Many people envision the stereotypical personal trainer as someone kneeling by a client with a stopwatch, yelling at them to do more push ups. Television has provided us with ‘The Biggest Loser,’ where personal trainers Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper yell and scream at their clients just to do a couple more seconds on the treadmill. 

A personal trainer is far greater than anything portrayed on television, magazines, or social media. 

So, what is a personal trainer?

‘Personal’ exercise

The first thing a personal trainer actually does is that they make exercise ‘personal’. A trainer takes your personal needs and restrictions in exercise, and they formulate a well structured exercise plan. The plan sets you up for small, incremental steps of success in sessions. Trainers have spent countless hours studying human movement and will see flaws in technique that most other gym goers will not see. These small corrections in technique will provide a more efficient workout for your time and prevent injuries from improper form. 

Personal trainers provide modifications for exercises

Many people think a personal trainer is like a drill sergeant, and they will start yelling at you if you can’t do an exercise. A good personal trainer is not even close to a drill sergeant. If they see you can’t do an exercise properly because you lack the requisite strength to perform it, they will provide you with a modification. They have an entire memory bank of exercises at their disposal, like a giant toolbox. They take out certain exercises when they need them and switch out exercises clients struggle with.

The first thing I do when a client can’t do an exercise proficiently is I tell them “that’s okay”. I reassure them that they are not ready and I have a similar exercise that they will be able to perform with better technique. A trainer picks specific exercises to set clients up for small forms of success in a session. By the end of a session the client should walk away knowing exercises they can do and knowing that they got in a quality workout they wouldn’t have gotten by themselves. 

Personal trainers are normal people

All trainers are not insanely muscular and intimidating either. Most of them are people interested in helping others. It is not a prerequisite for a trainer to look like a bodybuilder, quite the contrary. Good personal trainers are people that understand and listen to others and create well structured workouts that set the client up for success. It is important for your trainer to be in shape and not a slob, but you will find that a majority of trainers are not muscular beyond belief. 

It’s important to find a personal trainer that is knowledgeable on getting you to your goals. The personal trainers at Fit Focus all have been through a vigorous certification process to make sure that they will be able to provide a quality service to the client based on science. 

Fit Focus is offering $20 off every hour personal training session this month only (December 2020), and the gym offers 1 free session to every member. Throw away your preconceived notion of what a personal trainer is and think of them as a person looking to help others get to their fitness goals, and grow as a person.

Warren Bartlett. NSCA CSCS.

Personal trainer at Fit Focus Laconia