A Good Personal Trainer

There are a lot of people out there that say that they are personal trainers, but are they really? I met a guy at my gym and I noticed that he had been asking me an awful lot of questions about workout and how certain things should be done. One day he must have asked me several questions and all of them to me seemed common sense but I was curious about his training at the college he was attending so I asked him about his personal trainer. He tells me that his trainer had a lot of book knowledge but if you looked at him you would not be able to tell that he was a trainer in any stretch of the imagination. He was 6’3” and 350 pounds, he smokes and is known to go out with the guys and throw a couple down on a Friday night. Then things started making sense and I stopped wondering why I was being asked so many questions. He had a lot of book smarts but not a lot of “worldly” smarts (a lot of gym experience).

Now don’t get me wrong, some of you are going to think that I am saying that because he is overweight he should not be a trainer and if you read that in my first paragraph you are trying to make something out of nothing. What I am saying is that to be a good trainer you need to have a few things working for you;

  1. An understanding of the anatomy and how the muscular system works
  2. An understanding of the cardio vascular system
  3. A passion to want to help others better themselves regardless if they can pay you or not
  4. A passion to see people in better physical shape
  5. An understanding that what you are doing is not going to make people happy most of the time, but you need to be the bad guy most of the time to help people get in better physical condition
  6. An understanding that pain in some form will be part of any initial program
  7. An understanding that whereas people think they know what they want to achieve, you need to bring them around slowly and be patient
  8. An understanding that the client comes first. Their needs and desires are before your own
  9. The ability to hold people accountable whether they like it or not
  10. The understanding that money should not be the object but the health of their client first.
  11. The ability to make good workouts, one that you could remember for a long time
  12. The ability to teach you how to do things on your own. After a while you should no longer need that person working with you
  13. The philosophy that they are going to teach you how to do things and not tell you how to do things. I live by a rule give a person a fish and they may not go hunger that day but teach him how to fish and he will know how to survive for a lifetime.
  14. An understanding that their honesty to you the client is most important and even when the truth may hurt they are not afraid to tell you. Not in a vindictive way but in a way that will in the end help you in more ways than you may know

Most people who say they are personal trainers are not. Being a good personal trainer is harder than you think. Think of your doctor having to give you bad news and they know that the news you get will devastate you but they know they have to tell you and they do and in the end you are at first upset with them sharing the news but then you are thankful that they did share the news. Well as a personal trainer you are constantly faced with whether or not you tell the person the truth or you lie to them. As an example, you have a person that has been working out for months and for a while they were having great results and now when you see them you can clearly tell that they have back slid in a big way. They are frustrating you because everything you do for them seems not to be working and they are their own worst enemy. Now this same person is paying you big money for you to help them. Do you just let them continue down the same path with the hopes that one day they will wake up and begin to get focused again or do you pull them aside and tell them the truth and the consequences of their actions which could be you dropping them as a client? Then how do you approach them? Do you scream at them or do you respectfully take them aside and spend time with them and help them figure things out so that they can get back on track? A good personal trainer puts all feeling aside and addresses the issues at hand to help you help yourself. They will spend time talking to you about everything and anything. It may take hours at a time but they have your best interest in mind.

A good personal trainer is not exactly your best friend, but a person that you can respect and in some ways look up to. A good personal trainer is a person that you can see yourself with years down the road and you respect them for their opinion. A good personal trainer you can tell anything to and not feel strange or awkward doing it. How good is your personal trainer?

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