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!
It all depends on the situation. I know a lot of new trainers want to jump right in and let everyone know that they know something about training the body, etc. My rule of thumb is that almost every person in the gym is going to be getting advice from someone. When I first started exercising at Holiday Health Spa (Now Bally’s) in the mid to late 1980’s, everyone in their mother was telling me something different and I tried it. After a lot of trial and error, going to college and learning about bio-mechanics and anatomical kinesiology and certifications, I finally learned. If a trainer is with their client, then I do not step in because that is their client. If you know that trainer and the client knows you, I still will not say anything. If the trainer asks me a question in front of the client and it is a rapport between all three of us, then it is okay, but only if I am asked my opinion.
On the flip side, if I someone is training by themselves and they are doing something that is either doing to hurt them in the short-term or will eventually cause where and tear on their body, I will sometimes mention something.