Open Letter To All Personal Trainers

I have been to many gyms, personal training studios, parks and other facilities that you will find plenty of personal trainers. I know many personal trainers and I have observed plenty of them doing their job. I have observed plenty of personal trainers that had no idea I was observing them. I have trained with quite a few personal trainers. And I have seen plenty of hopeless cases of personal trainers out there.

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I wonder why so many people become personal trainers. Or, I know why many of them do, because they are genuinely interested in health and fitness and also genuinely interested in helping others becoming healthy and fit too. Then you have those who are just interested in staying fit and healthy themselves and think that’s what they are getting paid for. I also know that heaps of young kids things personal training is an easy job, where you just hang out at the gym all day long and get paid for it. It also seems to be rumours around the world that most personal trainers are getting paid millions of dollars every year, basically for doing nothing else than telling unfit people to do pushups. Well, it seems reality is hard to face for many personal trainers after they actually start working (because yes, you actually need to work).

Dear PT,

I know you are excited about starting your new fitness career, but there’s a few things we need to talk about first. You probably think you learnt everything you need to know at your online PT course your mum paid for, but unfortunately you are wrong.  Once you start working you will start learning and believe me, if you want to become an excellent PT, this learning curve needs to be steep. Make sure you find an experienced PT and ask him/her kindly to be your mentor that you can ask for help and learn from (yes, asking for help is a good thing) when you are stuck and unsure. Because when you are unsure if you are doing the right thing, are you really willing to risk trying it on your client before you know if it’s safe?

Always treat your clients with the respect they deserve. Sometimes you even need to treat them with more respect than they deserve. They pay you a lot of money for your services, make sure they get what they pay for. Are you watching the TV screens instead of the dumbbells when spotting? Are you getting a little to up close and personal when helping an attractive female client with her squatting technique? Do you even know how to spot right in any case? Or do you know why we need to spot clients? Do you talk shit about clients to your colleges or worse, to other clients? The world is very small, remember that, your words will always come back and haunt you. And your best marketing channel, word of mouth, will not be working very well. Focus on your client. It’s called personal training for a reason. And don’t try and pick up the girl that’s working out next to you – she’s not interested and your client is not interested in listening to it.

Don’t have sex with your clients. Seriously.

Do you give your clients what they require and what you promise? If your niche is weight loss for ladies over 40, do you think they want to eat chicken breast and broccoli every two hours (including getting up during the night to eat) and never share an ice cream with their daughters? If you’re promising results within two weeks of training, have you got a plan to make sure this happens. Are you over promising and under delivering? How do you think this will affect your personal training business? How will it affect the lives of your clients? Costumer service is the most important aspect of your job, not how you look with your top off. You need to look after your clients, give them what you promise and what they ask for.

Shave before you go to work. And brush your teeth. Oh, and shower and put some deodorant on. If you want to be a fitness professional, you need to look the part. And smell the part. And don’t wear a singlet with your armpit hair going everywhere. It’s not a good look (and probably not a good smell either). I don’t think it’s a good idea to brag about how many shots you had on the weekend or who you shagged. You’re meant to be an inspiration for your clients. You need to look the part (with your top on) and you should be leading a healthy lifestyle too. Yes, of course you can have a drink with your mates, but that doesn’t mean you need to post it all over your professional Facebook page and throw up during your Saturday morning session. Ever!

Don’t hang on the equipment. Don’t just stand there and count reps. Don’t sleep in for your sessions. Don’t tell your clients everything you lift and eat, they don’t care. Don’t burp and fart during sessions. Be energetic. Be inspiring. Be understanding. Be patient. Learn something new every day and never be afraid to admit a mistake and ask for help. Sometimes your little mistake might cost someone else a knee. Or a lower back. Or they might never be able to run again. And it’s your responsibility. You will be liable. Because you were too busy looking at Beyonce on the TV screen or because you had no idea that your client couldn’t lift that heavy, because you were never paying attention and listening in the first place.

Don’t make your clients to squats on a bosu ball with kettlebells in their hands if it’s their third session!

If you want to be a personal trainer, be exactly that. A personal trainer that cares, listens, teaches and looks after his clients. A trainer that knows what his talking about. A trainer that does research and alway keeps up to date on current research. A trainer that has a great reputation and clients that keeps coming back for more, because they get the results they are after and want to stay with their awesome trainer forever. Be that personal trainer and you will be successful, happy and build more friendships than you ever thought was possible.

Yours sincerely, Awesome Ashild

Ah, I just needed to get that off my chest. Now I think I am almost ready to go back to the gym and face it all again. I often have to close my eyes or look the other way, because it’s so painful to watch.

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7 Responses to Open Letter To All Personal Trainers

  1. aquariosa says:

    Hahahahaha! Ich lache echt sofort nach dem Gucken!

  2. Ice_Badger says:

    do these things really happen??!!

    I guess I am really lucky with mine then! Matt the trainer is excellent. at my gym the personal trainers are all employed by the gym, when I was choosing matt, he had the longest list of qualifications, from training to sports referal and nutrition and all sorts and he trained MMA. I got on with him as a trainer so well that I even followed him when he moved from the gym near my work to be the manager at a different gym in the same chain! he is obviously very fit and strong but not a big guy and not a “lad” type. He is always going on courses and telling me about new theories and techniques…
    I guess I got one of the good ones!

  3. Rune soltvedt says:

    Fantastisk bra skrevet:-) Gleder meg til du kommer tilbake for å jobbe for oss i SiB som PT? og instruktør!

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