It was a long time before I had the confidence to call myself a ‘fitness professional’ but now I do, I want to share with you some of the knowledge I wish I had known about the industry when I started on my fitness journey.
Most successful fitness journeys are not driven by aesthetics
Probably the most interesting thing I’ve discovered since being part of the fitness industry is the motivation behind why a lot of people got started on their own fitness journeys. I used to think there was only one reason to workout - to look good! However, like myself who was spurred on by a mental illness, many fitness professionals were kickstarted on their journey by motivations other than aesthetics. From eating disorders and anxiety to family tragedies and hyperkinetic diseases, almost everyone in the industry has a story about how their journey begun and more often than not, looks weren’t even considered.
We eat chocolate!! And other treats!
When I first decided I wanted to be a personal trainer, my first thought was ‘I need to stop eating chocolate’. But the more I was submerged into the industry, the more I realised fitness professionals are just regular people. We eat chocolate, drink wine and binge on junk food! I used to get really down about my relationship with chocolate, so realising that it was normal actually took the pressure off of the situation and as a result, not only do I no longer feel guilt when I eat it, I also don’t obsess over having it.
We don’t love ourselves
For the most part, we don’t take selfies because we love the way we look. Almost everyone has something about their body they would change given the choice. Selfies posted by those in the fitness industry tend to be posted to document progress or to inspire others.
We are nice!
There’s an arrogance associated with fitness (possibly because of the numbers of selfies and stern looking resting gym faces) but I’m yet to come across anyone in my industry who isn’t lovely and willing to share their knowledge. A personal trainers job is not to intimidate their client; it’s to motivate them and help them to reach their goal. We want to share our knowledge and help others change their lives.
There’s so much more to the industry than aesthetics
Before joining the fitness industry, I used to believe there was only one fitness goal - to look good. How wrong I was! Crossfit, olympic lifting, triathalons and rehab are just some of the areas where the goal is not focused on aesthetics! From increasing strength or mobility to reducing race time, there’s so many different fitness goals to work towards.
You don’t have to be fit to be a good trainer!
Training is about understanding the human body and how to exercise it to achieve the desired goals. It’s important to remember that we too are going through our own personal fitness journey. Just because we can teach good form, doesn’t mean we can execute it ourselves. For example, I have the knowledge to teach someone how to perform a perfect squat, however, my own squat depth is something I consider to be an issue and am therefore working on in my own sessions.
So hopefully this has given you a bit of an insight into the industry. It’s not as serious and scary as it’s portrayed, I promise :)