Today I walked into my place of employment and took my old bio card off the manager’s desk. My new card is on the personal trainer wall. My teachers were really good about preparing me for this personal training industry. I talk to our gym members all the time( the ones I have rapport with). And they tell me about their own comparisons to our gym versus other gyms they’ve trained in. I was once the typical gym member at Bally’s way back in the days. And I would observe some of the trainers interacting with clients and various gym members. I didn’t have much of an opinion of what i saw, and still don’t. Gym’s kind have their own culture. And people have a lot of reasons for their own preference based on what they want out of their own gym/ workout experience.
Now I’m on the other side, and employee of the gym so there’s a bit of a different perspective. As that member, I didn’t care much for trainers walking up to me and correcting my form.No regrets for that, as I’ve learned the typical process as to how personal trainers achieve their title. But now I’m a personal trainer, both in the corporate world & with my own private clients. I think a lot about the perception these days. A lot of fitness influencers take photos to show off their muscles (as to say train with me to get like me, enough already).
Well yeah when I first started in the corporate world I’d walk around with my sleeves up (sun’s out, guns out). And I had minimal experience of communicating with this crowd from the other side as the fitness professional.
So 3 years in as a fitness professional here’s what I’d want you to know about Carlos, the personal trainer:
Education is the foundation:
The average trainer simply reads a book and passes a multiple choice test with no practical application. Then that individual is allowed to call themselves professional (not cool at all). And what does that book contain?? ( keep reading).
I took a different route, and with that being said:
I read that same book and passed the test(ZZZZZzzzzzz). But after that I went to school. And thats where the real education began. With that being said:
Exercise is about movement. And the foundation of human movement is anatomy. So if someone in my position doesn’t have a fundamental understanding of anatomy the exercise programming is likely suspect.In other words, all personal trainers should own an anatomy book, and have fundamental knowledge on physiology like the Henneman’s size principle, muscle fiber characteristics and motor unit recruitement.
In my final test to graduate, I had to sit in front of a panel of coaches and explain hip and shoulder anatomy, followed by a random programming scenario where I had to design a program and explain the rationale behind it. Now here comes the fun part!!:
My coach called me in, put a mic on my shirt collar, had the camera on me and gave me a random client , whom I’ve never met to train(no pressure). So yes, I got the proper education but was able to apply it. Lets continue.
I’m just like you:
Us personal trainers have good and bad days too with fitness. I was once the “fitness enthiousiast” . But back then it was all about me. now its about my clients. So my goals take a back burners to theirs. But I still have to hold myself accountable.
I like sessions with my clients to be appropriately relaxed with lots of communication. I always have a plan, but its a plan that can be tweaked based on updated information that my client has given me, (In other words I’m not trying to be a drill seargent, tell me how you feel, I’ll listen). Then theres there whole nutrition aspect. Here is where I give information that I’m qualified to give without stepping on the toes of the registered dieticians of the world. That information is largely based on undterstanding what a a calories is(a unit of heat energy in the amount needed to raise 1 gram of water 1 degree celcius), and the macros that we get our calories from. But I’ll never tell a client that they can’t have a particular food, but offer that education instead.
SO LET ME TELL YOU A LITTLE MORE ABOUT MY FITNESS THOUGHTS ON A FRIDAY NIGHT:
Even though I get paid when clients cancel, it still sucks. Yes the money it ok. But I enjoy what I do. And I want to be out there. I’m sure to some this is their 1 hour out of the day, but this is my life.
I want to create a comfortable setting:
I have a particular area in the gym I work in that i’ve nicknamed the “ meathead zone”. Lots of sophisticated meatheads dropping heavy weight and grunting. My programs are designed to keep all clients out of this environment, but keep them confident we we do have to enter.
And FINALLY, yes I LISTEN to you!
I always listen and ask my client how they feel about certain routines/ exercises . Need to modify it? We will .
What are you’re thought on working with a personal trainer?