When I tell people I’m a fitness trainer I get a common response.
“You must be in great shape since you’re working out all the time!”
Yeah, I’m in pretty decent shape, but not because I work out all the time and not because I’m a trainer.
There’s a common misconception that trainers work out WITH their clients. That might be how some trainers do it, but not me. I sometimes joke that I stand around and count for a living, which is true to a certain extent. I must count backwards from five to one at least 23,375 times per day! So yeah, I count a lot. But my primary job when I’m working with someone is to teach movement.
I demonstrate movements in order to give my clients visual explanations, but demo-ing a movement here and there hardly constitutes working out. I also watch and talk. I might bust out a quick floss dance if you do a really good pushup, but don’t worry, I’ll keep my eyes on you. My training sessions are nonstop communication. In order to give you effective feedback, I need to watch you like a hawk. And if I’m busy working out with you then I can’t really see what you’re doing. If I can’t see what you’re doing then I’m not coaching you.
I come from a coaching background, so I entered the fitness training world with solid coaching etiquette. But I knew I had a lot of specifics to learn, so I found someone to help me.
At my gym, when I first started out, there was one trainer in particular who stood out to me. Like I said, I come from a coaching background, so I know good coaching when I see it. I saw some of the trainers sitting down, drifting off, and even on their phones during sessions. But not this gal. I admired how she interacted with her clients, so I picked her to be my mentor.
She always had a written plan and she was so confident, engaged, and intentional during her clients’ sessions. She was also a rockstar at teaching movement and correcting form, right down to the tiniest nuances.
I wanted what she had. I wanted to be like her.
Luckily she took me under her wing like a little baby bird and taught me how to be a better trainer. My time spent with her was such a formative time in my career.
One of the most impactful things she said to me was this:
At any point during your session with a client, you should be able to answer the question, “WHY?” You should always have a reason for what you’re doing. Why that movement? Why that number of reps? Why are you pairing those movements together? Why that pace? Why that equipment? Why!?
I realize now that this is what set her apart from other trainers. She had solid reasoning behind everything she did. There was nothing random or not thought through. She was smart and I wanted to be smart like that too.
So I got to work on building a solid foundation for myself.
I’m so grateful to Shannon for being my “Mama Bird.”
I put an insane amount of thought behind my programs and I can’t see that changing. I’m your trainer, not your workout buddy. I promise I won’t use your session as my chance to workout. I’ll have sound reasoning for everything I have you do. Like, I won’t make you do burpees because I’m in a bad mood. ;)
You’ll get the best of me!