By Zach Columbia B.S. NASM FPT
I’ve worked in the fitness industry for a long time and if there is one thing I know to be one hundred percent true, it’s this; the fitness industry is filled with thousands of people, wasting millions of dollars who will never achieve their goals. Why? What quality is it that determines the success of a client?
Pretend for a moment you’re a football coach. What determines whether an athlete makes your team or gets cut? The superstar athlete with the most talent is not going to be the only one to make the team. There are going to be many other players that are successful at making the roster. How is the selection going to be made, and what qualities as a coach would you look for? I’m guessing you’d probably look for the athlete that is coachable and gives 110% percent all the time.
Now let me ask you the most important two question anyone has probably ever asked you as a training client:
#1. Is there any reason you would select a player to be a part of your team who isn’t coachable or willing to put in the work?
#2. How much time and effort would you be willing to devote to that athlete?
Successful athletes know exactly what is required of them and they would never dream of telling their coach no or get caught dead not putting in the work, knowing they otherwise wouldn’t make the team. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case in the fitness industry because in the complex client/coach relationship, the “athlete” pays the coaches salary.
I’ll be entirely honest with you, the fitness industry is extremely difficult to be successful working in. So much so, that the average career life of a personal trainer is less than a year. Most trainers struggle to make enough money to be considered above the poverty line. Let me tell you something; trainers quickly become experts at assessing a client’s coachability and willingness to put in the work. If you show your trainer that you’re going to be an un-coachable athlete, unwilling to put in the work it takes to be successful; they will gladly take your money in exchange for chatting with you for an hour and making you feel a little bit better about yourself because you regularly go to the gym to “workout” with your trainer.
Those clients usually don’t last long. They don’t see any actual results and question why they are spending thousands of dollars on something that isn’t working. They then move on to try Pilates, or barre, or spin, or some other group fitness fad. They stick with it for a brief time, don’t see results, and continue the cycle. DON’T BE THIS CLIENT!!!
The purpose of this article isn’t to tell you how rough trainers have it. Rather, to reveal to you how to get the most out of your training. Let me say, I’ve never met a trainer who wasn’t a former athlete of some kind. We understand what it takes to make the team and the same drive that was in our coaches, is in us. It’s a rarity when God reaches down, and hand delivers a personal trainer a coachable client with the same willingness to succeed as an athlete desperate to make the team. After thanking their lucky stars, they take all our effort and pour it in to that client. That client is the reason trainers become trainers. It’s fun and comes natural for trainers to push that individual to be successful. I’ve seen those clients be successful working with great coaches and with coaches who have hardly any idea what they’re doing.
If your struggling to see results, before blaming your trainer, ask yourself how much effort you’re putting in. If you were an athlete wanting to make the cut; would you? Are you showing your coach your willing to do what it takes? Trainers don’t sign up expecting every client to be a superstar athlete. Your abilities have absolutely no impact on the effort your coach is willing to put into you. If your mind went straight to that excuse, then that’s a problem and you’re probably the un-coachable, unwilling to work client I’m talking about.
If you want to get the most out of your training, tell your coach. Start by having a conversation with coach, letting them know you’re willing to put in the effort it takes to achieve your goals. Tell your coach you want to be pushed and that even when you don’t want to do something, if they ask, you will. More importantly, show them! You’ll immediately notice a difference in the training you receive, the level of engagement, the positive energy, results will soon follow. If you don’t want to get the most out of your training, trust me, they’ll gladly take your money as long as you’re willing to give it to them.