I’ve had my fair share of gym memberships. In various gyms I’ve seen great trainers, and I’ve seen some down right horrible trainers just based on how the client responds to the trainer. I don’t hide the fact that I’m a personal trainer, but I don’t flaunt it either. In the course of conversations with other gym members, I’ve found that many trainers often leave clients with more questions than they give answers, and when I’m asked as a personal trainer to clarify something that their trainer has told them, I do my best to give an honest after getting more information. Without sounding pompous, the case has been that more often than not I was able to more effectively answer a question for another trainer’s client than was the trainer.
Some trainers would consider me giving these answers as “undercutting” them or trying to take their business, but I make it a point not to solicit other trainers’ clients as a professional courtesy. What is the most professional way to deal with situations like this, and do you think that it is wrong to simply clarify something for another trainer’s client if that client wasn’t satisfied with the answer that the trainer gave him/her? Also, do you think that as professionals we should just stand idly by and watch other trainers’ clients have less than fulfilling fitness experiences? Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Concerns? I’m open!
Well, I can certainly identify with your situation. Although my initial certification was a personal trainer, I was hired as a group fitness instructor. When I decided to do both group ex and PT I found myself in the situation you described. Sure, I talk to people out on the floor when I’m at the gym because the regulars know I work there.
It’s hard because at the same time, there may not be any trainers on the floor and I can’t hand the person off to a trainer I trust (my preferred method if it’s an in depth question). I don’t mind clarifying things, but I don’t ever say “your trainer was wrong” or things like that. I say something like, “Maybe what your trainer meant was…” That way I don’t feel like I’m undermining what the trainer is doing, just clarifying.
I did get tired of holding my tongue and that was part of the reason I went back to group ex. I cannot wait for when I have my own business up and going!