As I have mentioned in previous posts, the health and fitness space can seem overwhelming at times from the outside. Given all the fad diets, the endless exercise niches, “influencers”, the list goes on and on. I think the same can be said as it pertains to personal trainers too. What does a personal trainer do? What don’t they do? What shouldn’t they do? What Trainers Do
Ultimately, a personal trainer is responsible for clarifying and organizing the overall fitness journey of their clients. This includes listening to clients about their fitness goals to learn what their short and long-term outcomes are and then devising realistic training programs that help achieve the stated goals.
Quality personal trainers teach their clients how to properly use their bodies and utilize workout equipment in a manner that effectively stimulates fat loss, muscle growth, and cardiovascular improvement. The best trainers educate and inspire their clients to develop healthier habits. First-rate trainers are adaptable and able to adjust their programming on the fly to overcome obstacles. To sum it up, top-notch personal trainers are here to educate, assist and guide clients through their very individualized fitness journey. It’s imperative for trainers to possess a mindset to educate and support their clients. Good personal trainers can adapt their techniques to motivate people with different personalities and values, implementing different instruction strategies. They have the physical strength and experience to model proper form when completing exercises. Worthwhile personal trainers are cautious and knowledgeable about the appropriate safety precautions to take during strenuous acts. What Trainers Shouldn’t Do Trainers should not be health zealots towards their clients. They should not be fitness dictators. Admittedly, the fitness industry has not always done a stellar job of promoting health and fitness in a way that establishes long-term habits for lifelong results.
I am reminded of the commercial spot that was prominently shown all throughout the last NFL season, starring Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, Patrick Mahomes. In it, he briefly plays a character called the “overly motivated personal trainer” which is a knock on the extreme side of the fitness industry. He is painting the picture of the overly zealous “dudebro” trainer that acts as a fitness dictator, then that of a personal trainer guiding you through your fitness journey. That mentality is unfortunately what many people conjure up when they think of personal fitness trainers.
In my humble opinion, that is a damn shame. While sure, there are some folks who will respond well to that type of instruction, there are many others who will not, and they will turn their back on fitness forever. Promulgating this mantra even further are the quick-hit social media “influencers” running rampant in today’s fitness space. Trainers should not be here to condescend, belittle or pressure clients with fabricated hype or cheesy motivational speeches.
Despite these extreme stereotypes, society does not need such levels of motivation to stay consistent with their health goals. Doing so is a shortsighted “fix” to a long-term problem. As a trainer myself, I believe that proper education leads to long-term adherence. Once a client understands the ins and outs of the “Why” of the fitness journey, the more likely they will find success. Ultimately, a personal trainer’s job is to shine the spotlight on this aforementioned “why” and help their client push beyond their current capabilities. Keep that in mind when seeking out a trainer for your own fitness journey.