Before 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 geographical 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?
So 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!
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!!
A 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 the 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.
One of my favourite experts in the field of health and fitness is Charles Poliquin and I love his take on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle generally.
There is so much information out there that confuses the public and trainers alike and most of it is around calories consumed – how many, when, how many meals per day and its always useful to find someone who provides clear advice alongside easy to understand science!
Amongst the millions of other things to worry/obsess/fret about are the masses of contradictory information available on-line, in books, parenting classes, from your families, your friends and even total strangers about what you should and shouldn’t eat, what constitutes a healthy diet; this is usually followed by their opinion of what you are currently consuming and why they know best! As if we don’t all have enough to think about!
It’s all very well learning to live with the lion outside your door but how about we take a leaf out his book (I know I’ve mixed my metaphors!) and learn to eat like one?
Having had my own personal nutrition/weight issues in recent years it was a bit of a light-bulb moment when I realised I was eating, at max, 1200 calories a day (and frequently much fewer) with as little as 40g of protein a day. And this is despite training 4-5 times a week; I was quite obviously not eating enough and definitely not enough protein!
Looking at inspirational books such as Rachel Cosgrove book “The Female Body Breakthrough” or “The New Rules of Lifting for Women – Lift like a Man, Look like a Goddess” by Lou Schuler its quite clear that the consistently recommended amount of protein is around 1g per lb of LBM but that overall the amount of macro nutrients consumed should be the rough proportions of 40/30/30 of carbs/fat/protein respectively.
On that basis most people could seriously up their protein content!
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 training 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.
For 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.
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!