Different Types of Personal Trainers!
Look, Mindset, Performance anddd Your Friend Who Thinks He’s a Trainer
No two people are exactly the same, and neither are any two trainers. However, we have done the hard work of grouping trainers into a few categories so you can have a good idea of what is out there when you are trying to choose one or aspire to become one!
The most common trainer types
We’re covering the largest portion of trainers with this first category. Most people want to change the look of their body, so most trainers are helping people do just that. They usually prescribe calorie-cutting diets and increase cardio and workouts for a period of time to bring about this change.
A study was done during the years 2013-2016 found that an estimated 49% of Americans tried to lose weight in the last 12 months. If that is true that means that when you go out in public, almost every other person you see would be in a current state of trying to lose weight. So the “change my body” demand is pretty high.
Personally, the first trainer I ever had was in this category. I had been working out for about 2 years and wanted to gain some more muscle and look bigger, so I hired a trainer to help me do that.
Which now makes me think, let’s say 1 out of every 20-30 people (completely random estimate but I’m sure I’m close) are trying to gain weight, that would mean that 52-54% of people are trying to change their physical appearance in some way. So, we can see there will not be a shortage of customers for these kinds of trainers.
How Successful Are These Attempts?
Well, most sources say that 95% of attempts to lose weight fail. Why? We will talk about that on #3. But, just in case you don’t have time to keep reading and want to know our take on it: we think the downside to this body-focused training is it’s not creating a positive relationship with an active lifestyle and healthy eating, it’s creating a feel-good high from weight loss and momentum. When the weight loss stops, so does the diet and exercise. Welcome to yo-yo weight change.
There is a much smaller group of trainers who specialize in the performance side of fitness. These can be sport specific for athletes, or just people who would prefer to talk about their 3-mile run time instead of trying to show you how much weight they’ve lost. Performance-focused trainers craft workouts to increase speed, power, and strength. Crossfit’s programming is a prime example of this. (Although their former CEO is a POS and was rightly fired). Weight lifting, power lifting (which is just a different style of weightlifting), performing triathlons, track and field, etc. These are all sections of fitness that would need this type of trainer.
Are they good at it?
Most people in the performance domain will become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, or CSCS for short! That’s a great way to tell if they know their stuff. But another sure-fire way is to see the other clients they have worked with.
- What were the changes made by those clients in performance?
- Were there any other factors?
- What kind of programming did they create?
- What changes did they make and why did they make those changes to the athlete’s programming?
Lifestyle Trainers (Mindset)
Most of us have a goal. We usually think we don’t obtain our goal because we are missing the strategy. This false belief is typical in most people. “I don’t know what to eat”, “I don’t know what’s the right way to train”. Most of the time it’s not the Olympics people are aiming for, it’s getting healthier, eating less, and losing a few pounds. Not rocket science! We don’t need a new strategy, we need a new STORY. That’s where a lifestyle trainer is helpful.
When your brain says: “It won’t work anyways.” “I don’t have all the info I need to get started.” “I don’t want to start unless I know it’s going to work, I don’t want to waste my effort and not end up where I want to be.” “I am not worth feeling strong and healthy.” Your saving grace won’t be found in a trainer who knows all the moves in the world. Your success will be found in working with someone who UNDERSTANDS the mental roadblocks that keep people from reaching their goals!
If what you are envisioning is a really buff psychologist, you’re not completely wrong lol. While all great trainers understand the mindset of achievement, not all trainers have had to face serious self-doubt, low self-esteem, addiction and disorder. Some of the best trainers in this area are the professionals who can provide a proper strategy when needed, and can also craft a nutrition and training program that begins to reshape what you think it takes to get in shape. Instead of having to stay away from ALL carbs, we just learn to monitor them. Although we won’t see 20 pounds down in 1 month (to ultimately gain it back), we will see a slight downward turn in weight that can stay off because it’s an adjustment in lifestyle. Then the brain goes “No sh*t…I can lose weight without dieting like crazy and avoiding all the foods I like?!” The story in the brain begins to change.
Little by little we learn that people don’t lose 100 pounds in 6 months, and that you aren’t missing the secret ingredient for being healthy, and that you can control your weight, and that progress is progress no matter what. AND THAT IN THE END IT’S NOT ABOUT THE PROGRESS AT ALL BUT THE PERSON OF SELF-BELIEF YOU BECOME IN PURSUIT OF THE GOAL.
The story in the brain begins to change. I am reminded here of one of my favorite quotes in this area,
“It’s not the things you don’t know that kill you, it’s the things we know for certain that just aren’t so!” – Mark Twain
So Which Trainer is Right for You?
What trainer is right for you? That one is easy. Which one do you gravitate towards? These are three trainers in our gym that fit the suit for each of the styles we just talked about!