Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why I Cannot Be A Trainer

As I just mentioned there is no need to fear the fit people, or people even fitter than you.  That said I have had a few people ask me to help them get in shape and while I am happy to offer advice or workout suggestions I don’t know if I could actually be a trainer, even with my experience teaching people at karate.

At karate I can get a feel for who is putting in the effort and who is not, who is there to belong to something and who is there to train.  It really is plain to see the groups of people that there are and how they can be divided up.  My role there is to impart knowledge and demonstrate technique.  If you look interested I’ll show you more, if you look like you are there to just be a part of something, I'll show you some things to make your time enjoyable, if you are there to disrupt others, I’ll give you push ups, that is just how nice I am.

I feel that as a trainer I would be unbearable.  Mainly because of my approach to getting in shape.  I put in the initial work on my own, I pushed myself to go from like 20 minutes on an easy setting on the elliptical to about an hour at a setting where I was dying the whole time and then I got a trainer.

The things I expect from my trainer is simply what I expected from my instructors at karate.  Jodi gives me exercises, and demonstrates how they are done, it is then up to me to do them.  I did not (and do not) need a motivator along the way.  I get the feeling though that people want a trainer so that there will be someone around to pump their tires and tell them they are doing great and to generally support them with a whole bunch of fluff so that they can feel good about doing a workout at the gym like it is some sort of accomplishment they got off the couch at all.

I would expect that if someone says they want to get in shape they actually mean it and I would be exasperated when my client comes to me and says ‘I have not lost any weight! You stink as a trainer!’ Because then I would say ‘You have not lost any weight because your effort level is so low I’d have to be a toddler to limbo under your effort bar!’  If I was a trainer and you were paying me money to get you in shape I’d expect as much effort as I put in.  Is that right?  Probably not.  I know of lots of people at the gym that have done their own miraculous things with their bodies, one guy there has lost over 100 pounds!  We’ve chatted about it and what it takes to get something like that done.  Loads of people have that drive within them, those people I could train, but if the numbers are anything like the ratios at karate I’d end up with one person that really wants to go after it and about thirty that only think they do.

I’m happy to go to the gym with people, I’m happy to give my point of view or advice, I would not mind trying out training someone to get in shape, but I’d want more of an apprentice approach where there is some sort of mutual agreement on how rigorous the training will be as opposed to just taking in whoever and trying to help them out where they really want it or just think they do.  That would be much more agreeable for the both of us.

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