Does Your Fitness Level Impact Your Trainer’s Perception?

You’ve decided you want to hire a trainer, but you’re not sure how to find the “right” one.  You may be overweight, maybe you have not worked out in awhile (or ever), overall you’re just not confident in what to do when it comes to weights. You want someone that will help you achieve your goals in a safe and efficient manner.

A recent study found that an individual’s body weight can have a profound impact on others perceptions of that person.  This is not news for many of us! Most of us know, people judge. It’s in our nature.

If we’re heavier, we’re looked at one way versus someone that may be “too skinny”.  Either end of the spectrum impacts perception.

Interestingly, the study found trainers were more apt to want to train people with a normal weight rather than overweight. In addition, trainers were more motivated to work with clients who were motivated internally. An example would be someone looking to get fit because they want to be strong and lose weight for themselves instead of someone that comes in because others want them to change.

As a nationally certified fitness and nutrition coach, I can tell you first-hand, this is not how all coaches feel or approach clientele.  I’d highlight the study found most, not ALL!

It is best for you to find a trainer that looks at you as an individual with individual needs. Based on those needs, you have to find a match for your goals and personality as you will be spending quality time with them!

Here are a few tips you can use when meeting with a personal trainer, fitness coach, nutritionist, etc… to decide if they are motivated to train YOU!

  1. They should ask “Why” you are there.  They should ask “Why” several times. Why do you want to lose weight?  Gain weight? Get strong? Compete? Whatever the reason you went in there, they should be getting to the root of “Why” you finally set up the appointment.
  2. They should not brag about the success they have had and clients who don’t have a goal similar to you have achieved.  They should relate your story to similar clients and discuss how far they’ve come and how far you can go.
  3. They should discuss with you and have you help decide your goal and the best approach to get you there.
  4. They should have a game plan and not be afraid to share it with you along with realistic goals along the way.
  5. They should ask if you have any prior injuries and/or limitations.
  6. They should discuss the importance of nutrition.  Not all trainers are nutritionists and/or dietitians and that’s ok.  They should have a basic understanding of proper nutrition and a referral if you need more specific guidance.

If you’ve been thinking about hiring a fitness professional, do it!  Just make sure they’re the “right” one for you. We all need coaches to help us achieve our optimal level in life.  Go out and find yours!

Scott Keppel is the owner of Scott’s Training Systems, a world-class coaching facility in Chandler, Arizona. He is a nationally certified trainer through NASM and ISSA. His mission is to empower women of all ages and fitness levels. For more information head to scottstrainingsystems.com or check him out on Instagram at @stsnation.

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