Having seen this from both sides – both as a client and as a trainer – a personal trainer has to be so many things to so many people. We all go to the gym on the first day all scared and intimidated, generally overweight and unfit and hope to find a trainer who wont laugh, judge and who will give us the tools and above all, the motivation to get going and to carry on going.
Now, if we are lucky enough to find a great trainer on day one, we keep going week after week and then they have to be our best friend, our confidant, our therapist as well as all the things we wanted on day one. Except the more we go, the more confident we get, the more we expect MORE. More results, more motivation, the ability to understand all the things we don’t tell them, the ability to fix the things we don’t even understand ourselves and then we still expect everything to happen overnight and to last forever!
And we wonder why it’s not always easy?! We wonder how hard can it be – how can they have bad days? We forget, as clients, that its sometimes us that make life difficult for ourselves and for our trainers. What about all those clients who book appointments and then don’t call until the last-minute or worse, just don’t show up; the clients who turn up and just go through the motions but then blame the PT that they didn’t lose 2 stone in 2 weeks or the clients or don’t really know what they want or why they just want someone to “fix” it.
If you think about it a good personal trainer knows more about what you really want and why than you have even admitted to yourself, they know more about your weight, your measurements than your other half and overall, they probably know more about what goes on in your head than your best friend. In short a good PT is an invaluable member of your support team and as non-negotiable as a good haircut or a dental appointment.
A good trainer will take you at your worst, listen to all the things you dream of, all the things that scare you and will guide you through those first scary days of your fitness and weight loss journey. A good trainer will push you when you don’t think you can do any more, when you think you have reached the limit they will know that you have, in reality, another set in there. A good trainer will mix it up, keep your programme or routines varied, will stop you getting bored, will challenge every preconception you have about fitness and about yourself and above all, a good trainer will teach you just how much fun exercise can be!
As for me, I was one of the lucky ones. I found a trainer who went the extra mile for me again and again. He challenged me and inspired me so much that I decided, despite the days of difficult clients, no shows or unrealistic goals that I wanted to be a PT too. I have learnt so much about health and fitness, weight loss, motivation and above all, what makes people (including myself) tick that I want to share that passion and help other people as much as Kieran has helped me.
So, when you are heading off for your first PT session or number 23 in your programme, spare a thought for your trainer and what you expect from them – a PT and client relationship is a mutual one and a client will only ever get as much out of it as they put in.