Today, I want to make my case AGAINST hiring a personal trainer.
This might seem like an odd thing to do considering I used to be one, but I stand by the case I’m about to make.
First, why do people hire personal trainers? It really only comes down to a couple legitimate reasons…
1. Because a person doesn’t know what to do as far as exercises and a training plan are concerned.
2. To hold themselves accountable.
Now, I’m not saying that these things can’t be useful. They absolutely can be.
But where does hiring a trainer fall short?
First of all. Only you are inside your body. While a good coach or trainer will be able to see things from the outside that you may not see yourself, ultimately this ability must be internally integrated. This is how you listen to your body and this is a skill you must acquire if you want to live pain-free.
A personal trainer puts you through a program which, chances are, is not taking into account all the subtle details of how it is affecting your body.
Secondly, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for life. Most personal trainers want you to keep coming back to them. After all, that is how they get paid.
When I was a personal trainer, I really saw myself more as a teacher or a coach. My ultimate goal was to teach people enough so that they could STOP seeing me. That they could take over their own training themselves. I can tell you that this is a minority viewpoint in the field. That’s still my view.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, for many, the hiring of a trainer is an attempt to not think about something. It is an attempt to “outsource” your fitness and in many cases your health.
I get this desire. We all lead busy lives.
BUT I don’t think you can outsource this area.
People abdicate their health to a doctor…and then years later wonder why things are falling apart despite being propped up on drugs that they’re not even sure why they’re taking.
People abdicate their finances to the government or a fund and the market, without really understanding money…and this is why 50% of people are living paycheck to paycheck, with no real plans for retirement.
People abdicate their relationship with their partner, blaming the problems on them, which is why divorce and unhappiness are so high.
Every important area of life, you can either step up and take responsibility or you can not. It all starts with a choice. With a decision.
A personal trainer CAN play a role in taking responsibility, but you must recognize that it really depends.
All of this stuff is similarly true with online programs.
There are personal trainers who put together programs and sell them online.
Even here I see my role to teach. Many of my courses have training programs, but I use these as examples so that you can learn from them.
I want people to take responsibility for themselves. I want people to use their body, their intuition as a guide (once you know what that actually means). I want you to learn what will give you results…not just today but years from now too.
A great starting place to learn what you need to learn for a lifetime of results is The Master Keys to Strength and Fitness.
I like your stuff beacuse you talk about my one thing in life , taking personal responsibilities and i need you to know that you cannot please every one . so stick to your stuff . I have a b a in exercise science too and i wnet on to study phillosophy so i completely get you .
Thanks. I’m seeing myself as a bit more of a “strength training philosopher” these days.
As a retired “Senior Fitness Instructor & Fitness Director” of several facilities,[as apposed to the usual current “Fitness Trainer”], I agree with you 100%: Unlike today’s “business” first trainer…who is oriented around either “sales” for a club [and increasing his commisions] or simply making more money in his own business,I was focused on “teaching”, guiding and monitoring members of various old style gyms and Fitness Centers. Everyone would be assessed and tested for their health/fitness experience & current abilities [via various protocols]…I would always endeavor to free them from instructors sessions as soon as they appeared sufficiently able to take responsibility for “their” own training toward “their” personal goals”. They could make some new appointments with one of our highly experienced instructors as they required. Also, reassesment was readily available too.
Right on! I really think that is how personal training should be aimed at.