Tag Archive | gym

Is fitness overrated?

Runner - running shoes closeup of woman barefoot running shoes. Female jogging in Central Park, New York City. - stock photoBefore anyone shouts at me lets just be clear, I am a personal trainer, I have clients, I workout every week but……it seems to me that this is a very odd industry to be in.

Being a PT is one of those rare occupations where you get to be a key part of someone’s life, you can help them make all kinds of changes but the bottom line is that they will never treat you as anything more than a casual hairdresser, someone who they can pick up and drop as and when they want. And mostly, there is a Hand with money isolated on white background - stock photogeographical limit to how much people will pay per session and no matter how many qualifications you have or where or how you operate they still wont pay any more per session.

So whilst a few at the top of their game will always prove the exception and make a ton of money there are a whole load of good (and bad) trainers further down the pyramid who are ticking over but will never make enough to finance the dream.  I am one of those lucky people who has a day job they love and started down the PT route as a hobby; my intention was always to make it my full time job but having spent some time around trainers and the industry I do think I would be hard pressed to replace my current salary.

I think we all aspire to be fitter, healthier etc but the fitness industry has spent so much time trying to get new people in as trainers there is a massive glut of qualified trainers out there who lack the empathy and life skills to really engage and unfortunately the 18-year old straight from school trainer is the one that gives all the other trainers a bad name!  How can someone who has 10 years experience and expects it to be reflected in their rates compete with a newly qualified  trainer who has nothing to lose and can charge a rock bottom price?

An inspirational 3D text message, "Live Your Dream", possibly for a business or personal strategy. - stock photoSo what does that mean for me and the dream?  Well the dream moves onwards and upwards but just in a new arena and into the area that started the whole Beauty Fitness Fashion blog – in the next few weeks we launch our new on-line Fashion store selling a whole range of fabulous new clothes including some amazingly gorgeous corsets.

So forgive me if for now, I have become disillusioned with fitness and start to shamelessly promote the new business!

 

 

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I don't eat that much!

stock photo : Small portion of food on a big plate

How often have we all said that?

How many times do you say or have you heard “I didn’t have THAT much to eat or drink?”  As a trainer its something I hear all the time and to be honest, something I also know I have said but it’s possibly one of the most common “white lies” clients tell their trainers and its the one thing that stops clients really getting to where they want and seeing real changes to their body. And I speak from experience!!

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Why women should train like men!

stock photo : athlete  bodybuilder at contest in EstoniaYes I did say that!  I don’t mean that we should adopt the less savoury behaviours we have all seen at the gym or the meatheads with appalling technique cluttering up the weights area but simply that if women embraced the attitude that men have to weights and training they would get the results – and the body – they really want.

So many of us have seen or heard the old story that lifting weights will make you big or bulky and most of us – stock photo : Image of muscle posing woman on competitiongod I hope its most of us by now! – know that its complete nonsense.  To get the lean, toned, sexy body that most women crave women need to get off the cardio and get into weights but how do we encourage that?  How do we break that mindset? Continue reading

Why I am a Personal Trainer

stock photo : Couch Potato illustration; Smiling potato sitting on a couch holding a remote controlA few years back I was the ultimate couch potato, I went to work every day and came home, cooked dinner and sat on the sofa watching TV.  My Sky+ box was used every day to record multiple programmes and I am sorry to say I even knew what was happening in Eastenders! I felt terrible; I was tired all the time, I could sleep for England, my asthma caused me problems and all in all I felt dreadful.

I was working with a lovely girl who enjoyed her wine, enjoyed cooking and eating amazing food and was in thestock photo : Feet warming at fireplace with hands holding wine first year of very happy married bliss but had put on about a stone – every day she said she was going to try a new diet or was going to take up dancing and every time we talked about it I felt guilty that my weight was so out of control.  We talked about talking up pole dancing, about going to Weight Watchers, about trying the juice diet – you name it we debated whether it was worth trying.

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Are female trainers better or worse than men?

Ages ago I posted something entitled “Why women are better” and I have just come across an article by the same guy about female stock photo : young fitness woman Exercising With Personal Trainerpersonal trainers: “Why its harder for women personal Trainers”

Trying to leave aside my bias (I am female and a trainer!) I am curious about the idea of sexism in the role cos I sort of assumed that being a female in a largely male environment but with a large number of female clients, it would be to be advantage. I still maintain that there are large numbers of women who would prefer to train with a woman, someone who understands what she is going through and how she feels and someone who she can discuss her issues with, without feeling self conscious or embarrassed – I have been training with my trainer now for over a year and there are still things I don’t tell him but I know I would have shared with a woman, it’s just what we do!

Reading the article I find the idea that a man understands what a woman is going through (hello, seriously?) with weight loss etc but a woman cannot understand the concept of ‘bulking up’ to be sexist in the extreme – yes there are good guys out there – some of them are even trainers!- who are empathetic and learn from every client and never presume.  But, we all know these are a pretty rare phenomenon in any walk of life and if you add in the perceived macho culture of the gym and they are an endangered species! Why is it a male trainer can presume to understand a woman’s point of view but a woman cannot understand a man?  That bit just baffled me!

stock photo : group of women at the gym doing exercise on the xtrainer machinesWomen have a hard enough time of it in the gym as it is and unfortunately, quite often its our own fault.  we judge other women, pass comments, take bitchy glances and don’t hesitate to tell our girlfriends all about it.  We stick to the cardio never venturing out from the safety  of the treadmill or cross trainer too scared to cross the gym floor and pick up a weight.

