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Your chance to get inside my head

I saw this article posted and got a bit of a kick out of it.  This is supposedly a list of things your trainer wishes they could tell you, but apparently can’t for some reason.  I make a habit of not holding back with people, so my list of things that need to remain a part of internal monologue may look a bit different.

I put my comments below in bold.

If you’re going to hire a personal trainer to help you get in shape in the New Year, or if you’re already working with one, there’s something you need to know: There’s more to the client-trainer relationship than just you paying them money, and them getting you in shape.

Chances are, something you are doing is driving your trainer crazy, but they can’t tell you (even though they’re dying to). It’s hardly professional (or profitable) to yell at clients, after all. But that doesn’t mean trainers shouldn’t get to vent, and maybe, by doing so, prevent future nuisances and etiquette breaches.

“You brush your teeth before seeing your dentist, don’t you? Please apply deodorant before seeing me.”

I can agree with this one.

“Would you please wear underwear if you want me to help stretch your hamstrings?”

Yeah, I guess we’re off to a solid start so far.

“If you can’t put the weights down gently, you shouldn’t pick them up.”

This is where we differ.  I want you controlling the negative portion of each rep, but we’re in a gym, not a library.

“We both know you’re working hard, and I appreciate it. But do you really have to make those sounds?”

Ok, let’s get real.  I’m asking you to bust your butt.  You can make some noise.

“Don’t try to coax me into the pool to train just because you want to see me [semi-]naked.”

Never experienced this, probably due to the lack of pool, among other things.

“Just because you are lifting a heavy weight does not give you permission to spray spit all over me.”

This is why I tend to stand behind people.  We have our mirrors cleaned regularly, so do what comes naturally.

“Do you think I want to clean up your yoga blocks, mat and foam roller?”

Never really been an issue.  Not sure if I’ve ever used yoga blocks, either.

“Don’t blame me when you don’t reach your goals. If you don’t do what I say, it’s your fault. I can’t help you.”

It may sound harsh but this is true.  I’m your guide, I can’t force you to do the right stuff for the 23 hours of the day when we’re not together.

“I’m on your side. Things we do and the things I ask you to do are for your benefit.”

I’m not sure why this isn’t ‘ok’ to say to a client.

“Are you chronically 15 minutes late for every other appointment in your life? We’d get much further if you could be on time.”

There are other ways to bring this up without being quite such a butt, but yeah – show up on time please.

“Do you bargain with your dentist or doctor? I didn’t think so. Please don’t bargain with me.”

I don’t see a huge similarity between my services and that of a doctor or dentist, so feel free to bargain.  You won’t get anywhere, but I won’t take it personally.

“Far less-talented people have gone much further than you because they worked hard. Please start.”

For most people, talent has nothing to do with it.

“You can absolutely do this, but it’s an insult to both of us to think it’s going to be easy.”

Pretty spot on.

“Quit being such a precious snowflake and deal with the fact that you’re not automatically good at everything you so much as look at.”

Good for a laugh, but I haven’t dealt with anyone like this (in recent memory, at least).

“You can’t lose weight if you lift weights only two hours a week and then sit on your butt the rest of the week.”

Very true.

“You cannot keep blaming everything else for holding you back from reaching your goals. The only thing you can blame is yourself. You are the only person making decisions in your life. You can choose a positive outcome by making the decisions you know are right. If you choose wrong, it’s you sabotaging yourself. No one said that reaching your goals was going to be easy. It’s not. It’s hard and it’s work.”

Also true, but at this point I’m starting to think the original author is a trainer that really doesn’t enjoy what they do.

“The reason you haven’t seen results is that you choose to not follow the program I have created. Eating badly and only working out once a week with me is definitely not going to help you lose 20 pounds.”

Definitely a bit cynical…

“Stop being so negative about everything from the exercises to the music. It brings the energy in my studio down. If you say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I hate…,’ you have to give me 20 burpees.”

Yeah this guy/gal needs a vacation.  Though I like the burpee penalty idea…

“Could you please stop making jokes to other members about how much you ‘love when I hurt you’?”

Aw come on, I like those jokes.

“Please don’t constantly complain that you are tired. I start at 6 a.m. and finish most evenings around 8 or 9.”

Yeah we do often work long hours in a job that is more physically demanding than you might think.  But a lot of my clients work harder and longer than I do in their day jobs and they still at least make an effort to work out.  I understand fatigue.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to take it easy on you necessarily, but I understand it.

About Darin Starr

Darin is an ACSM certified trainer in Asheville, North Carolina. He works with clients 1-on-1, with partners and small groups, and also teaches group fitness classes.
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