So when I talk to people about their current personal trainers, or what people think personal trainers do in general, the answers I receive vary.
“They get you in shape.”
“Personal Trainers are there to make a workout for you and make sure you do it”
Not bad…but still lacking
“Personal Trainers follow you around and flex in the mirror during your working sets”
If you ask me what a personal trainer does, what would I say? Well you will notice there is A LOT more to it than counting reps and selling memberships…
You see the majority of people live very stressful and crazy lives. Work, school, kids, family, working out, going grocery shopping, cooking your food, all along trying to get enough sleep…It is easy to see that the majority of peoples days, weeks, years even are spent doing OTHER things rather than working out, or even being in the gym.
That is why I believe a personal trainer should focus on setting up their client for success OUTSIDE of the gym first, and should be merely reinforcing those habits during their sessions. It does the client no good if you make them work so hard that they puke, if they are just going to go home and eat crappy foods. Or even worse, not get enough sleep or downtime in their lives, to properly recover both physically and mentally. I don’t care if you are the BEST personal trainer in the world, if the life the client lives OUTSIDE of the gym does not mesh well, or reinforce the goals put forth in the gym, there will be very little to no results seen.
So what to do about this? Well, what I would do is spend the majority of the first session together talking and getting to know the person I am dealing with. I want to know their fitness goals, their life goals, and their career goals. What their driving factors and aspirations in life are. What foods they like to eat, when they go to bed, what things stress them out, what things they enjoy, essentially anything and everything I can about them. Any and all information I can gather in order to paint a clear picture of who I will be working with. All of this is INCREDIBLY VALUABLE when it comes to developing a program or a nutrition plan for someone. It is the key to developing a plan that somebody can not only stick to, but enjoy and feel motivated to complete.
See it all boils down to a person’s intrinsic motivation. This is that personal fire they have inside of them to identify the things they want and do whatever necessary to get them. External motivation only goes so far and for the most part stays relatively surface level. We all do things for different reasons. I believe that it is the responsibility of the trainer as well as the client to have develop an open dialogue of what really motivates them, so they can come together, develop a plan that works, and can see the results that both parties want to see.
So to all the personal trainers out there follow these simple rules. Get to know your client, talk to them, listen to them, and ask those questions. Find out what makes them tick, and use that information to set up a plan they will enjoy and stick to.
To all the clients out there, if your current personal trainer doesn’t do these things? Fire them. They suck.
That is all I got for today. I am going to go for a run. No, don’t readjust your screen…it actually says run.
Certified Underground Strength Coach