There’s a personal trainer that you should never, ever hire. This personal trainer can be found in just about every mainstream gym or fitness club and, in all likelihood, won’t be phasing out of them any time soon.
Let’s play out the scene that traps unscrupulous gym newbs into forking over hundreds of dollars to this personal trainer, one who would he hard pressed to find a single client from a more discerning pool of potential trainees.
Your a guy (or gal) who’s either never trained seriously, or has been out of the training scene for a number of years, and you’re ready to whip your not-so-lean body back into shape. So you walk into the nearest commercial gym facility to inquire about obtaining a membership.
After receiving a tour of the facility, and being assured you’ll look like a pro fitness model in no time, it’s time to sign the contract.
During the tour the gym manager mentioned something about all new members receiving a free personal training session. However, the dude across the way bench pressing a bar-bending amount of weight diverted your attention as the conversation swiftly shifted to the gym manager boasting about having more than 100 elliptical machines and treadmills, and assuring you that you’ll never have to wait longer than a few minutes to start hitting your cardio.
As soon as the contract is signed, you’re asked how soon you can come in for your complimentary personal training session. The session gets scheduled for a day or two later and you walk out looking forward to the opportunity of having a fitness expert at your disposal to help you achieve your goals.
The next 24-48 hours are spent gorging on all your favorite junk foods. It’s the last hoorah before your personal trainer pulls in the reigns and starts holding you accountable.
It’s time to head out for your first personal training session. You take one last look at the photo on the fridge of the ripped fitness professional – the photo you intentionally placed there to regularly remind you of your goal physique – before heading out the door.
You meet your personal trainer. His name is Jason. He’s one of the most outgoing, easy to talk to guys you’ve ever met. You quickly find out that you have a lot in common.
You both grew up in the same city. You’re both huge baseball and football fans. And Jason looks to have about as much excess fat on his body as you do. Wait, that shouldn’t be, should it?
As Jason is drawing up your personalized training regimen and nutritional guidelines, you find yourself questioning how effective all this is really going to be. I mean if Jason knew how to get a body like Brad Pitt had in Fight Club would he really be walking around looking more like Jonah Hill?
This pressing question lingers, but Jason is one heck of a nice guy, and he just spent the better part of an hour mapping out a plan for you (albeit a questionable one), so you decide to sign up for 3 months of personal training sessions.
This is the scene that is played out time and time again and it’s exactly how poor and/or mediocre trainers who are undeserving of your hard-earned dollars are able to hang around like parasites attached to an unsuspecting host.
When making the important (and potentially costly) decision of hiring a personal trainer, always remember that you are hiring them for one reason, and one reason only: To map you out the action plan you need to achieve your goals.
You’re not hiring a nice guy (or gal) to hang out with for a few hours each week.
I want to be clear that a personal trainer doesn’t need to have a flawless physique to deserve your business. But their appearance and physical abilities ought to at least be in the realm of what you’re looking to achieve.
You wouldn’t hire a financial adviser who is broke. You wouldn’t hire a marriage counselor who’s never been married (or one who’s been divorced 4 times). And you wouldn’t hire a golf instructor who has a golf swing that looks like Charles Barkley’s:
So why would you consider hiring a personal trainer whose own body doesn’t exemplify the expertise they’re trying to sell to you?
This doesn’t mean you should value them any less as a person. However, it does mean that their ability to satisfactorily comply with their end of the business transaction deserves to be called into question, leaving you better off investing in a trainer with a body that’s fairly consistent with the one you desire for yourself.
To put it simply, if you’re overweight and desire a lean physique with six-pack abs, don’t hire an overweight trainer whose belly visibly protrudes through their shirt. If you’re a skinny maggot in need of a muscular overhaul, like Brendan was, make sure you hire a personal trainer with a respectable amount of muscle.
It’s painstakingly obvious that we should hire someone who’s achieved what we desire to achieve in every other area of life. Somehow, though, the personal training profession often flies under the radar. I personally believe all the conflicting information and dogmatic assertions flying around the fitness industry are largely responsible for this. This unfortunate state of affairs makes it nearly impossible for anyone to know who they can/should trust, but I digress.
I took an ethics course back in college and my professor once described to the class a principle he named “The Fruit of the Trees Principle”. The Fruit of the Trees Principle was a metaphor he used to point to the fact that the best way to achieve any goal (i.e. produce a certain fruit) was to find someone who was producing that fruit and take their seed (i.e. advice) and plant it as often as possible.
In other words, the best way to achieve any success in life is to find someone who has achieved what you hope to achieve, find out what they did to achieve it, and do the same things as consistently as possible.
Taking advice from someone who can’t demonstrate excellence on the topic they’re advising you on is downright foolish. Unfortunately, personal trainers that fit this description are becoming more and more common and, no matter how nice and friendly they may be, such personal trainers aren’t deserving of your business. Period.
To put it bluntly, you should NEVER hire this personal trainer (you have been warned).
P.S. – If you want free fitness advice from someone who HAS demonstrated excellence in getting and maintaining a stellar physique, you need to consider signing up for my newsletter below. In addition to receiving my regular newsletters, I’ll also immediately email you my 62-page ebook, Round the Clock Fat Loss, free of charge. As a subscriber, you’ll also be given access to email me your questions any time. You can unsubscribe any time you like.