I recently came across an article in Mens Health Magazine entitled "What Your Personal Trainer *Really* Thinks About You." You can click on the link to check it out yourself. The goal of the article was to give the reader a reality check as to how their behavior or appearance can be interpreted by a trainer during sessions. That would have been a fun article. Instead, it was a giant list of what is wrong with the gym, fitness, and personal training industry. I am going to cover their list point by point, and explain where they are going wrong, and what we would do instead. For each of the articles points I was angered by one of two things:
Either the bullet point itself
The quote given by one of the interviewed trainers.
1) They Don't Want To Hear About Your Personal Problems.
Ok. Right off the bat, personal problems are easily the number one influencer of decision making and lifestyle. Even if the personal problem is tiny. Even if it doesn't seem like a problem.
Personal problems can be the difference between major fat loss, and never stepping back in the gym. Even a trainer that only cares about a paycheck is going to want to make sure you're feeling good enough to come back. Run in the opposite direction of any trainer that shuts down, ignores, or outright dismisses personal life discussions. They are lazy, and not worth the value you are paying.
2) They Judge You For How Little Progress You've Made.
A trainer judging a client for not making progress is a trainer caught off guard by their client not making progress. That is the trainers fault. It is absolutely 100% up to the client to put in the work required to have progress. However it is the trainers responsibility to make sure any proof of progress in the gym is tracked, and to have an open dialogue about whether or not the program is being followed. If a trainer is ever judging or caught off guard by a client not making results, it's because they failed to maintain any form of communication outside of sessions.
3) They Think You're Obsessed With Social Media.
But for separate unrelated reasons.
First: EVERYONE IS OBSESSED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA.
99% of our outreach is done through social media, and I guarantee you the zumba instrictor they picked a quote from has an instagram account with some to a lot of fun pictures.
Second: The paragraph and quote used to fill out the bullet point has nothing to do with being obsessed with taking perfect photos of yourself or projecting a fake life, and EVERYTHING to do with body comparison issues that have existed since the invention of the magazine cover.
4) They Think You're A Whiny Little Bitch.
Well of course they would if they also don't have time for talking about your personal life. Seriously.
Working out sucks. It's hard and awkward and makes your skin flush and breathing difficult. It can be frustrating to not feel progress (even if progress is being made), or to miss a lift, or to have your body betray you mid workout. AND YOU CAN SHOVE BURPEES STRAIGHT TO HELL! That's even true for people that enjoy working out.
You're telling me that someone who already doesn't want to be doing burpees, shouldn't be allowed to bring up how much they suck? Ignoring the discomfort and pain of working out forces you to associate being healthy as uncomfortable and painful. I say lets complain together. I say lets poke fun at how horrible cardio is while we do it. I say try not laughing while holding a plank. I say run your mouth until it becomes fun, and maybe we can learn to enjoy it..... maybe.
5) They Think You're A Total Slob
Ok this one also has separate unrelated dumb parts.
1) Bright nikeys and fluorescently tailored everything looks great. Means nothing in regards to putting in work and trying to better yourself.
2) Once again this paragraph has nothing to do with the bullet point. Everyone knows to put their weights away when they are done. If a trainer has a client NOT putting away equipment before moving on to the next part of the work out, it means the client is ignoring A LOT more than just gym ettiqute. You (the trainer) are lucky they haven't stopped coming altogether. Pay better attention to your client and this won't be a problem.
6) They Think Your Expectations Are Unrealistic.
Most of the time I find that people either have expectations that are too vauge, or that they aren't actually committed to. It is part of my job as the trainer to help the client zero in what they actually want.
7) They Think You Smell Terrible.
Why is this separate from thinking your a slob? Also, It's a gym. Everything is hot and gross. Even if you come in smelling like a fresh ocean breeze, you will leave smelling like the docks. Also, also, if your trainer ever trades you off to someone else for anything other than scheduling, or leaving the company, they are a shallow, pompous human, and do not care about you or your progress. Fuck Them.
8) They Think It's Embarrassing When You Flirt With Them.
Ok.... this may be a personal distinction so I want to clarify something. There is a HUGE difference between flirting with someone and hitting on someone.
ALL successfully ice breaking small talk is flirting. It is necessary for learning whether or not a trainer and client can have success. 100% of someone's willingness to follow a program, keep showing up, and find worth in being helped, comes from building a positive connection.
9) They Hate When You Make Excuses For Yourself.
This is kinda true. I don't so much hate excuses, as when people sell themselves short.
However, as a trainer, one of my jobs is excuse eliminator. Most people don't even realize how piled down they can get with excuses or victimising themself. It is part of my job to strip away the layers of excuses and help you get to the truth of matters.
Who ends a list with only 9 items? Was item 10 so stupid the editor had to remove it? I realize this is more of a personal issue, but this has to annoy other people Right? An incomplete list feels like peeling the skin off my brain. Perhaps that's just me. After all, their are two types of people:
1) The type that can extract useful information from an incomplete thought.