Tired of having confused clients? Give them a Rosetta Stone!

If you’re a MadLab gym, all of your clients go through 12-20 personal training sessions before being released to group classes.

While personal training does help improve quality by ensuring people aren’t cleaning or snatching for the second time in their lives in their first group class, let’s be honest: We teach our clients a boatload of movements! After 20 sessions, many people are still moderately confused about the concept of scaling a movement like a pistol or a muscle-up.

Alas, enter the Rosetta Stone—the answer to help de-confuse new (and experienced) clients!

What is a Rosetta Stone?

A Rosetta Stone is essentially a translation.

(Quick History Lesson: A Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: The upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences among them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs).

In our case, clients receive a personalized Rosetta Stone during personal training, which they keep with them as they begin classes. In short, it’s a guide that considers their current fitness level and then provides them with their most appropriate scaling option translations for any given movement.

Still confused? Here’s an example Rosetta Stone:


We have discovered since using Rosetta Stones that our clients develop and retain a better understanding of the plethora of new movements they just learned during personal training.  They also seem to have better understanding of where where they’re currently at, how to scale movements, and how to best improve their skills and strength.

Rosetta stones have also helped classes run smoother as everyone knows exactly where he/she is at, including new graduates, who no longer feel lost, confused or overwhelmed. Ultimately this has helped with client retention, as clients are more confident than they used to be (less clients get scared of classes and quit).

Further, Rosetta Stones are helpful for more experienced clients, too, especially when working through an injury. The coach can quickly whip up a Rosetta Stone for the client, to help him/her navigate through movements he may not be able to do as he is recovering.

The best part is, Rosetta Stones are made for each client by their personal coach—someone who knows their strengths and weaknesses an is able to decide what’s best for the client’s development. This also means they will change over time, as clients get more fit and their progressions change—a perfect chance for clients and coaches to meet up for a one-on-one session to reassess where the client is at and help him move forward on his fitness journey.


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