Friday, December 4, 2009
I Am A Fitness Trainer.
My practice is more than just a job; it is my passion. My clients aremy top priority and their successes are my life’s work—I am aprofessional.On the surface, my job is to shepherd my athletes (I view all myclients as athletes regardless of their age or ability) towardphysical prowess, but I recognize a purpose to my efforts and animpact on my athletes that transcends the physical. I view training asa physical metaphor for habits and attitudes that foster success inall arenas. I stress that point to all who train with me and I knowI’ve been successful only after they bring back concrete examples.The lessons learned through physical training are unavoidable. Thecharacter traits required and developed through physical training areuniversally applicable to all endeavors. Perseverance, industry,sacrifice, self-control, integrity, honesty, and commitment are bestand easiest learned in the gym. Even clients who have foundspectacular success in business, sport, war, or love find their mostimportant values buttressed, refined, and nourished in rigoroustraining.Being a professional, I believe that my competency is solelydetermined by my efficacy. My methods must be second to none.Accordingly, fitness trends and fashions are distractions, notattractions. To the extent that my methods are often unconventional,unaccepted, or unique, they reflect the margins by which I dominate myindustry, and I take those margins to the bank. A trainer who lustsfor popular approval is chasing mediocrity or worse.Committed to unrivaled efficacy, I’ve often had to develop new toolsand methods. This cannot be done without study and experimentation;consequently, a lot of my work is done not in the gym but in books andscientific literature and in communication with other trainers andcoaches.My competency is determined by my efficacy, which is ultimatelydetermined by my athletes’ performance—performance that must bemeasured. Competition, testing, and recordkeeping let me know thedifference between merely looking or feeling good and actually beinggood at what I do.My commitment to my athletes is clearly expressed and perceived in ourfirst meeting. I am all theirs. They are the object of my focus andthe focus of my conversation. They come back not because of myphysical capacity but because they believe in my capacity to developtheirs. World-class athletes rarely make world-class trainers.I understand that the modern and near-universal trend of skill-lessand low-skill programming delivers inferior results and makescheerleaders of trainers. I’ll have none of it. I have to understandthe mechanics, cues, and techniques of complex movements and to beable to teach them to others. I bring a skill set to my training thatscares off most trainers.Keeping up with my athlete’s progress demands that I continue torefine and advance my understanding of advanced skills. If a trainer’sclients aren’t testing the limits of his knowledge, he’s not doing agood enough job with them. The master trainer is eager and proud tohave a student exceed his abilities but seeks to delay it by stayingahead of the athlete’s needs rather than by retarding the athlete’sgrowth.Because I want my clients’ training experience to transcend thephysical realm, I am obligated to understand their jobs, hobbies,families, and goals. Motivating clients to transcend fitness requiresthat I be involved in their lives. This isn’t going to happen withoutmy being both interested in them and interesting to them.Being a voracious reader of books, newspapers, and magazines, I haveno shortage of conversation, ideas, and knowledge to share, and soyou’ll find me at my clients’ parties, weddings, and familygatherings. Indeed, I am a personal friend to nearly every one of myclients. This is extremely gratifying work and often emotionallycharged, but that’s all right because I am an integral part of myathlete’s lives, and life is full of laughter, tears, and hope.Our friendship, the fun we have, and the frequency of our contact,coupled with the scope of fitness’s impact and the technical merits ofmy training, contribute to a professional relationship with my clientsthat they value uniquely.In appreciation, they do all my marketing. I don’t advertise, promote,or market. I train very, very well. The more clients I get, the moreclients they bring. I don’t have time for promotion; I’m too busy training.