I have been involved in the fitness industry for 22 years in various ways and am a fully accredited Personal Trainer now.
I started out as an instructor teaching various classes, and this involved freelancing in various gym which was good fun and always kept things fresh.
Interactions through classes
One of the best aspects of teaching classes is that you get to meet so many people and interact with them.
Some become acquaintances and others you strike a friendship with, to the point I might meet up with them from time to time for a coffee and a good old chinwag.
This is great because the class might be a single entity, all of its participants are individuals, each with their own preferences, motivations, personalities and foibles.
The personal trainer – client relationship
In my experience of teaching classes, members are inclined to be more comfortable and relaxed, expressing themselves and most likely will strike a conversation with you and forge something of a relationship.
Whereas a Personal Trainer might not have that connection with members on such a scale.
Instead, he/she is limited to a handful of gym members on the gym floor and dealing with them on a one-to-one basis. The personal aspect is therefore much more limited – although quite intense in a working sense – and is restricted only to those they train.
I have been drawn into many chats with gym members about their experiences with Personal Trainers.
It is a more common topic of conversation than you might think!
Their views on an individual Personal Trainer can actually be quite strident and forthright, both good and bad, which is something PT’s should always bear in mind.
People do talk! And, of course, it is only normal that the less good experiences are the ones that seem to speak longest and loudest.
Here’s my list of What Not To Do whilst training a client:
1. Leave any discussions regarding boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife troubles at home. No one wants to hear them when they are with you to train.
Think of it like this – your client might be going through a divorce or involved with someone that stresses them out constantly.
They are likely to have issue and concerns of their own.
Having this session with you could be a release to get away from these concerns for a while. Therefore, they don’t need to be burdened with yours! Only mention your girlfriend/boyfriend if your client asks you, even then keep it short and sweet.
2. Let’s face it no one likes anyone standing over them instructing with bad breath or any unpleasant odour!
Always make sure you carry chewing gum, a spray/perfume/deodorant to avoid this or the consequences could be your client not sticking around very long!
3. Leave your phone in the locker or place it in your pocket.
The whole idea of Personal Training is to have that personal touch from your trainer.
No client wants to take second place your phone / emails / Twitters /WhatsApp / Facebook etc. So quit the texting and screen staring and put it away.
This time is about your client having your undivided attention.
Anything else and your paying client will feel undervalued and unimportant. Not good!
However if the client agrees to you filming them to promote a trainer’s service or ask you to film them whilst training, that’s a different ballgame, they agreed on this and you can work on it together.
Tomorrow in Part 2 Helena continues to look at the big Don’ts when it comes to Personal Trainers working with their clients!
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