Client intimidation. My first blog post

What is a blog? In a modern world with technology providing the arteries and veins within the architechture of the working life I sometimes find myself torn between spending time creating a digital footprint and actually doing something physical.

As a Cambridge based personal trainer I have always found that the physical side of my job has provided sufficient opportunity for face to face meetings with prospective clients. 

On a quiet Sunday shift in a fitness facility in Cambridgeshire I thought it best time I set something up to at least drop in a few words for search engines to pick up on. I don't really want to be a "nobody" in cyberspace so here goes. 

As my career as a personal trainer and massage therapist moves with me into my fourties I'm finding that half of my niche client base tends to be moving with me. Last week I met up with a flambouyant gentleman to discuss an ongoing fitness plan and he came up with something that made me laugh. "I've had a couple of personal trainers. They were both young and both dick-heads". I'm sure that is not usually the case but if I have some advice for the younger trainers entering the industry it's that not all people, partcularly those who are financially stable can warm up with 20 burpees, 10 pull-ups and 10 mins run. 

I guess this means that the title of my first blog must be "client intimidation"

Who's been to a class where you wonder why you're the only person in the room that doesn't know the routine? Remember finally getting to 5 minutes on the treadmill at 10kph and feeling proud until the person next to you does a 4 minute mile to warm up? Situations like this can leave us feeling deflated and while we should be proud to have made it to the gym for a workout we actually feel intimidated and are less likely to want to return. 

One solution to this is to work with a personal trainer. Your personal trainer is not there to smash you to pieces and ruin the rest of your week but they can guide you to the most appropriate exercises that push you toward your goal. Some people love the feeling of being smashed in a training session and so obviously that can be done too. Your pt will ensure that what you do is safe to help you remain injury free. They also distract you from those around you and are sometimes a fountain of knowledge and humour. Ahem.. 

On rare occasions someone may have chosen or be paired with a personal trainer who is not able to adapt to the needs of their client. The fact that the trainer might be able to do 100 press-ups in 60 seconds is largely irrelevant to their client so trying to adopt the "one day you'll be like me" approach is a sure way to failure on many levels. I hope I've not been guilty of this in the past and wherever possible I'll try to motivate my personal training clients to acheive small goals and successes. This boosts their enjoyment, their feeling of success and probably the most important aim for everyone on the planet "feeling good about yourself"

When a new enquiry comes through the internet or through word of mouth I tend to try and book at least one session of exercise with that new person so that I can get a feel for how they move, what their fitness level is and if their mobility is restricted in any way. This also gives the client an opportunity to meet with me and build a working relationship. This initial session is an excellent opportunity to work on some basic techniques like squats or safe abdominal crunches. The client still gets their workout but not to a level that will leave them in pain for days. Intensity can be increased in subsequent sessions. 

To finish I recommend an initial session for both parties. Book that personal training session. Give your trainer as much information about your needs and limitations as possible. Also give them feedback on how you're feeling. Most of all enjoy your exercise session and feel better about yourself for making the effort. 

©shelfordfitness 2019