This month marks seven years that I’ve been a certified personal trainer. I will be totally honest with you and admit I had no idea what a trainer really was or did when I started. I thought the job primarily consisted of rep-counting, high-fiving and being a motivator. To be even more honest, that’s what I did for the first couple of years out of ignorance. It sounded great. I’d be getting paid to workout with people, sounds like the dream job! While I don’t disagree with that, my understanding of the profession has changed a bit over the years.
Like any professional in any other industry, I humbly stand on the shoulders of giants that were coaching well before I entered the industry. Through books, conferences, certification programs, podcasts, training sessions, YouTube videos and mentoring, I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from these titans. They challenged me, completely changing my expectations of myself and the industry overall. I’m truly blessed to have learned from these amazing people over the years.
I’m going to be very direct with you. If you’re a personal trainer, coach, fitness professional, fitness specialist, whatever the hell you want to call it, this statement applies. If you’re here just to occupy space, count reps and work very little, get out of the industry. If you’re not at all interested in growth, this post isn’t for you. Every client that comes to you is a human being with individual goals, limitations, motivations and baggage. Be ready to put in the work, be creative and form a mutual strategy that best serves your client. On top of that, be ready to adapt to change. If you’re a client or athlete, hold your trainer to a high standard. You more than deserve it
We have the ability to be so much more as personal trainers. I just had a conversation with a mutual friend that discussed being a trainer for a couple of years. They stated that it wasn’t for them and they had to get a “real job.” Unfortunately, this is a common stereotype when it comes to trainers. Hell, it’s gotten to the point where people don’t even want to be called trainers anymore. They prefer more official sounding titles like “performance coach” or “health and fitness specialist.” That fancy little title doesn’t mean a damned thing. Nobody is impressed.
My challenge is to all of us in the fitness industry. It’s time to step up, put in the work and rise to greatness. Be the true professionals that the world needs us to be. With technology rendering physical activity obsolete and obesity on the rise, our job is more important now than ever. There’s also a massive opportunity for our industry.
At Strength with Purpose, we strongly believe in serving others through strength. When someone signs up for a personal training program with you, they’re buying-in to you, your program and your coaching. They’re investing their time, money and energy into working with you. Don’t take that responsibility lightly, and don’t be mistaken. It is NOT about you. You are there for one purpose: To serve the client in front of you. If you disagree with me, the eternal words of Doc come to mind: “Why don’t you make like a tree? And get the fuck outta here!”
To your lifelong health and success,
I want to thank you all so much for reading this blog. Here’s a YouTube playlist of videos teaching you some basic kettlebell skills:
Also, episode VI of our new series is live: