For times when we’re struggling to find the energy, motivation, or personal drive required to transform our physiques and get ourselves in shape, a personal trainer could potentially be the answer to all of our problems. Personal trainers to some people, are worth their weight in gold as they provide all of the tools, knowledge, and skills necessary for people to transform their physiques, and to keep themselves in the best physical condition they’ve ever been in. However, like all businesses, and like most things in life, there are good personal trainers, great trainers, average trainers, and poor trainers. Remember, personal trainers are human beings too, and they will, and do, naturally make mistakes, and every now and then we can excuse the odd mistake here and there. As an example, a personal trainer may forget to check in with their client one night, after a very long day, and subsequently may apologise the next day, find out what they should have found out the night before, and that will be that. However, if a trainer were to recommend a dangerous training regime, or prescribe foods or supplements that could also pose a risk, this is where things become a great deal more serious. Personal trainers make mistakes just like anybody else, and to help prove this, here’s a look at a few common examples of mistakes many trainers are guilty of making:
Making it about them
When you become a personal trainer, you do so not for you, but for others. The reason you are there is because other people need your help and guidance to help them meet their various health and fitness goals. A personal trainer should not display any selfish traits or characteristics at all. If you do, you need an attitude adjustment, or you simply need to find a new career path. Unfortunately a fair few personal trainers don’t seem to realize this, and so they make it all about them. Their client may want to build muscle, even though they may think that they should lose fat instead. Ultimately however, these are the goals of the client so the trainer should respect this. Some however, will recommend diet plans and training regimes based upon fat loss, rather than muscle growth, even though the client has made it crystal clear that they want to gain muscle. As frustrating as it may be, the client is always right and if they won’t listen to the trainer, that is just too bad.
Getting frustrated and impatient
To a personal trainer, working out and eating healthily is like second nature. To people who are used to sitting on their butts eating junk food all day however, the entire process will come as quite a shock to the system. Many clients of personal trainers will start out as beginners and will know virtually nothing about working out or eating clean at all. Some PTs will explain various training and healthy eating fundamentals to their clients once, and expect them to remember everything. If their clients forget something, or do something wrong, a common mistake made by the PT is to become frustrated and impatient. It can be annoying explaining something to somebody over and over again, only to find that they still haven’t understood what you have said, but unfortunately that is just too bad. You must be patient with your clients, and you must be patient with your own development and growth as a trainer as well. Getting frustrated with your client is only going to upset and annoy them, which is hardly going to encourage them to sign up for several more weeks/months of your services.
Giving away too much info for free
As a personal trainer, by all means help people better themselves whenever you can, but remember that you still need to earn a living. If for example, you have a website and each week you post complex healthy eating diet and meal plans, you are essentially giving away these plans for nothing. People can access your site from anywhere, so if they can get diet plans for free, why would they purchase them from you? Rather than entire diet plans, why not give away, say, a one-day plan, or a few healthy recipe ideas to help get people interested instead? The same goes for fitness in the gym. A little help here and there is fine, but if you’re giving away complex workout routines and other pieces of key information, people will be less likely to pay you for your services, because they are getting them for free.
Allowing themselves to fall out of shape
When a personal trainer first starts out, their motivation levels will be through the roof, and they will be looking to attract as many new clients as possible. Because of this, early in their career they will be in fantastic shape, because their physique will be one of their key marketing tools. As time goes by however, and as they find that they have a number of regular clients and online gigs, some trainers stop training and dieting as hard, and allow themselves to fall out of shape. An out of shape personal trainer will not be taken as seriously as a lean and shredded PT, plus if you’re out of shape you will find it harder to train your clients. It would be pretty embarrassing to take one of your clients for a run around the local park, only to find that they’ve barely broke a sweat, whilst you’re sweating and panting away like a dog on a hot day. Obviously not all PTs need to look like Mr Universe, but try to keep yourself in decent shape at the very least.
Not providing their clients with education
PTs aren’t just there to draw up training regimes and healthy diets, they are there to teach their clients as well. Another common mistake made by some PTs is that they don’t educate their clients. You should not only explain what your client should do, you should explain how to do it, and explain why they do it. You are giving them all of the tools necessary to continue keeping themselves in shape when, eventually, you and them part company and go your separate ways.