A Day in the Life of a Personal Trainer
Have you ever told someone what you do for a living, and they respond by telling you all about your job? Isn’t it comforting to know that there are other people out there with no experience or background in your profession that know all about it? Who would have thought! Okay, I know I’m coming across a tad snarky, but this literally just happened today so I thought I would take this chance to vent a bit. I think we all have those days where we would like someone to walk a day in our shoes. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a health professional, personal trainer, or simply working in the service industry, then consider this your chance.
I wake up and head right for the shower. My goal is to avoid my reflection in the mirror so I can’t visually confirm how tired I am. After cleaning myself up, I had for the kitchen and start eating breakfast. I make sure my scheduled posts for Facebook are all set; today’s tip is about how the quality of food is much more important than quantity, and counting calories can lead to neurotic, unhealthy behaviors. Before leaving I scope out the news; they have a segment with a dietician who stares into the camera and nearly screams that you need to count every calorie you consume. The advice scares me nearly as much as her bug eyes.
Arrive to work. My first client is 15 minutes late and he has to end his session ten minutes early for a work commitment. However, he’s amped up so I have to detour slightly off the program and give him a workout that fits the overall goal while conforming to his current schedule bind. He tells me all about his work schedule for the day and suddenly I don’t feel so bad for getting up at 5 am. He worked hard though and sincerely thanked me for adjusting the workout to his needs.
7:00 am – 10:00 am
More clients and more stories. Some come in pumped up and ready to train while others are ready to dump all of their personal baggage on you. You hear about family drama, financial problems, and their crazy co-workers. Some of it is genuinely sad, like the loss of a loved one. Since they leave feeling better, I don’t mind. In between clients I guzzle a protein shake faster than Marvel can pump out yet another billion dollar superhero movie.
Time to workout! I get a decent work out in but need to close shop and get home to walk the dog. The dog is exceptionally energetic today so my workout just got extended by an hour.
1:00 pm – 3:45 pm
After showering, it’s time for another meal. I check website stats, bank statements, marketing plans, write out some programs for clients, and then finish up with emails. I get an email from a client who wants to know which workout to do on vacation. I tell her she’s on vacation and vacations are used in other languages to translate no workout. She responds instantly and tells me that she’s stressed out about not working out and needs to relieve some stress. I tell her that exercise is a stress so she really won’t relieve any stress. Before closing my email again she replies yet again: she just has to workout. I send her a simple interval workout and make a post-it for her file that her and I need to sit down when she gets back.
Back to open up shop with the first client of the afternoon. She’s super psyched up about this low calorie coffee drink she heard about from a nutritionist. Apparently, it’s devoid of all fat and protein but tastes great. I break the news to her gently: that means the drink is loaded with sugar. I explain to her that some nutritionists will hawk products, regardless of their quality, for the right price. The look on her face resembles that of a little kid that found out Santa Claus doesn’t exist.
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
More clients and more frustrations, confusion, and perplexities about the fitness and nutrition world. One client is doing really well and I literally need to run around to keep his circuit going. My uniform is now slightly soiled from sweat so I awkwardly stand back from clients as to not offend them with my odor. Once again, I scarf down meals in between clients; they wouldn’t be very happy with me since I always instruct them to eat slowly for optimal digestion. I also realize that I’ve literally spent all but one hour on my feet.
Closing shop after taking several phone calls from clients who are unsure of what to eat for dinner because they need to eat out. I also call a client to wish them happy birthday, and their response is to confide in me that they ate birthday cake. I respond with “you’re supposed to eat cake on your birthday!” I spend several minutes telling them that they shouldn’t be miserable on their birthday and they get a birthday session on the house.
I plop down on the couch with my uniform still on. My wife isn’t feeling well but the dog has jumped onto my lap and begins to make out with my ear. At first, I think he’s greeting me but then I realize that he’s telling me he’s ready for another walk. I look at my wife who is curled up on the bed and give myself a mental slap for even thinking of asking her to walk the dog. I grab the leash and head out the door.
Is everyday like this? Of course not. In fact, I wouldn’t even consider this a bad day at all. It’s always good to see clients involved in their current wellbeing, even if the information that they are getting is misleading. It gives me a sense of pride and thankfulness that they’ll come to me to help them with their questions and concerns. After all, things could be worse: I could just be sitting around telling other people all about their job.