The Good, The Bad, The “Ugly” Trainer

When I walk through a club or a gym, I have this “sixth sense” that kicks in.

I appreciate it greatly, but it’s given me a reputation for being somewhat of a hard-ass.

You see, I can somehow detect what’s going wrong in a club while it’s happening, even if it’s not visible, and at times, before it’s actually occurs. I joke about being blessed with this supernatural power, but in reality, it developed from being immersed in every aspect of the fitness business for the last 25 years.

When assessing the vibe of a gym, personal trainers are always are a source of information. Their body language and actions speak volumes about the profitability and perception of the club.

The ones who “get it” exude enthusiasm that’s contagious.
The ones who don’t, poison your gym and can unfortunately infect your environment.

bad-personal-trainer2They embarrass our industry and also their profession.

I’ve been called to talk more about this in a webinar to the IHRSA community (International Health, Racquet, Sports Association). The topic is the Building a Championship Personal Training Business. While prepping and conducting some additional R&D for the event, I found myself shaking my head, thinking about how many moronic moments in personal training I’ve witnessed and continue to endure.

Trainers carry lots of influence.

The good ones are easy to spot. The bad ones often linger under the radar; so unimpressive they almost become invisible… but not to me! I can spot those culture killers a mile away. That’s why I’ve created:

Top 10 Traits of Poisonous Trainers:

10. They forget that they’re in the business of enhancing lives and inspiring others.

Personal training is about helping others reach their potential physically, mentally and sometimes even spiritually.  There is nothing more gratifying than helping someone reach their potential. Self-absorbed trainers who make it all about themselves make it easy for a client to hit the road and quit.

9. They show up to work without looking the part.

Great trainers are role models of fitness. They care for themselves well. They shower, shave, comb their hair, wear a clean, pressed shirt, and smile!  There seems to be a new crew of edgy, “too cool for school” trainers who don’t look the part or care to try. Get rid of them!  Edgy is cool, but look like a pro.

8. They sit down, chew gum, text message, and fail to engage throughout a paid client session.
The good ones never forget they’re being watched by other potential clients. The gym floor is practically a stage, but it’s also about connecting with clients. Although trainers are aiming for results, it’s also about the client’s experience. Heck they’re getting paid for it, right?

7. They take their club and the business that hired them for granted.
How many clients and how much income would a trainer possess if the club didn’t supply the equipment, facilities, lights, health insurance, marketing expense, or the members that walk in front of them each day? With hundreds and sometimes thousands of people walking by, a club trainer has the best sidewalk anyone can ask for!

6. They’re bad trainers and also bad teammates.
The most successful trainers and training teams are those who refer potential clients to one another, especially if they are not the right fit. They also develop relationships with other club staff (service desk, membership).  They’re not independent contractors who are exempt from interacting with club culture.

5. They don’t continually train themselves.
Great trainers are continuously on the lookout to be better at what they do. They are always on the hunt for new training methodologies and ways to become better at business, sales, marketing and service. They understand they’re an entrepreneur, not just a trainer.

4. They play the victim and wait for business to come to them.
The best trainers are health and fitness experts who are continually working on their business. They’re working on their brand, executing their business plans, promoting their services and solutions, blogging, tweeting, posting and communicating frequently with their current clients.

3. They have a “that’s not my job” mentality.
Great trainers help clean and maintain equipment. They report needed repairs if they can’t fix it themselves.  They protect their house!

2. They’re flaky and unprofessional.
Great trainers show up on time, every time, and are consistent in their greatness. They’re reliable, friendly, and leave their personal problems at the door.

1. They have no clue how to WORK like Athletes!
Great trainers approach their job like an elite athlete does their given sport. They have a vision, a plan and they get coached on what they can do better.  And then most importantly, they DO IT.

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