What is a personal trainer?
There are some definite ideas that come to peoples’ minds when they hear the term personal trainer. These preconceptions are often misguided and lead to an understanding of our profession that is not an accurate reflection of what we do, correction, what we should be doing, on a daily and weekly basis.
The first thing that comes to mind is – expensive. Unlike other health professionals trainers typically see their clients 2 or more times a week. At $60 to $100 a session this can be truly cost prohibitive, especially when we are thinking about a long term relationship – which is what you have to have from a fitness professional to truly reap the benefits.
What about the day to day with a trainer? People either imagine a personal trainer as a drill sergeant screaming at them to do two more reps (thank you for that Biggest Loser) or, trainers are seen as a compassionate soul, ready to listen to all the trials and tribulations of in a client’s life. The truth of the matter is we write a fitness program, push you through it, correct form and technique, make you work harder than you would push yourself, and monitor your progress towards your goals.
My personal favorite is the pedestal people put trainers on. We eat the perfect diet, love to exercise hours a day, and going into work at 6am is our absolute favorite thing in the world and we jump out of bed in the morning like Santa is waiting in the living room. Sorry. Trainers are human. We like deep fried stuff, chips, candy, and sugar. We choose not to eat much of it but that doesn’t mean it is easier for us than our clients. Training is our job. It is work. When it is Saturday morning and you’re enjoying your day off by starting with a fun workout – we are at work. Yes, we enjoy our job, but it is our job. It is work. We actually have other interests and likes and dislikes.
Lastly, we do enjoy exercise. But we do it for the same reasons our clients do. To feel better, look great, and stay healthy. Yes, sometimes even trainers need some motivation and don’t feel like exercising. The last expectation is that you have a qualified professional with experience spending an hour focused solely on you.
Ever wonder why most trainers are early 20’s with little to no experience? Maybe it is because we are expected to be cheap, educated professionals with a very limited income. 8 clients in a day is a lot for an average trainer. At $30 an hour in pocket that is only $240 a day on a 5 day work works out to an annual salary of around $50,000. This is a demanding client load and doesn’t account for the extra time educating, learning, writing programs etc. This is with no benefits, no pension, and little job security. Find a doctor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, or chiropractor working with those restrictions. You don’t have long term experienced trainers because they have to move on. People want cheap trainers with experience and education. I want a BMW for the price of a Honda Civic. Good luck with that. You either get cheap or you get quality. Take your pick.
What makes more sense is for fitness professionals to change the way we work. We are coaches. We build a plan, teach you to do it, monitor the progress, assess the outcome, and then revamp the program to achieve the next level of success. Just like a coach. We are fitness coaches. Our job is to teach you how to become and remain fit and then keep you motivated to those goals.
A coach supervises a group of people as they work towards a specific goal. In sport that is a game or competition, in fitness it can be any number of objectives; however it is exactly the same thing.
Here is the rant part. We are not counsellors.
We are not a replacement for internal motivation. We are not your parents. We are not your sounding board. We are your fitness coach. We will keep you on track with your customized program and track your progress. We are your coach. You are still responsible for doing the work and putting in effort.
We are your guides to make sure that effort is fully maximized. At Taylored Training you will see the term ‘Personal Trainer’ disappear. It is a changing occupation and while there will always be a market for people willing to pay high fees for one on one personal training sessions, it is an outdated and dying market. One on one training is cost prohibitive which makes it hard to do what we really want to do in this industry – change the health and fitness of the population!
You need a coach, not a supervisor. The goal is not that you become reliant on an individual to motivate and supervise your fitness program but that you work with a skilled team that teaches you how to exercise and motivate yourself to follow a fun and enjoyable fitness program. And like any other team with a coach, you need teammates. Exercise has become such a lonely endeavor for people and for some reason everyone thinks they need to go at it on their own. The most fun fitness activities and the most successful participants work as a team. You slave away at the gym, but you love playing a game with friends. Why don’t we try and put those things together? Build a team of people interested in fitness so that you can actually enjoy working out? Novel idea? Apparently! But necessary and sorely lacking in most current fitness programs.
We have been moving towards this for the last few years at Taylored Training and it has had awesome success. There are a few people who seem to be more interested in one on one attention from someone so they have somewhere to vent their problems and issues as is to be expected. We are not the place for that. Instead we have an awesome team environment. People talk, laugh, motivate and support each other. People have fun. They are held accountable to their programs by coaches and by other teammates. What else could you want from your fitness program and facility?
The Taylored Training team of professional fitness coaches is here to supervise, motivate, and push the entire member team at Taylored Training to achieve awesome results in minimal time and love every step of it along the way!
Changing the way fitness is done.
-Strength Coach Taylor