I have had the great fortune and honor to work with some of the most dynamic personal trainers/fitness coaches who happen to be women. On more than one occasion I have seen men, whether in good physical condition or not frown, scowl or have immediate hesitation in training with a woman.
Has there been any experience any of you have come across regarding this situation and how was it handled.
Actually, I have experienced quite the opposite in the personal training realm. I find that my male clients feel less intimidated and less in need of ‘competing’ with me than if I were a man. However, I have the advantage in that I am older, and – having 18 years of corporate experience prior to being a personal trainer – I can easily hold my own to any ‘big wig’.
I have to agree with Karin. Although I’m obviously answering this from a male trainer’s perspective, I have to say that “frowns, scowls or immediate hesitation” on the part of some clients simply comes with the territory – no matter what gender the trainer is – as some clients will “question” whether we trainers know our stuff, until we’ve “proven” ourselves to them. I once worked with a larger group of County Parks and Recreation employees – the majority men, and initially I was “tested” in this way. I work with a lot of athletes, and, for example, I may get those same “questioning looks” when I first start training with a “specialized” athlete like a power lifter who thinks that since I don’t power lift, that I may not know how to train them (the same “could be” true with fencers, crew or any other sport athlete that I personally do not participate in). Also like Karin, I’ve been in this industry training for over 18-years, and I am not easily intimidated in a training situation, so the looks, scowls or frowns (if they come) don’t bother me 🙂
I think that Karin hit on something here. I find that oftentimes the cross-gender training relationship works to our ADVANTAGE as trainers. A vast majority of my clients are women, and as Karin says that her “male clients feel less intimidated and less in need of competing,” I find that the same is true with my female clients. Interesting…
I can kind of imagine a hypothetical client: a man who may have been mistreated by an important female figure in their life. Or maybe for whatever reason they are afraid of contact with the other sex because of an experience they had or imagined. This doesn’t necessarily mean they are completely sexist or have biased view of the trainer’s abilities. They might just be more comfortable training with the same gender until they work out these deep seated issues. Maybe if the female trainer can recreate the feeling of training with another man it would go smoother with time?
Hello Kurt, You never know who walks through the door until you get to know the person whether male or female. Being judgemental can have an adverse affect with opening doors with great opportunities!
Women balance out us men and we cant live without them. I have been shown a thing or two by a confident woman and I would’nt hesitate on hiring a female trainer. And I would recommend any female trainers at our club because they’ve earned it just as I have. I have not experienced your situation however, I believe: “Behind every good man…you’ll find a good woman”
I’ve been in this business for a long time and I would simply suggest that anyone who puts a gender based judgement on a trainer’s capabilities is a fool of the highest order. I think that at this time and age intelligent clients rely far more on the experience and capability of his/her trainer than on gender. I know there are exceptions.
First and foremost, present your qualifications and capabilities as a trainer without any gender reference.