Myths about Personal Trainers
Personal training plays a crucial role in preventative care. I was recently talking to someone at my church about my job and heard what she thought of personal trainers. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about personal trainers. While these may be true of some personal trainers (probably why the myths are out there), most certified personal trainers aren't what you would expect. I wanted to debunk myths floating around out there.
1. TRAINERS LOVE TO SEE YOU IN PAIN AND YELL AT YOU
To get stronger and more fit it is not necessary to be sore. You may have delayed onset muscle soreness when you are being challenged in a new way but soreness doesn't mean that you worked extra hard that day. Trainers don't love to see their clients in pain. Yelling is a tactic for some intense trainers or in a workout class but it is definitely not true of most trainers.
2. HIRING A TRAINER IS ENOUGH
Many people expect to get skinny right when they hire a trainer. Trainers are typically with their clients 2-3 hours a week. Their clients are on their own making decisions about their meals, snacks, sleep, and activity levels the rest of the week. Trainers are there to help with healthy eating and exercise the rest of the week but their clients need to make the effort too. Losing weight and keeping it off is a lifestyle change.
3. TRAINERS ARE PAID A SALARY
It's rare that you'll find a trainer paid on salary. Most trainers don't get into personal training to become rich. Trainers are passionate about fitness and want to share their passion. That doesn't mean that it comes without stress. In addition to the in-person sessions, trainers spend hours researching and planning for their clients. Their time is valuable and they only get paid for their workout sessions. Trainers are paid even less than that if they work at a gym since a portion of their income goes to the gym.
4. TRAINERS SUPPLY A SPECIFIC MEAL PLAN FOR EVERY CLIENT
In the US trainers are only allowed to give you nutrition advice but legally cannot give you a meal plan. Trainers typically have knowledge on nutrition so they are a helpful resource but if you need someone to write out a meal plan for you each day, a registered dietician is who you should seek out. There are a lot of trainers out there giving customized meal plans though so that is something to be aware of. That is not legal.
5. ALL TRAINERS HAVE A SIX-PACK
Trainers are just regular people too. They don't work out 24/7 and exhaust themselves every single workout. They have families, other obligations, preparation time for sessions that don't involve doing exercises and some have a full-time job and do training on the side. Trainers don't eat perfectly all of the time. They like to indulge in a piece of cake every once in a while. They eat right most of the time and approach their diet with balance and moderation. They do have a deep understanding of the human body and know how it works. Just because someone has a six-pack doesn't mean that they know how to help you get in shape. Every body is different too, so even if you did the same workout as your trainer or someone with six-pack abs, your body will not look exactly the same.
6. TRAINERS ARE NATURALLY SKINNY AND TONED (OR RIPPED WITH HUGE MUSCLES)
Trainers work hard to get in good shape! Some of them even went through a major weight loss themselves which led them to become a personal trainer. Trainers go through seasons of not being able to work out as much and may not be in perfect shape. That doesn't mean they are bad trainers it just means they're human.
7. TRAINERS NEVER GET INJURED
Personal trainers aren't protected from injuries just because they know proper form. They are actually more prone to injury because they are on their feet so much. They are more likely to suffer from an overuse injury than the general population.
8. TRAINERS ONLY PROVIDE WORKOUTS
Trainers know that there is a lot more to living healthy than a few workouts a week. Trainers enjoy walking alongside people in their health journey. Their clients' physical, emotional and mental health is important to them. Trainers want to encourage their clients to move more and live a long healthy life. Trainers have the opportunity to spend a few hours a week with a client. The relational aspect is a priority to many trainers (I can say that is a high priority to me as a trainer).