A Public Service Message to "Personal Trainers"


A few weeks ago, I joined a local gym where I was repeatedly offered "a complimentary session with a "Personal Trainer".  I declined. I do not have anything against Personal Trainers and I have never watched an episode of The Biggest Loser but I have seen this lady on its previews...

...and she scares the bejeebers out of me.

I'd rather go it alone - just a personal choice.

Anyway, I've been observing the 'Personal Trainers' at my gym and based on what I have seen, my decision to forego "Personal Training" was a good one. 

"To forget one's purpose is the commonest form of stupidity" Friedrich Nietzsche

How in God's name can any professional fitness trainer think that by forcing a middle-aged, overweight, unconditioned person on to "Jacob's Ladder" would be helpful? Have you ever seen one of these things?

Now, this young lady looks all straight-backed and happy but I've got to tell you, real people don't look like that on this thing. They strap a safety belt on first and hunch over while clutching each rung for dear life as they slowly trod up the ladder. Most last only a couple of minutes. So what good does that do? I've never seen anyone approach Jacob's Ladder of their own volition and I've never seen a "Personal Trainer" work out on one. Is this just a tool to make the average unconditioned person feel totally inadequate? I just don't get it. It seems to me that a treadmill, elliptical trainer or bicycle would be less barbaric thereby encouraging exercise as a way of life.

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." 
~Leo Buscaglia
So what's with channeling the drill sergeant? 

Unamused 'Personal Trainers' standing with arms crossed, feet shoulder-width apart, barking commands to an overweight, exhausted client demanding "six more" crunches, all while they attempt balancing themselves on a fitness ball is just not pleasant.
Whatever happened to just being nice? Killing more flies with honey than vinegar? Civility? Politeness? All out the window where weight loss is concerned these days. Oh, Jack LaLanne...I miss you.

"Human beings are not meant to lose their anonymity and privacy."
Sarah Chalke

When I witness another human being who has just returned, breathless from a beating with Jacob's Ladder being directed to roll on the floor in front of me, I'm thinking they could use a little privacy for this exercise. It's one thing to be a fit, young and energetic floor roller - it's quite another to be an exhausted, fat and older one. 

I know that not all "Personal Trainers" are like the ones that I have observed lately.  But, if you see yourself in the afore-mentioned scenarios, please try to raise your compassion and sensitivity level a notch or two. It will most likely improve your client and referral base. Oh, and if you can explain the method to your madness re: Jacob's Ladder...I'm interested.

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