Trainer’s That Understand & Can Relate
As she ties her shoelace and grabs her towel and water bottle, a feeling of anxiousness overcomes her… Today is the day she attends her first session at the gym. She isn’t overweight, but isn’t thin, she isn’t ordinary, but is a typical person you could pass in the street. She is not confident, fit, or very coordinated and the thought of walking into the gym terrifies her. She hopes the people are nice and she makes some friends, that she doesn’t make a fool of herself and that she doesn’t stand out or look silly.
This is an extremely common reaction from clients, as the gym is a daunting environment for a new comer. Remember the first time you started school, university, a new job, or an internship. Remember that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach. You didn’t know what to expect, whether you would make friends and if people would be nice… You didn’t know if you would be up to the same standard as everyone else and you didn’t want to stand out, or be made to feel stupid, or inadequate.
Every single client that walks through our door for the first time feels like this. It is our job as trainer’s to take them under our wing and make them feel welcome, comfortable and a part of our community.
Be impressed with their effort, not their performance!!!!!!!!!
These clients aren’t athletes; most of them have never done a deadlift or run a marathon, and most are unable to do a push up. But they are here…. They have overcome their fear and are in our sessions, they are taking their clothes off for a reassessment; even though their reflection sometimes has them in tears. This is the effort we as trainer’s should be impressed with, this is why we should be excited to see our clients, this is why we should be encouraging, motivating, supportive and positive.
One of my clients said to me not long ago; you must think I’m so crap compared to everyone else…. This client is in her mid-50’s, she is overweight and couldn’t do a wall push up, or a lunge when I first met her. I looked at her and said are you kidding me; you are my favourite client. This client has told me she hates exercise, she hates being in the gym; as she is overweight and everyone else is thin. Everything is hard and hurts, yet every single session she puts in 100%, I can see how hard it is and how much effort she is putting in and it would be sooo easy to give up, yet she never does. She never misses a session, she complains incessantly but never quits. I have been working with this client for over a year now and she can now do push ups on her knees, she can deadlift over 50kg, squat 45kg for 10 reps. It would have been so easy for her to quit, the reason she didn’t is because she told me that I believed in her. That I was positive, motivating and supportive.
My point is that to be a great trainer, we need to remember the above for EVERY SINGLE CLIENT. Because the overweight, middle aged, uncoordinated, unfit or clients that simply don’t enjoy exercising will give you the most satisfaction and I believe are the most rewarding, because just to walk through those doors is more of a challenge and takes more effort than you or I could ever fathom.
By Peta Dempster