Whether they’re believing a bodybuilder, or a celebrity, or a known person associated with fitness (to clarify I’m not talking about the leaders in the fitness industry (or similar), think The Biggest Loser personal trainers intensely working out 350 pound people for 5 hours straight and they’re not even getting proper nutrition intake (may be an exaggeration but I think you can get the point I’m making) , celebrity fads/workout advice, a guy they know they always looked up to for fitness advice (guy giving out really bad advice on TV(Like Doctor Oz saying there’s a natural miracle diet pill/product, or the fitness version of that), bodybuilder friend, or similar), etc. That’s more or less what I’m talking about.), they’ll hear something from them that’s a either a common trend that’s a myth, something that has no evidence to back it up, or/and can even be harmful. And they’ll believe them over me.
The thing is, I’m in good shape but I’m skinny, even though I’m really toned I don’t have big muscles, I feel like it affects my credibility to client’s and athletes when it’s something like my word vs a bodybuilder’s or celebrity.
So how can I handle this, what are the best strategies?
Thanks in advance.
The most important thing here is to stay focused and unaffected. We cannot make everyone see the light. When clients are following bad advice, I clearly tell them that the advice is inaccurate and/or potentially harmful. A few have chosen to believe what they want to believe. It is difficult to accept sometimes, but it is life. If the cient wants me to train them in using bad information, I tell them I can’t teach what I don’t believe in. It is unfortunate, but I do see many of these people later when the need to undo the consequences of bad advice. A fitness professional needs to be confident and know their limitations. Stay within your knowledge base. Work to increase your skills and abilities. And listen to your conscience.
There’s really nothing you “can do” , because people have the right to believe what they want!
However, it’s important to stay professional, provide research materials, and realize that in this industry there are SO MANY trends, “ideas”, fads, the latest and greatest way to do things.
Take a look around at all of the boutique fitness studios opening for instance: The Burn, Dailey Method, Barre, etc, they all have their own “theories” around fitness.
I have determined that this is a huge industry with thousands of ways to do things and as professionals we need to provide clients with solid research and stick with that.
LaRue touches on a good point. When I give a client information, I know where it comes from and can tell my clients where it comes from (what body of research, and if it conflicts with another body of research, why this position is more likely to be helpful for this client).
As Karin mentioned regarding her long term clients, my long term clients know that there’s a reason for every thing that I ask them to do, and that if they ask me I can back up what I say. It’s a long-term dialogue, paired with results from my advice, that builds trust.
Hi Julian. The best you can do is back-up your ‘advice’ with solid data/research. At some point, either the client believes in what you are telling them or NOT. If not, then it’s up to you as the professional to decide whether their failure to believe and follow your advice is detrimental to their health/fitness. If it is, then in my opinion, I would no longer work with that client. At some point, your clients need to either trust the advice that you give them, or move on.