18 May What To Expect From Your Personal Trainer
Personal Training. What is it? And what should you expect from a personal trainer.
Well firstly, personal training is literally what it says on the tin. It’s a personal form of training. But it does require a little bit more than counting reps and getting a client to do burpees. Much more.
The term personal training is widely associated with bodybuilders, male or female, who push people to work hard in the gym. Am I right? But what people don’t realize is the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in order to be called a ‘Personal Trainer’.
The exercise programming. Nutritional programming. Not to mention the ups and downs a client will go through emotionally while trying to reach their goals. My interpretation of personal training is coaching every aspect of their life in order to give them the best possible chance to reach their goals in a sustainable way.
One of the main problems with the industry in general, is that the qualifications are fairly easy to achieve. A 6-week course on the basics of the anatomy and principles of training. I don’t know the stats, but I’d imagine the pass rate is fairly high. This often leaves a qualified personal trainer without the business nous or experience to set up and start running a Personal Training Business. The course I undertook was great at providing the basics, but incredible in regard to business training. Looking back over the past 7 years as a personal trainer, the business coaching was the most important part of the course. You require the business knowledge to get the business off the ground. To get clients through the door. Then you can start to work on your Personal expertise.
The only way to get better at becoming a PT, is with experience. Hours upon hours on the gym floor, speaking to prospective clients and actual clients. The fitness industry is also constantly changing and shifting focus, meaning hours upon hours of additional learning during spare hours in order to help provide the best service for the clientele. The latest diets. The latest findings on stretching. The list is endless. Over the past 7 years I have accumulated over 16,000 hours of one to one personal training with clients, and that’s just on the gym floor. The emails, recorded videos, check ins, recipe writing, nutritional programming and podcasts aren’t included in those hours. To be a good personal trainer, you have to give your all to your clients. You have to be there to support them physically, mentally and emotionally. You have to love your career and be passionate about helping others. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true!
As I touched upon earlier in the article, personal training isn’t just counting reps and sets, then allowing the client to fend for themselves for the rest of the week. Far from it in fact. Personal training is far more comprehensive than that. Its messaging clients to see how they’re getting on during the week, its writing gym workouts for clients on the gym floor. Its writing home workout programs. Its writing blogs, recording vlogs and recording home workouts and exercises clients and the general public can use and perform. It’s about calculating calorie and macronutrient intake to suit their goals. It’s about helping them adhere to their program by creating an environment that works for them.
It’s basically everything you can possibly do not just as a coach, but as a person, to help them succeed in reaching their goals.
But mostly, and the most important aspect of personal training, is that you have to be able to relate to the client. You have to be able to understand how that client works best. What motivates them. What inspires them. When they need a rest. When they need to be pushed. When they need a telling off. When they need encouragement. Everyone is different. A good personal trainer can sense what makes someone tick, and work with that. Your personal trainer should be able to engage with you. Not just stand there and tell you what to do.
They need to be doing everything they can to help you get results. If this means texting you at 6am to remind you to go for a run, then so be it.
And finally, you need to enjoy the company of your PT. That is something that is not taught with qualifications, it is gained through experience of being within close proximity of people for a long period of time, to build a rapport.
Personal Training isn’t the ‘easy’ career people assume it is. I regularly wake up at 4am and finish my working day at 9-10pm. It’s part of the role I have and part of the responsibility I have to my clients to give them the best service possible.
It’s what I know and what I love.
Don’t expect anything less!