How to Be A Decent Trainer

It is no secret among people that know me I tend to be the “grumpy old man” in any gym. It is very tough for me to look around a public training space because I often get frustrated by little things all around the gym; I don’t like where somebody put their equipment, I don’t like the way a circuit is designed, I don’t like an exercise selection or a cue somebody used, the list goes on. Honestly, it isn’t the fault of the people I see in the gym. It’s my fault. I am the one who is frustrated. I am also the one who isn’t doing anything to change the situation. So, here are my thoughts on what it takes to be a decent trainer. Maybe, after making this list (which I promise to keep short…kinda), I’ll have a concrete thing I can take with me into a meeting or an interaction instead of just being a grumpy guy. So, here we go.

Disclaimer: This isn’t about certified trainers on any staff in particular. This is about everything and everybody in a health and fitness space. Whether you’re training yourself, somebody else, or a 1000 people on some platform, I always feel these feelings.

  1. Have a principle. Maybe two.
    • I don’t care what that principle is. Nobody does really. Just have SOMETHING that you believe in and are willing to base your program and decisions on.
    • So many newer, shinier things are going to show up and maybe even challenge you. That’s okay. Stick to what you believe in and continue working on what YOU want. Not what social media or somebody else wants. Changing your mind is absolutely fine, but unless there’s a reason to change, it just muddies your own water.
  3. Respect the space you’re in
    • Perhaps the easiest one. Just clean up after yourself. Also, every now and then, look around the gym and inspect whether or not you are disrupting somebody else’s experience. If so, change. If not, that’s fine. Keep an eye on it.
  4. Self assess
    • Mirrors exist for a reason. No, I don’t mean for checking your bicep peak or wiping that sweat off your chin in hopes of seeing your abs. I mean actually assess what you are doing and measure it against the principles you chose to believe in from step 1. Sometimes, we get distracted and change without even realizing it. Nothing wrong with that, just make sure to check yourself every now and then and make sure you’re doing what you actually want to be doing.
  5. Learn something new when you have the time
    • It is very easy to get stuck in a rut and assume that there is no new way to “skin the cat”, if you will. But, you’d be surprised with how many people are believing in the same principles you are but maybe just doing it differently. Check them out, learn from them, and add to your toolbox. Key point: WHEN YOU HAVE THE TIME. Don’t force things for the sake of doing it. That’s how exhaustion happens. Just learn when you can and enjoy doing it.

Let’s just start with those 5. See how those go for you this week. Next week, we’ll touch on some more ways to be decent in a fitness space.

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