When I qualified as a personal trainer I had a wealth of scientific knowledge from my Physiology degree, a great understanding of physical training principles that my training to become a personal fitness instructor had taught me, and an understanding of how the body worked under physical exertion from study and personal competitive sporting training and learning.
I was completely unprepared for the monumental amount of counselling and health psychology, behaviour remodelling and lifestyle coaching my role as a personal trainer would involve.
I learnt quickly that you must present a steady strong and calm front to your clients as they talk and puff through their sessions whilst madly paddling to get it right for them behind this serene façade. And that simply prescribing an exercise session and taking them through it was the easy part, and the trick to getting results from clients performing to the best of their ability ran much deeper.
I learnt the root of personal training was understanding people and that being able to talk to them and motivate them in a way that they understood was key.
All of this takes time and experience (along with plenty of mistakes!) I have drawn from my academic root and have often heavily relied on my own personal training experiences to get to the finished article, and still 15 years on am always learning.
I will have performed each and every session I deliver hundreds and hundreds of times personally, in different states of mind, at different locations, times of year, alone and in groups. I will have executed the same session with hundreds of clients over the years and learnt a tiny bit from each one to take forward to the next so as to re-mould and perfect the execution time and again.
There is rarely something I cannot resolve; a stubborn bit of body fat, an answer for someone who wont run, an alternative to dessert for a sweet tooth, a lifetime of yo-yo dieting, a solution to back pain, an answer to low self esteem, a rock to lean against whilst pushing through mental barriers or someone to offload to on a long training run after work…..
Q: Why do I do it?
A: For the only reason that counts: I love it, it is all that I know and all that I am, it defines me and I am great at what I do.