Thursday, February 14, 2013

What Your Personal Trainer Isn't Telling You

There's something you should know about your personal trainer....

Walk into almost any gym, healthclub or fitness studio and you'll be greeted by someone who looks amazing.  Tight buns, tanned skin and legs to die for and the female trainers look even better.  They're happy to tell you all about their place and how they can help you achieve your fitness goals in record time.  But why should you believe them?  Well, they look great, they obviously must know what they're talking about.  So you start busting it out a couple times per week and you drop 6 pounds pretty quick and you're stoked.  Three months later you've put 8 pounds back on - you're heading the wrong direction.  It's frustrating.  It's easy to get down on yourself, why can't you look like your trainer?  You follow their advice, you try to eat what they tell you to, you're doing hours of cardio but still can't seem to get to reach the same level.  Most of you figure you just need to do more cardio, work harder and eat cleaner. 

Well, what your trainer isn't telling you is that we started out looking like this.  Okay, maybe we've put some work into our bodies but the vast majority of us are naturally lean, naturally strong and when it comes to exercise, a little bit goes a long way, at least for us.  When I look at pictures of when I was a little kid I had great muscle structure.  I had pecs in kindergarten.  Growing up, things like running, cycling, swimming, push-ups, sit-ups; these things were always easy for me and I loved doing them.  I took to sports naturally, I never had to work very hard in order to make the team.  Naturally, I gravitated to this profession.  For me, and so many other trainers we have a natural instinct for exercise and the drive to do it. 

Going with your instincts is natural.  You have stuff that you're naturally good at too.  Maybe you've always been great with numbers so you pursued a career in engineering or accounting.  It could be that you were that kid who kept their room clean and were always asking your parents if you could paint your room funky colors and you're now an interior designer.  Very few people will be successful in any profession if the work doesn't come naturally. 

So, why do I point this out?  I point this out because too many people set unrealistic weight and fitness goals for themselves.  Women, especially, compare themselves to their spin trainer or bootcamp leader and can't understand why they don't look the same.  Sadly, too many trainers support this fantasy through ego (they were born on third base and they think they hit a triple), ignorance (they have no idea how large a part genetics play) or because they're afraid that they will lose you as a client if they don't blow smoke up your sweaty ass. 

I'm not telling you to fire your trainer and spend your days eating Bon Bons on the sofa.  My hope is that you feel a little better about yourself, fitness-wise.  Feel great about the progress you've made knowing that you have a have a BEST YOU and you're working toward it.  My other hope is that you stop struggling through workouts that seem right for others but aren't getting you anywhere.  Find a workout or two that works for your body and sensibilities, and stick with it.  Maybe your thing is yoga or spinning or Pilates, who knows?  The only way to find out is to try them.  The different trainers out there should encourage you to try their thing, but let your body tell you if you whether it's right for you. 

Well, that's my two cents and it's worth every penny.

Jake Holmes

1 comment:

  1. Great article Jake, I love the idea of just trying to be the best "you"!


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