Mythbusting can be fun! It shines light on something that most people take for granted is true but may actually only be party true, or not true at all. Sometimes mythbusting is a kind of superpower because it breaks down a barrier that people thought was impenetrable but is burst as easily as a bubble. I want to bust some common myths about personal trainers. I want to break down the wall between personal trainers and everyone who isn’t a personal trainer because I know what it’s like to be on the ‘everyone else’ side of the wall.
I used to be very unfit and overweight but I now have a healthy body that I appreciate and am grateful for every day. Now, I’m a personal trainer and I know that the wall doesn’t exist. Let’s bust some myths!
1) All Trainers Have Six-Pack Abs
Just like our clients personal trainers come in all shapes and sizes. Our backgrounds are as diverse as we are. We value health and fitness and spend time on our own workouts but working out with clients involves a lot of observing and not a lot of doing. Being strong and healthy doesn’t necessarily require the low body fat percentages needed to show off muscle definition. The muscles we develop to become a good coach and mentor are heart and mind, not abs and obliques.
2) Trainers Love to See You in Pain
Trainers love to see clients working hard and but we take a long-term view. Our focus is health and fitness outcomes that are achievable and can be sustained. A personal trainer will help you push yourself a little further than if you were working out on your own but pushing you til you break is never the goal. Remember, we’ve spent a lot of time studying to earn our qualifications to coach others to live healthier lifestyles. If you keep showing up for yourself we are inspired to keep giving you our best.
3) A Trainer’s Job is to Help You Lose Weight
There are two main things that clients list as goals when they start with a personal trainer. Losing weight and gaining fitness. They’re easy to say but not that easy to do. Plus, they’re a little vague. We try to tease a little more information out of our clients as training progresses to figure out what ‘losing weight’ and ‘gaining fitness’ means to them and to share the philosophy ‘exercise is medicine’. Exercise improves many elements of health, for example high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and mood disorders (study published in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2012, ‘Exercise Acts as a Drug, the Pharmacological Benefits of Exercise’ https://www.healthandexercise.com.au/2015/wp-content/uploads/2015/05/Exercise-acts-as-a-drug-the-pharmacological-benefits-of-exercise.pdf). Weight loss will happen as a result of exercising regularly and eating healthily but the other benefits should be the focus.
4) Hiring a Trainer Is Enough
Oh if only that were true! Hiring a trainer can be a big hurdle for a lot of clients. It’s emotionally tiring to admit to yourself that you need some help, and then an even bigger step to ring someone to ask for that help. It feels like a big achievement. It is a big achievement! But it’s also just the first milestone on the journey. I’ve been there, I know how it feels. I also know how good it feels to be living in a healthy body and I know that it was all the little things I did after I hired a trainer that made that happen. I showed up to my training sessions, I made changes to my diet, I committed to myself for the long term. Hiring a trainer is like hiring an assistant, they’ll coach and guide you but you need to be consistent with your training and nutrition to maximize the benefits you’ll receive.