For the most part, I don’t really like the way personal trainers are portrayed there. The “in your face,” tough love, barking orders, style of most of them may grab the viewers’ attention, and be sensational for television, but quite frankly in my now 18-years’ of training experience (yikes!) I find that most “regular” clients don’t respond well to that, particularly in a one-on-one situation. Perhaps that works best in a group setting (I’m thinking boot camp here) since group dynamics are more at work there, and the individual members of the group may not feel singled-out and that any yelling and screaming is not directed specifically at them. But if I trained one of my individual clients by screaming in their face, particularly when they were already experiencing an emotional breakdown (e.g. crying etc.), not only would I feel bad, but I’d probably do a great disservice to that client.
I also feel that because of the perceptions of what the trainer-client relationship is (or should be) like based upon these shows, many first-time clients are (or may be) turned-off to seeking out the services of a trainer (unless of course the client likes that style of interaction – which in my experience MOST don’t). Again, that does a disservice because then the very clients who may need our help, may not seek it because they are, quite frankly, afraid!
Just my two cents.
My personal appearance hardly resembles that of the portrayed personal trainers, and I neither shout nor scream at my clients. I remember once being introduced by one of my clients to her friend, and it was quite obvious that this friend had the TV image of a personal trainer in mind. Upon noticing that, my client said: “Who did you expect me to train with? Attila the Hun?”
TV is all about ratings, the more outrageous the behaviour the better. It is even demonstrated in debates, and it seems that any form of civilized discourse is looked upon as weakness. Where would this world come to if we let the other person finish a sentence !?!?
It depends on the show. I’ve seen some interviews with personal trainers and their clients that I believe were portrayed well. I will say that there are several t.v. shows/programs (none of which I will mention) that portray personal trainers in a bad light and we really did that with our clients we wouldn’t have any.
I live by my mission statement to help people live a healthy lifestyle through exercise – what I see on TV doesn’t impact the way I train because for the most part it is all hype…….afterall it is TV.
In Good Health!
LIFT-4U (Life Improvement Fitness Training)
Too funny, I just finished reading an e-mail from Alwyn Cosgrove (of Results Fitness in the States) about how personal trainers are perceived in the eyes of potential clients. It was pretty thought provoking and relevant to your question, so thought I would share:
As whole, personal trainers, our entire industry, we are
marketing at a minus ten.
That is how we are perceived in the eyes of potential clients.
Who is the most famous personal trainer in the world right now?
Not who you think is the best, but who the general population,
your potential clients think is the best.
You can go and ask people on the street, in your family and
even your clients. Ask them who is the most famous personal
trainer in the world or even the U.S. and most common answer
will be – Jillian Michaels.
Love her or hate her training methods, that is what people
think personal trainers are and act like. How she trains her
clients on T.V., most people think that is normal and that
is what all personal trainers do.
If you poll most Americans, the second personal trainer on
their mind is probably Richard Simmo ns. Everyone knows who he
is and thinks his aerobics types of exercises is how some
personal trainer sessions, and group workouts, like bootcamps,
Most people have no idea who great coaches and trainers
like Mark Verstegen, Mike Boyle or even you are.
Sad but true.
Have you ever seen a TV show where there was a personal
trainer on it like Seinfeld or Friends? Is that personal
trainer ever been a professional person or have they always
been some kind of goofy muscle head or aerobics girl.
They were never portrayed professionally.
How about pictures of personal trainers in magazines and
on the internet?
I just saw one the other day with a ÔÇÿtrainer’ standing by while
his client performs an isometric overhead hold. An isometric hold
for an overweight client? The physiology is garbage there
but the coaching style is aw ful.
The other common pictures of personal trainers are images of
them jacked and wearing almost no clothes. That’s pretty intimidating
for a person looking to try personal training for the first time,
We are marketing at minus 10. We are fighting the media’s stereotypes.
We have to do everything right to get to zero.
This is when trainers tell me that they don’t do marketing or they
don’t think marketing works.
It does work, you just have to do it right. Is it going to be easy?
Of course not, but every successful business in every industry
markets and markets well. To survive in any industry and take your
company to the next level, you must be marketing.
Learning how to market correctly is how constantly grow our gym.
Plus, we need to get our message out there to the masses.
We need to let everyone know that the re are great trainers and
coaches out there and that the fitness industry is full of
professionals. That we are not the stereotypes portrayed by the
media, we can actually help people change their lives.
Help spread the word by becoming the best trainer you can be then
marketing your professional services.
If you want to learn exactly how we market at Results Fitness, check
out our new Counting Reps to Counting Revenue Course today. It is our
fitness business blueprint:
Counting Reps to Counting Reveue
To your success,