Being a personal trainer puts you in a position where few professions do…you get to tell people what to do, and (usually) they do it, even though it may be uncomfortable, and they pay you for it 🙂 Isn’t that great? You have your own little bubble of ‘power’ that you wield (hopefully) in a planned out and progressive manner…and it is all for the good of your ‘people’…thumbs up to all you benevolent mini dictators ….
But sometimes it gets into our heads. We are living in a period of excess, where ‘shock value’ is what is important, and what we believe will get us more clients.
Which is why I was only half surprised when during a consultation in the past week, I was told that the reason that particular client chose me, is that I looked reasonable. The last personal trainer she tried, showed her one hand push ups in the first session…..WT* (no I did not say that, my civilised version of that is ….really???) What came to mind was maybe he was trying to impress a pretty lady and not a client…Because of how he chose to do it – and she is pretty.
We have to realise that majority of those who come to us do not come with the desire to become super athletes.
Almost everyone would like to add more movement into their lives. It could be a sedentary person who wants to get off the couch, or the weekend jogger who cannot carry their groceries and wants to get stronger. Most people do not believe they will ever progress to being athletic, yes it is your job to inspire, but showing off what you can do will only discourage. Remember, people do this in their spare time, you, do this full time. This is something I remind my clients every time I add a difficult progression either with technique or effort….I am the professional, I do this all the time…and yes I did fail the first few times too…
A few want to lose weight….I am a health coach first and foremost, and then a personal trainer; which means, confidence, positive body image is more important than a number on the scale. A bikini that was a size too small fitting for summer is greater incentive than losing a kilo, the scale can be a de-motivator, and I avoid it like I avoid shaking your hand during flu season 🙂 just kidding. Fitting into that little black dress will be more important than that one hand push up.
With our ‘power’ comes a responsibility – to create enjoyable fitness experiences so that those that chose to work with us, integrate fitness into their daily lives.
Eventually, we will create an army of a people who can do one hand push ups – just not today.