I recently had an employee take over a class that I was unable to teach anymore. He was an amazing instructor but, he was over weight. The class went from averaging 16 participants to 3 participants. I had a few members comment on his weight and make it known that is why they would not attend that class anymore. Is it okay for clientel to be biased about their instructors/trainers?
It’s an unfortunate truth that “image is everything” when it comes to something like fitness and health. In our industry, having the technical knowledge and know-how is only one facet of what our clients look for when choosing a fitness professional to work with. Rightly or wrongly, clients take in the ENTIRE picture when looking at their instructor/trainer. Do you also “look the part?” Do you look like you train as well, and “walk the walk,” as well as “talk the talk?”
Because our industry involves physical fitness, clients will always base at least part of their judgement of a fitness professional on how they look. This doesn’t mean that every trainer must be an Adonis or Wonder Woman. But what it does mean is that we as trainers have to be aware of the potential for client bias in this regard, and so must take as much care as possible to stay in “shape” which, unfortunately means to most of the lay-public, “looking good/healthy.”