Once you get your Personal Training Certificate and start working with clients, It won’t take you long as to realise that the opportunity you get every day to positively affect someone’s life extends way beyond what most clients sign up for.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
With 2/3’s of our population overweight, we PT’s are in a unique position to make a real difference in someone’s life. Helping people get in shape is incredibly rewarding, and incredibly valuable, heck, the government should be paying us a bonus, as our actions directly affect the burden of the health care system. But it’s not all about weight loss – here are some of the things clients have told me in recent weeks…
“My stamina is up”
“My knee pain is almost gone”
“I have immense energy now”
“I’m toning up”
“I sleep more”
“I’m no longer stressed”
“My colleagues are noticing the changes”
Does the heart good!
ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIPS
But there is even a deeper level, where the relationship has been built to such a degree that the dear things, the deep things our clients care about begin to come out. This can be really useful as we can train people better when we know what influences them. But, also as we know ourselves, “a problem shared is a problem halved” – the simple act of sharing with another human being can help solve or at least diminish the angst of a difficult situation.
Of course, if your relationship has entered this level you have to redouble your commitment to absolute confidentiality, and never see yourself as a professional adviser, at most you want to be a sounding board, but it can mean that you are a part of a client getting healthy in more ways than one.
And there is another connection that I love – the clients who are so excited about what is going on in their life, be it work, relationships or anything else that they can hardly wait to tell you about it. I’ve had clients deeply in love who need constant prompting to do the next set because they’re almost in “another world”. And clients (who because of my background as a business owner) have had a big win (or loss) at work and love having someone to share this with.
DO YOU REALISE HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS?
I am convinced that the most important training we give our clients is consistency. Getting them into a habit that hopefully far outlasts our time with them. So if the experience of going to a gym is positive for them, then the chances of this being an ongoing habit are vastly increased. It’s too easy for us to forget – those of us who so love fitness we have become PT’s – that the vast majority of the population sees training as at best a necessary evil.
I remember in fact my very first client looking very upset all the time we were training, and after a couple of sessions of this, braving it to ask him what was wrong? His answer? “Surely you don’t expect me to do this stuff and be happy too?” It was a salutary lesson for me…to be ok that he’d turned up and was doing it, and leave enjoyment out of the equation for him as a mark of success!
To summarise, you have been granted an incredible invitation, one I daily reflect on. How can I in this 30 or 45 minutes best serve, help, aid this person to achieve their goals? I literally walk into the gym each day with my eyes open to the opportunity I have with each and every person. They’ve come for training, but I want them to leave having been trained, encouraged and with a spring in their step.