I Am a Mediocre Trainer
I am a mediocre trainer....there I said it!
I would actually say I'm slightly better than the average trainer but that's about it. I keep my clients safe which is huge. I progress them gently and effectively and they gain strength and health. And I've never ever had a client get truly injured on my watch! I even know some of the most scientifically sound ways to work out for maximum calorie expenditure and long-term improved metabolism. But, bottom line, I haven't been working out my entire life. In fact, I was obese most of my life and completely sedentary. I still have loads to learn as far as exercise science is concerned. Also, I'm not super passionate about it! I enjoy exercise and I recognize it's vast benefits, but it's not where my heart lies.
Why would I, as a trainer, admit this?
Well, first, because it's the truth. Second, because, the further I get through this life, the more important being true to my authentic self is to me.
I've been circling around this truth for a while and gently dissuading a few potential clients who were coming to me with purely superficial goals (i.e. lose 5 pounds for the beach, get a bigger butt, etc.). However, this week, after much deliberation over many weeks, I took this gentle dissuading to a whole new level.
I had an initial consultation with a new potential weight loss client. I flat out told him that I was not just interested in working him out and if that's all he was looking for that he could do better than me. I have a "no pressure approach" after all consultations where I send them away with my rate sheet and some bullet point advice in case if I never see them again...as of today, I haven't heard back from him.
Why did I tell him that? Again, because it's true.
I'm tired of selling myself to each and every person. I'm more than tired of it, I'm done with it. As nice as new business is for this small business owner, what's way more important right now is me honoring my authentic self. And not just for personal growth reasons! By refusing to only offer the weakest of the tools I provide, I am doing the best thing for prospective clients who are only interested in the exercise portion of health improve.
But i do hope that, as they walk away in search of a different trainer, that they internalize what I have said and that is this:
The effects of exercise on improving health is a very small piece of the puzzle compared to nutrition, mental health, hormonal balance and lifestyle habits (for example, sleep). If weight loss is the goal, behavior modification trumps everything else.
"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
I'm through handing out fish. I truly am. It no longer comes down to if someone wants to work with me. It is quickly becoming whether I feel passionate about working with them.
When someone is open and receptive to the idea that they need to change every aspect of their life, I become absolutely passionate about their particular situation. If they have a disease, I research and become an expert on it. I brainstorm new and creative ways for them to change behaviors. I randomly message them excitedly with new ideas. These clients energize me. And, in turn, I change their lives. We jump up and down and hug over victories. We even sometimes cry together. They fill my heart up. Effortlessly, I gain lifetime clients and get lots of referrals from them.
On the flip side, when someone just wants to come in and work out, I find myself going on autopilot. I am still mindful of their safety and progress but I don't feel the same high energy, passionate involvement as the aforementioned sessions. When they leave, I don't generally think of them until before their next session when it's time to design their workout. These people also seem to quickly lose interest in exercise no matter how fun and fresh I try to keep it and they never stay with me long term.
It's unfair to both of us. And it's why I'm done. I am no longer accepting applications for mediocre exercise training sessions. I am finally at a point where I have a schedule full of these passion-provoking clients and I choose to be very selective so that I can keep it that way. If I ever find myself dreading a session, I know that I've let someone with goals that do not align with my values slip through the cracks. As soon as I recognize this, I will be waiting for them at their next session with a refund and a referral to a more qualified trainer.