I’ve been to plenty of different gyms in my time (probably well over 30!). I always look around when i’m there, to see what type of people train, what machines they have and what their personal trainers are like. The above 3 criteria for me decide whether a gym is good, bad or merely bang average!
One of the things i’m often blown away with is the poor quality of coaching and the arrogance of some personal trainers. Some will even strut about, flexing their muscles, walking around in tight tank tops with a real air of narcism! SHOCKING!
For me a coach should be there to serve clients. If you are in the fitness industry solely to boost your own ego and gain more social media followers…
Then you are a TOTAL DONUT in my opinion and you wont last very long in the fitness industry!
Here are 5 things you should never do as a personal trainer…
#1 Be A Narcissistic Asshole!
There’s a difference between being confident and arrogant. Perhaps there’s a fine line between the two?
But in my opinion…
An arrogant coach goes around with a ‘know it all’ attitude, “i’m the best” and “it’s my way or the high way” approach. It’s all about them!
A confident coach however knows their stuff but also has a great understanding of others, and their needs, they realise that not everybody is on their level. A good coach doesn’t need to constantly show off or post topless selfies on Instagram to let everybody know how great they are!
Narcism is an ugly trait and is very off putting to members of the public. Most personal trainers will not have a very successful business if they take this approach.
#2 Train With Your Clients
Another thing i’ve seen over the years is personal trainers training with their clients. For example the PT will want to train, so they see it as a good way to train and charge clients money at the same time!
I witnessed this the other day at my gym, a trainer who’s competing in a bodybuilding show was doing an ab workout with a group of clients. The workout wasn’t for them it was for him. The trouble is that for many clients they are unaware of the situation. They don’t know much about training, hence why they’ve hired a coach to help them!
Taking advantage of clients like this is a joke. Clients need a workout for their needs/goals not their coaches.
There’s a time and place to train with clients, in my opinion it’s only good to do so if…
- You are training with them outside of paid sessions
- They are working towards the same goal as you i.e. training for a competition.
- Have a similar level of fitness/strength as you
Anything other than the above is a criminal offence. Look out for your clients when they are paying you with their hard earned cash. Don’t take the piss!
#3 Write Self indulgent Content
You only have to go on Instagram for 5 minutes to witness hundreds of personal trainers, fitness models, and bodybuilders – who constantly post pictures of topless selfies, or videos of them working out in the gym, or even worse… posing next to some Ferrari or Lamborghini! “look at how successful I am!”
It’s completely self-obsessed.
Now there’s nothing wrong with the above, there’s a time and a place for each of them (except maybe posing in front of a sports car lol!) providing the message is one of inspiration and serves your audience.
When writing content on your fitness blog, or social media pages you want to help clients by providing them with valuable content. Whether that’s exercise demonstrations, motivation, client success stories, workouts, sharing your own struggles, etc – it’s much more relatable. Being an arrogant douchbag that only talks about him or herself is not a good quality to have as a personal trainer.
#4 Beast Clients Every Session
With a very few exceptions (sports coaches, bodybuilding coaches, etc) most personal trainers work with everyday members of the public. Typically clients are looking to lose weight and change their body shape. Most are unfit and have not lived a healthy lifestyle for a while (if ever!) and they need to build confidence in the gym.
Putting them through a brutal 1 hour workout and trying to destroy them every sessions is absolutely diabolical and not needed. This method will demotivate your client, and potentially injure them!
Instead you should be creating small steps for them to take and slowly ease them into more intense sessions. When starting out with an unfit client you don’t need to be doing 20-30 sets every session. Instead 6-12 sets will suffice, and in between sets you can teach them exercise execution, and help them with nutrition, etc. Use your time to build clients not break them!
#5 Stick clients on a treadmill for 20 mins!
I’m not going to talk much about this point because it’s shocking beyond words. If you stick a client on a treadmill for any longer than 5 minutes you should be sacked (unless there’s a very good reason for doing so!).
If anything you should ask your clients to warm up on a treadmill 5 minutes before the start of your coaching session, so that you can use your hour more productively. Using a treadmill to talk to clients and waste a large part of the session is criminal! The only time it could be used is for somebody morbidly obese, and who is very unfit.
I guess it’s all about the intention, if you are doing it to waste time and make the session go quicker/easier for you then quit being a PT now!
Moral of the story…
Don’t be a douchebag personal trainer. Look out for your clients, treat them with the respect they deserve and the service which they are paying for.