Is it ok for personal trainers to be fat?
- 04-19-2013, 10:21 AM
I.e. if you had to pick a trainer who was in great shape but no formal qualifications or someone who was very highly qualified who was in terrible shape who would you pick.
Most picked the first. Most were male views as well. It surprised me but was certainly interesting.
Keep in mind this was for one on one personal training. I assume if it was for someone to design them programmes or simple consultations it may be a different answer.PES Representative
- 04-19-2013, 10:22 AM
- 04-19-2013, 10:43 AM
The essence of a trainer is a salesman whose product is technically himself. A nutritionist might know all about diet manipulation but will have a hell of a time selling moldy apples. Fat trainers are moldy apples in my view.
PL performance, sport specific training et cetera may be viewed differently but then you are hiring a coach, not a "body by_____".
Maybe I'm mis-reading your example though. How ignorant is this in shape guy and how did he get in shape? Or is it just a topical curiosity to gauge surface level response?
04-19-2013, 10:52 AM
Essentially someone in the gym approached me and said how nice it was to see a PT who was in great shape as so many look like they don't train. I asked him if he would be more likely to pay a PT who had great knowledge but a terrible physique or someone who looks great but doesn't necessarily have any qualifications and he said the latter.
I found people's responses really interesting because it reveals psychology. For example many people commented that a PT has to motivate them and someone with a poor physique wouldn't do that. There was also an assumption that if someone was in great shape they probably have a degree of hands on knowledge even if they have no qualifications.
Of course, this isn't actually true in a lot of cases. There are guys who look great and their programme design or nutritional advice is terrible.
Interestingly, the three guys who all said science first were people who were very science minded themselves i.e. appreciate the validity of data to support their theory whereas most others seemed to assume a great physique would have some implied knowledge in itself.
Here is the post if you are interested. I hope your Facebook arranges the comments in chronological order otherwise some of the replies won't make sense.
04-19-2013, 11:07 AM
first impressions are important.
it is natural to think "if they can't even get in shape themselves, how can they get me in shape".
i know a lot of you say, you would read their resume first then decide.
but in real life, we subconsciously make judgments/decisions within seconds of seeing someone........whether you want to or not.
04-19-2013, 11:09 AM
PTs have to be able to take a leadership role and demonstrate to clients they can do what their clients want. I suppose a client testimonial sheet with before and after photos could help a fat guy out but he will still be a moldy apple with a slight shine psychologically. I'm in sales of another kind myself and find psychology interesting as well, I'll have to check the FB responses.
My thoughts are that, in your hypothetical scenario, knowledge trumps the genetically blessed idiot.
In a real world application though, I don't see too many people who don't know their way around the kitchen and weight room with respectable physiques. Every now and then there is a genetic freak with a born six pack and striated shoulders but even playing D1 college football, surrounded by natural athletes and physical specimens, muscle and strength required concentrated effort along with agility, experience and all the rest. It makes it hard for me to really look at a black and white scenario.
In another light, say I bought a book outlining a beach body strategy and later discovered the author was an obese man with a library of exercise books, articles and studies. I would appreciate the info for what it is but would absolutely feel conned by a fraud. If I were in the market for a trainer, I'd find one that preaches truth AND practices it, though I know this is against the rules.
Anyways, long winded response from me as usual but I'll be checking your link out. Thanks for the discussion!
04-19-2013, 11:13 AM
lol dude that post was a lot more in depth than you described. i thought most answers were point blank: fuk fat trainers
and to texasmethod.i think where you two difffer is your ideas of "knowing their way around the gym." no doubt the in shape guy knows how to exercise, otherwise he wouldnt be in shape. but ive seen far too many PT's in great shape that dont squat or teach partial squats. or dont bench and do dumbell flys, or even worse, teach flat back benching. in my mind, that equates to bad training because im into strength training. in the real world tho, majority of people dont wanna squat because its shunned for knee and back issues, and strong arches = broken back. most people would rather chest press a machine or do leg extensions lol
hope i helped you two a ittle
btw, those were examples of the general population's thoughts on those exercises. squats armt bad for knee/back and strong arch is healthy.
04-22-2013, 10:16 PM
I hate to say it, but when I see an out of shape personal trainer making some middle aged fat guy crab walk all over the gym I face palm. And, while I understand the argument that an out of shaper personal trainer might still have great knowledge, as a paying customer, you've sure to take quite the leap of faith if your trainer cannot practice what they preach.
04-22-2013, 10:19 PM
I see this at LA all the time and I agree. I will say if it is an older guy who looks like they know what they are talking about I wouldn't care though.Originally Posted by trn450
"Train like a animal, think like a human"-RTS
04-22-2013, 10:36 PM
05-01-2013, 03:50 PM
I think personal training can be equated to life as far as the question goes. We relate someone being in shape/not being in shape to that person's credibility. If we don't find someone credible (based completely on our surface level judgements), we will throw all other data out. Take two trainers exactly the same except one is in shape and one isn't. We will pick the in shape trainer every time. It's all about perception. This is one of the reasons I ruled out being a personal trainer as a career. Eventually you do get older, your priorities change, and you do other things.
One tangible I think that's important is the mentoring aspect. People need someone that is a good motivator, someone that they feels is like a coach, and someone that is "counting on them" to do A,B, and C and that they don't want to disappoint or let down. That, imho makes a good trainer, not how many abs he/she has, how much he can lift, etc. The entire point is to educate, elevate, and use knowledge to help the client achieve his or her goal. So many times I see these personal trainers, lording over their client, and it's pretty obvious they see themselves as so much better than someone that isn't in shape as much as they are. These guys hopefully have a short career. The only scenario I can see someone being less in shape and it being acceptable to the public is with pure strength training.
PT, DPT, OCS Clinical Residency
05-06-2013, 01:44 PM
Good conversation here. I personally don't care what they look like. There is plenty of people in the gym that look good but there form is terrible and their routine looks garbage also. My family and friends have all had the best experience with older trainers that have more experience. They also know how to talk to clients better and have more patience. Being articulate I guess comes with age and some of the younger trainers want to rush through things and assume everyone is just going to get it the first time around.
05-06-2013, 02:22 PM
Long story short: anyone can not practice what they preach and their advice can still have merit. It just eats away at your credibility when you do not practice what you preach.
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