As a personal trainer, I pride myself on my dedication to the progress of my clients both physically and mentally. Unfortunately, there's a myth out there that trainers don't really want their clients to make progress. Why? Because if they lost weight and finally got in shape, they wouldn't need the trainer anymore.
This myth came to my attention only recently, and suddenly I began to question my own practice as a trainer. Was it possible that I, too, was impeding the progress of my clients simply to stay in business? Of course not! Actually, that couldn't be further from the truth. While I prefer to work with my clients for years rather than just a few months, it's for very specific reasons.
Here's the truth.
I want my clients to keep working with me for as long as possible because I love seeing them grow stronger and fitter, and because I love introducing them to new and different exercises, and because I know there is always something else I can teach them.
Some of my clients lose weight when they work with me, and some of them don’t—but that doesn’t mean the ones who don’t have failed in any way. We need to dispel this damaging message that the only reason you should take up exercise it to lose weight. Exercise is about so much more than what size jeans you wear or whether your arms have definition or whether people are going to compliment you on your six-pack when you slip into a bikini.
My aim as a personal trainer is to instill the joy of movement.
For me, my greatest success stories are when I see my clients learning to use and trust and enjoy their bodies in a whole new way. If people need or want to lose weight along the way, that’s fine, and I'll help them to do that by encouraging them to address their diet and lifestyle as a whole.
But first and foremost, I want my clients to realize that exercise can be fun, enjoyable, and rewarding. I want them to witness firsthand how it can boost their mood and make them feel strong, flexible, and alive. I want my clients to learn that if they start enjoying their bodies and tuning in to how good it feels to get up and move, they will naturally begin to take care of themselves in other areas of their lives.
Exercising can be inspiring and energizing, and it can free your mind in ways you never thought possible. So as a personal trainer, I feel it is my duty to encourage you not to have weight loss as your main goal in life. Mental and physical health, strength and fitness, and a positive body image are much better life goals. And in all likelihood, when you start enjoying your body and appreciating everything it can do for you, you will begin to see positive physical changes anyway.
So, let’s spread the word. Love your body, nourish it, treat it well, and above all else—enjoy it!
For more advice from personal trainers, find out what a personal trainer wishes you knew about protein.