Let’s just be clear, your personal trainer isn’t keeping secrets from you. We really do want you to lose weight, get fitter/stronger, or achieve whatever else it is that you’ve come to us for. We feel good, you feel good, you tell your friends, everyone’s happy.
But while (or indeed because), we want our time together to be as fruitful as possible, there are a few things that we won’t be completely honest about.
1. We think you’re lazy.
Let me preface this one by reminding you that we’re personal trainers, we’re not normal. Exercise isn’t a chore that we slog through like it is for most people, it’s our job.
That said, some of you seem to be under the mistaken impression that we find it charming when you’ve started complaining about how exhausted you are after a 5 minute walk on a treadmill. We do not.
Every time you whine and moan during our session we want to remind you that you’re actually paying us money to help you get fit. What exactly did you expect that would involve?
2. Grunting/Bragging/Posing is not cool.
Dear Client, no matter how fit you used to be, no matter how fast you have run a 10k, no matter what you used to be able to “bench”, I know someone much fitter/stronger/faster than you. In many cases, it’s me.
Fixating on what you used to able to do rather than all the exercise you haven’t done in the past decade is the reason we’re trying to work your sorry ass back into shape, so let’s focus on the present shall we?
Similarly, grunting at the top of your lungs on your last rep or giving those biceps a little flex doesn’t impress us. Don’t do that.
Yes this one is largely aimed at the men, but ladies don’t think you’re not guilty of this stuff too.
3. You smell.
Sweat. It’s an occupational hazard for a personal trainer. We know you’re going to do it, we know it’s going to get on us from time to time, we’ve made our peace with that. But seriously, some of you really do smell worse than others. Seeing as we’re going to be up close and personal with you for an hour at a time, we’d really appreciate it if some of you would spray on a little extra deodorant before our sessions.
Remember, if we stand so far away from you during a session that we have to shout our instructions to you (drill-sergeant style PTs aren’t included in this of course), or if we suddenly go pale when we’re helping you stretch at the end of a session, it might be time to start showering pre-workout…
4. Sometimes we haven’t planned your session.
I believe I speak for most trainers when I say that we do plan your sessions in advance. Some of us even plan a whole progressive series of workouts in advance.
But like everyone, sometimes, we’ve had to go into work when we’ve been out all night the night before. In fact, sometimes it’s all we can do not to vomit over you whilst you’re training (stinking makes this more likely people..).
At times like these, we just make something up on the spot, knowing that we can probably get you too exhausted to notice. If you’re trainer seems to be doing this every time, you should probably be looking elsewhere, but let us get away with this every now and again eh?
5. We hate when you ask us what we eat.
Sure, I know a few trainers who really do practice what they preach when it comes to diet, but most of them? Not so much. There are two reasons for this. First, most personal trainers work pretty crazy hours. Up early, home late, back-to back sessions throughout most of the day. Because we assume that our clients don’t really want to see us chomping down our lunch while they gasp and sweat through a workout, we have to snack when we can. Not exactly conducive to healthy eating.
But the real reason why we eat the stuff that we’re telling you not to eat? We exercise. A lot.
Also, we aren’t trying to lose weight. This simple fact means that we don’t have to be as careful as you do about what we eat. Weight loss programmes aren’t forever, they should get you where you’re going as quickly and healthily as possible so that you can get back to a healthy normality. We can eat normally. You, temporarily, can not.
So that’s it, I will now probably be excommunicated from the secret personal trainer society (What? We have one of those) for sharing these secrets with you, but if it prevents just a few of these things from happening in session in future, it will have been worth it.