I had my first real “Personal Trainer” moment yesterday.
It’s officially the end of my first full month as a freelance Personal Trainer, and I’m delighted to say that I’ve already got a fair few clients under my belt. But something about yesterday’s session with one of my new clients really gave me that complete, epiphany moment.
The client in question is crazy strong, and even more motivated. She has brilliant self-awareness and knowledge of her own body, and I’m impressed at the amount of time she dedicates towards researching her own training- alongside a stressful full-time job.
She didn’t hire a Personal Trainer for motivation, or because she doesn’t have the knowledge. Far from it. Unlike many of my clients, for whom I’m there to explain what exercises to do, and how to do them correctly, this client specifically chose to work with a PT so that she could be pushed.
Like, really pushed.
The fact is that she’s got as far as she’ll ever go by herself. Despite her extensive knowledge, strength and experience, she needs someone else to help push past that plateau.
And she chose me. A fact that made me excited, proud and terrified all at the same time.
When you’re studying for your PT qualifications, you’re never really told how to deal with people who already know most of the things that you’re learning how to teach. So when you’re faced with a client like that, a lot of the things you revised, practiced and were examined in become futile.
That’s sort of when I sort of realised that the stereotype of the perfect Personal Trainer as being the fount of all exercise knowledge, who knows how to use every single bit of gym equipment and has the body to prove it- well, it’s completely wrong, and a completely unachievable goal.
PT is all about figuring it out as you go along, playing a big game of trial and error and using your own training experience and adapting it as necessary towards different clients.
There’s no all-knowing, all-seeing end goal- just a continually improving PT who is prepared to put in the time and effort to help every single one of their clients reach every single one of their goals. No matter how big or small.
Long story short, I was really nervous about giving this client the hard-core workout that she really wanted. So I planned, and I practised, and I planned and practised some more. I tried out different techniques and training methods. Basically I put my max effort into planning some sessions- learning more along the way than I probably did in my online PT modules on how to bicep curl correctly.
I may be a 5 ft nothing, very innocent looking girl but I was so sure in my knowledge by the time our first session came around that I could really push my client. Like, really push her. And at the end of the session, as she was struggling to put on her coat and pick up her bags (YES hypertrophy) she turned around and said
“I could never have done that by myself”.
Job well done.