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Downsides of being a Personal Trainer: Unrealistic Expectations

by C Marie
(Central Florida)

There are two things that come to mind as being the downsides of being a personal trainer.

1) If a personal trainer is not in absolutely perfect shape with a six pack and a body like the cover of Muscle magazine, they sometimes look at you as a hyprocrit. They don't take into account that half of a trainer's job is motivational skills. Personal trainers should be a good example to their clients, but personal trainers picked that career because they are interested in constantly achieving better health and helping others, not because they were a born perfect specimen. Even with a vigorous fitness regiment, some bodies just can't be molded into a body builder.

2) Many individuals consider a personal trainer a luxury and an excess. Having a personal trainer is not for everyone of course, but having this attitude sometimes influences people to believe that a personal trainer is "expendable." In other words, that it is okay to not show up for appointments or to cancel them five minutes before or on a whim.

Comments for Downsides of being a Personal Trainer: Unrealistic Expectations

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Teach your clients to respect your time
by: Katie - Admin

I wholeheartedly agree about people expecting us to be in perfect shape. Personal trainers definite;y need to lead by example but you are right that we all have to deal with the body type we have been given.

In regards to late clients, make sure you get your clients to agree to your cancellation policy (and sign it) on the first session. And then respect yourself by enforcing it. I give one freebie cancellation because sometimes life is unpredictable...but after that they get charged.

- Katie

We're almost like a hairstyle they are looking for
by: Anonymous

I think this is right on some level. We're almost like a hairstyle. If we don't have what the client is looking for in there own body then they don't think that we can help them achieve it.

I wouldnt hire a fat PT
by: j

Your point is taken, but if a PT isn't in good shape it doesn't inspire confidence in me that they are highly skilled. Now if I know that they are a former competitive athlete and I can see proof it's different. But I would never hire a fat PT. It's not like the PT is wearing a swimsuit anyway so no one can see if they don't have a 6 pack. Maybe that's the difference between a coach and a PT.

I agree with you J
by: LC

A personal trainer should be in a good form. Im not talking about bodybuilding even though that would help. I'm taking about a normal healthy body.

That shows your clients that you like exercising and you know about it. I you don't take care of yourself how do you want to care of others.

I would not hire a fat or a scrawny CPT.


by: Ashley

a trainer that is a body builder is an example of unreal expetations. you should go to a trainer to get healthy and in shape. not to become an oversized monster. i plan on being a trainer and am currently pregnant. Will my pregnancy weight afect my knowledge no. Realize that there is a big difference between fat and having a six pack. There are weight classes for height and body build that are more important to want your trainer to adhere to!!!!!

Looking the part
by: Anonymous

I disagree that half of the job of a trainer is motivational. I think that is a very small part of personal training because not many clients are looking for cheerleaders. I see the most successful trainers are the ones who base their training around educating their clients. Furthermore, practicing what you preach is something we see throughout society. Would you get your teeth done by a dentist with rotting teeth?


Hey 'T'
by: Rebecca

If you think that your job as a PT has very little to do with motivation then I truly pity your clients. Do you text while training them? Looking around the gym, or at yourself in the mirror the whole time? But hey, if being a lack-luster & unenthusiastic PT works for you..keep at it.
But offering THAT as advice to aspiring PT's is disgraceful.
SO, to everyone else;
It will stick in the back of their minds and when they least expect it, your motivational speech will get them off of the couch and out for a walk.
It worked for me on my weight loss journey, and if my PT's were anything less than enthusiastic or supportive I would have stopped and probably given up.

Motivating Clients
by: Ms Toy

I'm a Certified Grp Fitness Instructor aspiring to become a Certified PT (studying now) I think that motivatiion should be a big part when traing clients. I've had many members come up to me after my classes & tell they love when I encourage & motivate them to keep going. They tell me when they feel like they can't go on they hear my voice (with all my motivation quotes) in their heads & that helps them push through!!

My Two Cents
by: Joy

I agree that as a personal trainer we should set an example. With that said, we are human and our body will change like any other humans body will. Holding us to an unrealistic standard can be as detrimental to us as it would be for us to have unrealistic expectations of our clients.

Combining education with motivation has been the most successful approach with my clients, just as nutrition combined with exercise creates weight-loss results.

Just my two cents ..

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