5 min read
It is very possible that your Personal Trainer is motivating you when really (s)he should be teaching you.
A Personal Trainer is not supposed to be a Cheerleader. A Personal Trainer is supposed to be a Teacher who understands and possesses a plan and strategy for achieving your goals.
Career Motivators vs Career Teachers
Many Personal Trainers spend their careers yelling, screaming, begging, convincing, tricking, bargaining etc. with clients during a training session. Week after week, month after month, year after year these types of Personal Trainers get “better” and “better” at motivating their clients. Then there are other types of Personal Trainers who spend their careers discussing training concepts and protocols, correcting form, progressing movements, teaching skills, improving weak attributes, setting and testing goals, etc.
It is always best to find a Personal Trainer who follows the second type of career path, (the teaching path), although it is difficult to do so because of the following reasons…
What is the value of a training session?
Many clients pay for a Personal Trainer to be pushed to failure. This causes trainers to believe it is their job to push clients to their limit, in order to ensure the client will receive their money’s worth. This is a problem because it is impossible to push someone to their breaking point and teach technique and form at the same time. Ultimately, in the end, the client who spends %95 of their time developing technique and form and %5 on intensity will always outperform the client who trains %5 technique and form and %95 intensity.
Fundamentally the difference is, training to failure just because, vs training to failure as one part of a greater strategy in achieving a goal.
Vanity and Ego-Based Training vs Health and Longevity
Are you working with a Personal Trainer because of beach season, an event like a wedding or trip, to impress a guy or girl, a 30-60-90 day challenge, etc. These are reasons for training that will persuade you to rush and place urgency on yourself. This will naturally heighten anxiety and you will typically choose to sacrifice health and any reasons for understanding what you are doing.
When people accept themselves for who they are and do their best consistently they do not focus on short-term reasons to look and feel good for others or events. Most people who begin an extreme and drastic program end up returning to the way they were beforehand, and most times things get worse. Then when the next event shows up on the calendar, the cycle repeats itself.
One example of this is bodybuilding competitions.
Many people enter into these events and spend 3-12 months preparing. The people who wish to be competitive will starve themselves for months, perform unhealthy levels of aerobic activities while being severely malnourished, take diuretics and implement many other unhealthy standard practices. These people then go to the event, have pictures taken of themselves and receive praise from people who do not understand the “dirty” secrets of the event.
After the event a large number of people who participated return to eating “junk” and completely stop any aerobic activity (typically within the hour of the event being over). Then fast forward about 1-6 months and the participants of the events have gained all of the body fat and then sum to never lose it again. This example happens hundreds of times each year in every state across the country.
There are many other examples of how vanity and ego cause people to participate in extreme programs that do not produce long term health results.
Just because a Personal Trainer executes quality technique and form themselves does not automatically mean they can teach clients to do the same.
It is extremely common in the fitness industry that a Personal Trainer or Group Exercise “Teacher” or Pilates/Yoga “Instructor”, etc. will have clients do certain things that they themselves do not.
An example is, a Personal Trainer performs a Lat Pull Down with certain technique and then while working with a client watches the client perform the Lat Pull Down with both different and incorrect form.
This presents the question, why does the Personal Trainer allow the client to continue with improper form?
Is it because they only care about having the client reach failure (so both think it was a great session), is it because the Personal Trainer does not have the skills or ability to stop and correct the client’s technique, or is it because the Personal Trainer is acting negligent and has no concern for the long-term development of the client (meaning as long as the weight gets heavier over time the Personal Trainer thinks it is a success).
It takes years of experience to become a great teacher and Personal Trainer’s who do not develop this skill are missing out on everything training and the student-teacher relationship is about.
It is unfortunate that the physical culture which exists in the mainstream today places vanity over substance. Having a little “brains” behind your training will pay off in the long term every single time. No one single training session will affect the rest of your life, so do not approach a session like it is your first last and only.
All The Very Best,
BARUCHealth Programs For Health Vitality & Performance