Over the last few weeks working on my new job (if you haven’t heard I now work every other week on a fitness Bootcamp based in Oxford), I’ve come to the conclusion that the personal training industry is getting a bad reputation for itself. I’ve had people unaware of the term DOM’s, people that don’t know why they do HIIT or strength work, people that aren’t sure exactly what they are trying to achieve. This honestly baffles me! If you haven’t sat down with your trainer and gone through goal setting what is the point in having a trainer there?
I don’t want this to turn into a post where it’s just me ranting but there are a few things I need to point out. Instagram. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Instagram and think it’s a great way of helping as many people as possible, whether that’s giving nutritional advice or correcting an exercise. But, the number of times I scroll through my Instagram feed and see incorrect form on the most basic exercises hurts my soul. Surely, as a personal trainer, you would record yourself doing the exercise, see that you aren’t necessarily doing it properly, correct yourself or use it as a bad example and then give a detailed explanation of what the exercise should look and feel like. But this isn’t what happens! Instead, they post bad advice potentially dangerous advice which could cause injuries. I don’t even know where to begin with how to address this particular issue.
It’s so easy to become a qualified Personal Trainer. Personally, I completed my qualification in a 6-week intense course, which was seriously intense, but I absolutely loved it! However, is 6 weeks really enough to learn everything?? No, of course it’s not! This is why as a personal trainer you have to go out there and learn things for yourself. Talk to other more experienced personal trainers, read articles, listen to podcasts and get as much knowledge as possible. I’m not saying that I do all these things all the time now, but I made sure that when I first qualified I would keep up with the reading and make sure I was containing as much information as possible. Even now, if I am unsure of something or can’t remember a fact, I would be honest with my client and tell them I’ll have a look at it and get back to them. You can’t know everything. Things in the fitness industry are always changing but you need to know the basics. This is what some PT’s are lacking these days and it’s pretty scary if I’m honest. It should be so much more than just getting clients. It’s knowing how to help them and being able to understand the process which you will take to get them to their goals. If your PT hasn’t sat down with you and had a 1-2-1 chat of exactly what you want to achieve and the plan of action, then how do they know what to do with you each session. If you want to lose weight but they are making you do low-intensity exercise and you aren’t giving your 100% in session…then what are they doing?? There needs to be a purpose to every exercise you do with your personal trainer. If you aren’t sure as to why you are doing something, then ask them. If their answer is a bit random and doesn’t make sense, keep asking. If they can’t answer then you might want to think about looking into other trainers.
I love my job. I love helping people and that’s one reason I started this blog in the first place so that I could help people all over the world to live a healthier lifestyle. I love seeing the change in people over a few sessions, whether that’s getting stronger, losing weight, gaining confidence and changing as a person for the better. I’m passionate about what I do. I think that’s something that many trainers lack. Passion. A love for the job. When you ask a trainer ‘so why did you want to be a PT?’ and they answer ‘because I love the gym’ I literally just feel like facepalming myself. Yes you can be in the gym all day but you aren’t training yourself, you are getting everyone else fit and healthy. It’s about others, not yourself. For some trainers, not all, it’s a numbers game. How many clients have you got, how much money are you earning? Yes, we are all self-employed and trying to live a life, but taking people’s money to look busy isn’t right. Clients rely on the trainer to guide them in the right direction, listen to their problems and worries and be the person that is going to change their life, not just have them there as a number with a pound sign over their head. If your trainer is constantly on the phone during sessions scrolling through social media or they just put you on a cardio machine for half the session, then you seriously need to look elsewhere, because you aren’t getting anywhere with the trainer you have now. Remember who you are doing this for. Why did you want a personal trainer in the first place? Look out for yourself, it’s a competitive game and there will no doubt be another trainer around the corner who will want to snap you up. Do your research. Have taster sessions with trainers. Talk to them and see if they know their stuff. Ask questions. Don’t always go by how they look and how many clients they have. The more successful trainers will probably be quieter, you won’t see them as much as they are usually busy and they are open to answering questions because they know the answers. These are the type of trainers you want.
I’m not saying that I’m an amazing trainer. There’s always something to learn and I can always better myself. But my clients are happy with their progress, they enjoy sessions and they go home having learnt something new. They are making new goals all the time and that’s what I love. Just be wary of who you choose for your trainer. You are giving them your time and money so they should give you the best service possible. Getting you to your goal. Teaching you a good and safe technique when exercising, and advising you on nutrition. It sounds simple but it’s something the fitness industry is really struggling with at the moment, let’s just hope it get’s better.
Hopefully, this hasn’t made you worry about getting a trainer, or second guess the one you have. If it has, then it’s probably for a good reason and may have set off some alarm bells. Just ask some questions, don’t let them bulls**t you with words and go from there.
Any worries or questions just comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can!