Thoughts on fat personal trainers?
Are fat personal trainers a contradiction of the health and fitness industry?
Is a personal trainer’s body shape irrelevant to their skills?
I HAVE INTERVIEWED A GYM OWNER AT MY LOCAL GYM. CHECK OUT WHAT HE HAS TO SAY!
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There has been a significant surge in people studying to become personal trainers over the past ten years in Australia. This make sense. Public interest in health and fitness has grown,. 24 hour gyms have become massive. Muscle gain, toning and weight loss has never gone out of fashion. It only takes six months to become an accredited personal trainer. There is certainly no shortage of institutions offering courses.
Ten years ago I joined my local suburban Fitness First gym. I’ve never had a personal trainer but I noticed the steady increase in personal training staff at the gym. I will admit to being surprised when fat personal trainers began their gym residencies. It was a stark contrast to the majority of well sculpted, toned and slim personal trainers.
My first instinct was a rejection of this concept. I’m sure many people would react in the same way. A fat personal trainer seemed to be the opposite of everything the occupation stood for. If you were to hire a personal trainer you would want them to be the embodiment of health and fitness.
More specifically, if your goal is muscle gain you would want your personal trainer to be muscular. If weight loss is your objective you would want your personal trainer to be slim and well toned. The trainer should be a physical embodiment of the service they are selling.
I will admit that if I was looking for a personal trainer my first choice would be someone that physically represented what I was trying to achieve. I would also need to speak to them in order to determine that they were the right for me. It would be a test of their knowledge, skill set, and passion for their occupation. I would want to find more about what they have achieved for others.
If knowledge, skills and passion are major factors to signing on than why can’t a fat personal trainer be anyone’s choice? All the above is theory and their weight is irrelevant to possessing the theory. A slim or muscular personal trainer may have the physical side in check but may not possess the adequate skill set, knowledge, and passion to help a client achieve objectives.
I started thinking about all the professional boxing coaches that I’ve seen. Many of them did not have what you could call the standard professional boxing physique. Most of them looked rather unfit. Some were quite skinny and had never professionally boxed. Yet they were still able to effectively train highly skilled and super fit boxers.
Female personal trainers at my gym have told me that they often miss out on male clients because the automatic perception is that a female is weaker and can’t assist in achieving their muscle gain/mass gain goals. This is not necessarily the case. Female trainers may have all the skills and knowledge necessary to help achieve that. One of the female trainers is quite muscular and toned. She told me that many females hesitate in hiring her because they assume that she will turn clients into a version of herself. This is not true. A trainer will train a client in the way the client wants to be trained in order to reach specific goals.
From a marketing perspective, there is a duality in fat personal trainers working at gyms. I understand both perspectives. It can provoke a negative reaction based on the fact that being overweight is not a healthy trait, therefore why should one invest in an overweight personal trainer. It could give the gym a bad reputation and a negative image.
Another perspective could be that the fat personal trainer is in a transition stage of improving their fitness and is helping others to do the same.
Having fat personal trainers on staff could also be a good sales tactic. A prospective overweight client might feel more comfortable working alongside someone who understands their plight. A stronger bond could be created due to relatability. The fat personal trainer could on intimidation which could ensure a new membership sign up.
I don’t think it’s a major issue if a gym has one or two fat personal trainers on staff. The client will always have options. An overweight trainer would not instinctively be my first choice but I can see why others would make that choice and how it can easily be irrelevant to a client reaching fitness goals.