Why?  What is so daunting about lifting a few dumbells?  Part of it I think is that men have claimed that area as their own and in any large shiny corporate gym the area is monopolised by men posing and outdoing each other trying to lift heavy, often with appalling form. I was at a new expensive London gym at the weekend and the weight area was full of pumped up guys whilst the  cardio suite was full of tiny gym bunnies, looking pink and fluffy.  How can we ever feel at home lifting weights when we continually perpetuate the myths that that is how girls look and whilst we still cling onto the belief that lifting weights will get you big – don’t we know enough to make sure our friends know what utter nonsense that is by now?

Women will always have a harder time as personal trainers until they respect themselves and offer a professional service that doesn’t involve flirting, showing off their boobs or basically using sex as a way to get more clients – and that is no different to every other industry. For years I worked in construction and was used to being on sites full of guys who werent used to having women around, let alone having a woman boss – I was good at my job, professional but I still wore a skirt and heels.  I wasnt just given respect I had to earn it and that is no different with fitness

If women want to be treated the same as men they have to stop playing at being trainers and stop with the ‘im doing this until I get a better job/career/finish college’ after all if I was a trainer male or female and was working full-time alongside someone like that I was be more than a little unhappy – why should I lose out on clients cos he/she wants to work for a few months?

However, there are so many gyms etc owned operated or managed by men who DO only see men as personal trainers and who fail to stock photo : black bunny and a weightcapitalise on the benefits of employing a female trainer – walk into any gym run by men or where there are only male PTs and you will see a list of things that could be changed but that completely escape most mens attention from the soap in the bathrooms to the smells, the music, the magazines, the macho attitude that pervades the whole environment.

Until women start coming out from the shadows and owning or operating their own gyms and,more importantly start shouting about proper fitness including lifting weights they will always be in the background and I for one, never liked it there!

Play as exercise or exercise as play?

I was recently introduced to the book The Exuberant Animal by Frank Forencich and whilst initially I wasn’t sure now I completely love it and would recommend it to everyone who wants to change their life and their world.

The concept is simple and straight forward and like most pieces of good advice you recognise instantly where it is coming from; that movement, exercise, physicality should be above all else, fun and should reflect not the constraints of the gym (cardio machines, resistance machines etc) but the actions and functions our bodies were designed to do.

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New Year, New Start

stock vector : New Year 2013 start button
So, it’s a new year and a new start for me and millions of other people but why or why does the media continue to churn out the same old predictable nonsense?!

Every year during January you hear the same old tired eating advice of cutting calories and eating low fat despite how many times that has been discredited in recent years and every year you see the same so-called ‘celebrities’ try to flog their DVDs which do little to help inspire people to get fit for more than 5 minutes.

When are we going to see the health and fitness industry wake up and actually do something to help people rather than just take the money every January for the thousands of people who start back at a gym and never get past February?

The more I look into it the more my long term aim has to be to open my own gym or training space – somewhere that offers great stock photo : empty fitness gymtraining but backed up with emotional support, healthy eating advice and really good sensible advice on clothes and make up.  The majority of my clients are women, generally over 40, which fortunately is my own demographic and there is a real thread running through every women I meet;

  • Gyms tend to be designed by men for men
  • Gym staff tend to be young men who have no empathy with women over 40 who are juggling children, work, parents etc etc
  • If not young men they are full of young women with no life skills who again cannot empathise with their clients
  • Women often need more of an emotional connection to make real progress
  • Women need realistic, practical suggestions for food and diets that fit into their busy live that take into account what REALLY happens!
  • Women are often a bit lost after 40 and start to lose track of who they really are – someone who can understand that and help guide them is really appreciated
  • So often we stick with the same make up or hairstyle that we have had for years, it ages us and slowly saps the confidence.  Having someone to show you how easily make up, hair or fashion can be updated and quickly it changes how you feel and how other people see you is invaluable.

stock photo : The words What Makes You Special on a badge, asking the question of what characteristics set you apart as an individual as different, unique, distinguished or better than the restFor many women it’s not about major life changes or even losing loads of weight; often its just about feeling lost, feeling that their confidence has been dented a little by life and wanting to be best they can be, no matter what their age.

So instead of focussing on health and fitness the way it’s been traditionally done, for me its time to make a real change.  Changing the way I approach the fitness industry, changing how I approach clients and offering my clients something more than the thousands of other fitness trainers’.  That is, I guess the central foundation of my blog and my business.

stock vector : Beauty girl

There are so many ways to get fit, stay fit, be healthy but more importantly be happy…… and its time we embraced them and offered our clients an easier way. So, stick with me and I will do my best to try and be all the things I want to be!