There are so many preconceived ideas about what Personal Training is that it sometimes becomes difficult to define. The activities, attitudes and approaches are utterly diverse and every client wants and expects something completely individualized in their experience. Luckily, the core principles of what the job entails are true of every client, every Personal Trainer and every session.
1) Personal Trainers ensure that the client works toward their fitness goals. SAFELY MOTIVATE the client to do more than he or she would do on their own.
2) Create diverse and interesting exercise plans that focus on the goals of the CLIENTS and not yourself.
3) Your job is to build skills and habits that lead to LIFELONG health and wellness.
4) Your job is to listen, to push, to limit and to focus your client to SUCCESS!
In simple terms your job is to Safely Motivate Clients to Lifelong Success!
Sounds really easy, doesn’t it…
To ensure the safety of your clients, which as you can see is your number 1 concern, you have to understand a variety of important things.
Anatomy and Physiology will provide you the basis of knowledge to create exercises that use the proper muscles at the proper times. To provide proper angles and ranges of motion for clients that have different body alignments and to recognize imbalances in strength and stability of muscle groups that will need to be remedied. The more you know and understand the body, the better you will be at creating successful programming. Anatomy is not limited to the muscles and bones of the body; you will also want to have a significant knowledge of how the cardiovascular system works to understand how exercise affects the oxygenation of the blood and therefore the working muscles.
Kinesiology or Kinetics will provide you the foundation to understand movement patterns. When irregularities in movement are present, special programming may be necessary to adjust postures and provide more efficient use of the body. Athletes who want to maximize their potential will especially benefit from Personal Trainers with extensive knowledge in this area.
Nutrition knowledge is also a must as your clients will inevitably need to know what they should consume before and after a work-out to get the most out of their time with you. You may have to work with Diabetics or those that are border-line, and blood sugar highs and lows may be a problem for them. You will have to recognize the early signs of these problems to keep your clients safe.
First-Aid, CPR, and AED training are also a must for those working one on one with clients in the fitness industry. This training has been used often to handle sprains and strains as well as to save lives in emergency situations. Remember sometimes you are pushing people past their comfort zones and anything can happen. Personal Trainers must always remember that the Client trusts you with their health, safety and life.
Reality vs. Television
There is far more to being a successful Personal Trainer than exercising with clients and shouting orders.
Many of the Personal Trainers that you see on television are working far outside the parameters of the industry standards. The way they work with the clients is not only irresponsible and dangerous in the real world, it is also illegal and puts the Personal Trainer in serious jeopardy for severe penalties. Please understand that the Personal Trainers represented on television have very special circumstances.
1) They have huge legal teams with waivers signed by the clients and their families.
2) They have doctors on staff to ensure the safety of the clients.
3) There are ambulances on site at every work out to handle the aftermath.
4) Clients are given special diets and IV fluids to keep them healthy.
5) You only see the few minutes that television wants you to see.
Television is not reality. Though television Personal Trainers may seem very cool and some clients may ask for the abuse, that is not what REAL Personal Trainers do. Personal Trainers that choose to work with unfit clients at unhealthy levels of intensity are opening themselves up to criminal liability and extreme problems when someone in your care is injured, or worse.
As you can see a Personal Trainer can be many things: a work out buddy, a coach, a friend, a confidant, a leader, a motivator, a teacher, a drill sergeant, a pain in the butt.
So Bottom Line: What a Personal Trainer Really is….
**Ultimately you are a paid professional with a creative mind to solve the individual road blocks that each client presents to his or her own goals.
**You are an educated problem solver with the skills and knowledge to create plans that fit the needs, lifestyles and preferences of even the most difficult personalities.
**You are skilled with people enough to get information across to each client in a way that he or she will be able to hear and understand.
**You are a negotiator able to overcome every excuse, complaint, and obstacle a client will throw your way. And you do it all with a smile and a pat on the back.
**You never lack the ability to motivate with your energy and your optimism and your clients do not want to disappoint you.