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!
Always answer questions for which you can present yourself as a certified expert. Answering questions is never “undercutting”. If the client’s trainer confronts you simply present your answer to them. You may have a perspective on a subject they never thought of and your conversation about the topic can only serve to enhance both of your knowledge.
On the other hand, tread very lightly if the client of another trainer asks you advice on exercise technique or other health related questions specific to that individual. You don’t know their history, their abilities or their contraindications enough to give them a reasonable suggestion on altered technique, diet, or similar subject. In this circumstance you can give some ideas but always refer them back to their own trainer for direct advice.
Incidentally, the only true undercutting I’ve seen never works out well for the offender because they are quickly shunned by staff and members – ruining their business.