Myths about the job of a fitness trainer is a very popular topic both among those who absolutely don’t understand anything about this profession, and also among the experienced trainers themselves. Like any other profession, the job of a fitness trainer is sometimes covered with an atmosphere of secrets and mysteries, which often have nothing to do with reality and are the result of someone’s sick fantasies. Passing from one person to another, these fantasies become myths and legends, the most popular of which we will bust in this article.
Myths about the job of a fitness trainer
This material is a logical continuation of the three previous parts of the topic about the profession of a fitness trainer. We have already figured out who a fitness trainer is. We have studied in detail the job description of a fitness trainer. Learned how to become a fitness trainer. And in this fourth part of the topic, we will bust the myths associated with this profession.
Let’s start with what most often is the root cause of various myths and legends. In each individual case, it can be either someone’s joke, or a misunderstanding of the essence of the issue, or a unique and atypical case, or overestimated expectations, but not only. One way or another, human nature is arranged in such a way that it’s better to multiply this or that unverified information and retell to ten people than to double-check, refute and prove that it’s not true. In any case, it’s always necessary to refer to the primary source, because the myths about the job of a fitness trainer can best be confirmed or refuted only by the one who used to be or is a fitness trainer at the moment. So, let’s begin.
Myth #1. Fitness trainer is not a serious job
Very often, an unprepared person may come across the point of view that a fitness trainer is not a profession, but a hobby for those who can’t find a normal job. That this work is akin to a janitor, stoker or security guard. Very often one can hear: “What’s so difficult? You show people how to lift weights and just mess around rest of the time. I can do that too. Anyone can”. Something like this sounds offensive, but it shows how much a person is “out of subject”. This is the first myth about the job of a fitness trainer. In fact, a fitness trainer must be well versed in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, biomechanics, principles of training, the basics of proper nutrition, methods of rehabilitation after injuries, and this list can be continued for a long time. The smart fitness trainer is a walking encyclopedia. Each person’s body works in its own way, each has its own health problems, each needs to be approached individually in order not to harm and help to become healthier. Therefore, a fitness trainer is just as important and difficult profession as, for example, a teacher or a doctor but not only.
Myth #2. Fitness trainer is a muscle-monster
Many people think that a fitness trainer should definitely be a pumped-up hulk. This is the second myth about the job of a fitness trainer. In fact, clients are often completely indifferent to how pumped up the trainer is. They come to the fitness club get the desired result. Who will give them this result is practically irrelevant for them. Your knowledge is important – how you will give the client what he wants from you. If a trainer with a regular body has this knowledge, and a big and pumped-up guy doesn’t, then certainly the client will turn not to the form, but to the content. Moreover, experience even shows the opposite – the stereotyped thinking of people makes them think that a huge bodybuilder will definitely make them the same, and after all, not all men want to become big, and even more so women don’t want this. Therefore, it often happens that a massive appearance can even repel the client from the trainer. And this is also a real experience.
Myth #3. Anyone can train other people
Keep in mind that training yourself and training others are two big differences. If you are working out by yourself, you like it and it seems simple and fun, think about the fact that you are essentially training only one person – yourself. It often happens that a person who has brought his appearance into a model shape already considers himself a fitness trainer and thinks that he can bring any person to the same result. This is another myth about the job of a fitness trainer. In practice, tens, hundreds and even thousands of people come to the fitness trainer, of different ages, with different goals, different levels of training and different personalities. With or without injuries, with or without experience, with mental disorders, physical disabilities, disorders of the vestibular, musculoskeletal system, etc. The trainer has to find an individual approach to each of them, and this is not easy, not fast, and even not always possible. Therefore, “training on your own” is not at all equal to “training others”.
Myth #4. Specific higher education is needed
Most of the future fitness trainers, in search of an answer to the question – how to get into the fitness industry, believe that this requires a higher education in the selected field. In practice, if you already have such an education, it will serve you as a pleasant bonus in case of employment, otherwise, the absence of such education is not at all a determining factor when applying for a job. This is another myth about the job of a fitness trainer and here’s why. The employer doesn’t know whether you really studied all five years at the university or slept at lectures, cheated at exams and eventually received a higher education diploma. The employer understands this, and therefore doesn’t consider the presence or absence of specialized higher education mandatory. If you have it, again, this is a pleasant bonus; if you don’t have it, it’s not a big deal. Even if you graduated from a lyceum and don’t have a higher education, in order to count on the position of a gym instructor, it will be enough to take training courses for trainers and get a proper certificate.
Myth #5. Merits are a guarantee of employment
Let’s take a look at two examples. The first is a person who competes, wins medals and wants to become a fitness trainer. The second is a person who’s fond of physical exercises and doesn’t compete, but for example, works as a sales manager and also wants to become a fitness trainer. The question is: which of them has more chances in the future? The first one? Here’s another of the popular myths about the job of a fitness trainer. As I wrote above, the fact that a person pumped himself up is far from a guarantee that he will be able to work with other people, take into account their problems and find suitable solutions. At the same time, a person with experience in sales already has experience of communicating with a large number of people with different requests, knows how to work with objections, find a common language and offer solutions. Therefore, as experience shows, in the long run, the chances of achieving success and making money are no longer with the one who wins tournaments, but with the one who has better developed communication and sales skills.
The myths about the job of a fitness trainer, as you already understood, are actually a set of misconceptions based on a lack of knowledge. So let’s summarize. First, a fitness trainer is a serious and responsible job. Second, a fitness trainer doesn’t have to be a hulk. Third: the fact that a person knows how to train alone doesn’t mean that he will be able to train other people. Fourth: in order to get into the profession of a fitness trainer, it’s not at all necessary to have a specialized higher education in the field of physical education and sports. Fifth: without cups and medals, a fitness trainer can survive in the profession, but without developed communication and sales skills – can’t.
Felix Palmer – author of the blog crusfit.com