HOOD, they smile and now that the work they are putting in is paying off and worth it.


‘You’re looking pretty LEAN/THIN?today’

At the end of the day, everyone loves a compliment! So when I see changes with my clients appearance, I let them know. It is transformational! The woman love the word THIN while the guys like LEAN. Either one, it’s a win-win! Or even better when they hear these words form their partner, friends, it confirms progress because we kinda don’t see subtle changes but other people do.


There’s probably more

Yeah, I’m sure like STOP, EASY or NICE, but all these 4-letter words are the most common with my clients. In general, they all pretty much signify the end of something, a set, a complex, a circuit. The reaction is usually a sense of relief and either quick prayers (Thank God!) or complete silence as they sit down for a minute before they go out to the world. I see my clients from 30 minutes a week to 90 minutes a week. Not much but when they come for those 30 minutes, they are ready to perform at their best and that’s what they are to me, the BEST of the BEST!