I’m in the fitness industry and I love every second of it, so much that there are times where I will go over a client’s scheduled time with me if I have some time before another client shows up. Training is a fun profession and part of the job description is to have fun while you train your clients. Think about it, many of our clients have rough work schedules, personal lives, busy lives, and a little bit of each. So, it is our job as trainers to really be the best part of our client’s days, because in essence, we control the flow of the workout, and if we’re in a good mood, then our clients are in a good mood too. This is one of many things that can really set us apart from the rest of the fitness industry.
Okay, so what do many of our typical trainers do? We all love to workout and eat our meals on schedule, correct? Okay, so a typical 9 to 5 job or a job where we may need to go long stretches without eating or a job that requires so much travel preparing and packing food can become a second job are just out of the question. So, many of us turn to a career in fitness, be it on the fitness training side or the business side of fitness affairs, we do whatever we can to land ourselves in this field. This allows us to make our own schedules for the most part, set our own work hours, and even spend day after day wearing gym clothes. That last one is the best thing about this job! But, when it comes down to it, we still have a real job and we still have tasks that must be completed just like any other job has. We still need to make our living and we still need to do a good job in order to continue to keep our dreams and ambitions alive. I have seen a lot of trainers take these benefits for granted and it shouldn’t be so. Why, when we have been given what we wanted (and I got this at a very young age) take something like this for granted just to see it blow up in our faces a little while down the road? It’s pointless, because we have an opportunity to make something out of ourselves doing what we wanted to do for a very long time! Set yourself apart from the rest.
I like to do this, and that’s why I’m not a fan of calling myself a “personal trainer.” I don’t really see myself as one even if that’s my job title. I offer online training, one on one training, small group training, and even training in a “team” environment, so why on Earth would I call myself a personal trainer? Also, I’m an ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness Nutrition all the while being on my way to achieving a degree in Wellness and Fitness from California University of Pennsylvania. I am much, much, much more than a personal trainer and if you are in this boat as well, I got some good news for you: you are much more than just a personal trainer too.
In order to truly be successful in this field we not only need to be the best part of our client’s days and get as much education as possible, we need to be able to set ourselves apart from the rest of the industry. We have to allow our clients to choose us based on our actions, not only our skills or abilities. We need to not only tell our clients why investing in training is going to do wonders for them but we need to show them why investing in training is going to do wonders for them. We need to show them that we do much, much more than just hand out workouts and maybe some nutritional guidelines and send them on their way for the most part and checking up on them on a weekly basis. We really need to ensure that they can achieve anything they set out to do in the world of fitness.
There is a large array of things that you, as their trainer can do for them in order for them to be the best that they can be fitness-wise. First, we aren’t in this just to hand out workouts and nutritional strategies, we are in this to change lifestyles. The most hectic lifestyle can succeed in fitness if the individual is shown how this is possible. We can make our own lifestyles as hectic as possible and we can still get our workouts in, eat the right foods at the right times, and be able to keep this tempo up on a more than consistent basis. If we can do it then we need to relay this to the people who pay us to show them what to do. As fitness professionals, we need to show them how we do this, because they are paying us for our advice. Of course, we need to write them up workout plans, we need to write them up nutritional plans, but we also need to show them how to accomplish what we want them to accomplish with these plans that we write up for them. We need to tell them that these plans are based around their lifestyles and that although these plans do require some changes in lifestyle habits, they are very achievable and we are going to show you how.
This brings me to another point that will set us apart from the rest: we have to assess every single individual that is interested in our services. Most trainers will simply ask the client if they have been in a gym in a while and whatever answer the client gives, the trainer will make up a workout program that fits their fitness level. Great, so that does give the client an idea on what to do, but the fact of the matter is this client could have physical limitations and exercise contradictions that need to be assessed before any plan is given out and a lot of trainers tend to forget to assess their client base. Almost every single certification organization out there will give us these forms used for assessing clients so if your organization does this, use them! They give us these forms for a reason and that reason is to allow us as trainers to design the best possible exercise and nutrition program for our clients.
Measuring progress will also set us apart from the rest. What are your client’s goals? Is it weight loss? Muscle gain? Strength training? Cardio training? A mixture of all of these perhaps? Look, whatever your client’s goals are you need to be able to measure these and measure them often, at least every two weeks. This will allow the client to see the progress that they made and not only that, they will also recognize the value of what they are paying for. They are paying for someone to make them better in the fitness realm and it is us that they are paying and we need to, at the best of our abilities, ensure that they reach their goals above and beyond. I cannot stress that point enough.
In conclusion, we are fitness professionals who change lifestyles. Lifestyle change is what many of our clients want and they need guidance from us to achieve that change. Without lifestyle change, everything is back to square one, so we could always hand them a workout with no periodization, no changes, no anything or we can train them hard, to the best of our ability and tell them what to do when they are not with us. They can always contact us, especially when facing a rough situation such as having to choose between that junk food meal or that healthy meal, or choose between spending Friday night with friends at a bar or spending Friday night with a friend or two in the gym, getting a rough workout in but knowing it’s going to make them feel better in the end.