By Nathan Baxter
“Shut up you worthless trainer!” Working as a personal trainer you will come across a bunch of different people that fall into one of these four categories; the stubborn client, the eager client, the angry coach/parent, and the coworkers/trainers. Whichever one shows up it can make your day interesting.
I will start by talking about the first type of people you may came across the stubborn client. There are two types of stubborn clients, the first type will typically never listen to you no matter how many times you tell them to do something, or give them information on why this work out will help them with their goal. The other type of stubborn client will think they can do it themselves. They risk back problems like a herniated disk fractured vertebra, and back muscle spasms, and that is just what can go wrong with their backs there is so many more injuries that can happen or damaging equipment like, the squat rack which I will get to later. For example, of someone who wouldn’t do what they were told. Jennifer one of my first clients, she would constantly complain or make excuses about everything no matter how many times I altered the lift so it would be easier. One time I told her to do a simple set of jump ropes just to warm up. After about four jumps she told me it was too difficult even though this was same warm up that we do every time she showed up, then when I told her to work through it she started with the excuses. She would say “My back hurts.” “I have a bad ankle.” “I don’t feel well.” And many more. I told her to just do her best and finish when she could so she could get done, she obviously did not like me forcing her to do the workout, because she never showed up again.
Another example of the stubborn client I had was a guy named Shane. He didn’t have a problem with showing up his problem was waiting for a spotter. He would constantly get in trouble and hurt because he was to stubborn to ask for a spotter, and this ended up costing him some back pain and the gym a new squat rack, he was squatting and going for a new one rep but because he didn’t want a spotter he fell with 470lbs on his back which made the squat rack fold in half when he dropped it. That’s not the last time he got hurt he also did the same thing on the bench press when he hurt his neck doing the guillotine press with way too much weight. He tried to yell but the bar was across his neck my coworker Matt who was training him at the time had to quickly lift bar up and rack it. Because of this Shane broke his collar bone and missed about four weeks of training.
The next type of person I will talk about is the eager client. These clients are the easiest to train, they will do any workout you tell them to do. If you told them to run a mile they would or, if you told them to do pushups until failure they will without asking any questions. They always show up on time for their sessions, they try their best at every lift, they never complain, and they get the best results. An example of this type of client was Max, an older gentleman who started training to keep control of his blood pressure. He would show up on time every time do everything we asked would never take a long break and was always ready for the next lift instantly saying “what’s next”. He was successful at dropping his blood pressure from being in the red flag area of prehypertension at 137/90 to a healthier 125/76.
The third one I will talk about is the angry coach/parent/client. The angry coach will yell at you because he thinks you are training his team them differently or incorrectly from what he or she would be doing. One time this coach started arguing with me over how I was training his team. He started shouting “What the hell am I paying you for! You obviously have no idea how to train a baseball team have you ever played baseball or any sport you dumb mother f@#! I want my money back and I will never tell anyone to come here with an idiot like you training people!” He continued to yell until the owner came out of his office and had to escort him out. Even though he was angry he still had to pay which he didn’t for almost four months.
The angry parent will get mad at you if they think you are pushing their kid to hard or if they don’t agree with what you are doing because it was different from when they were kids like stretching before workouts. For example, I had a I had a client whose mother told him to stop showing up because I didn’t make them stretch before he worked out but instead I had warm up drills which were more effective.
The angry client shares some similarities to the stubborn client but these ones won’t pay if they get a little mad if they don’t see results or don’t like the speed they are seeing them and they will let you know it. Like Jennifer I had another client called Brady who was the same way but when I said to work through the pain he would blow up and storm off. He got so mad one session that he threw the kettle bells across the room not very far but you could tell he was mad.
The fourth category of people you will meet as a personal trainer are the coworkers or the other trainers. There are two types of trainers just like the two types of angry people or two types of stubborn clients. The first type is the harsh trainer or the overly competitive trainers who constantly push their clients to get the best out of them. This I fall into. And this group also has the most fun they may have competitions between the other coworkers. For example, we had a competition to see who would get sick the most out of the other trainers this was a competition no one wanted to win. So, when we would train, each other we would purposely make their lifts extremely difficult. Like Noah when I would help and train him I would make him do higher rep squats or deadlifts and allot more cardio, nothing that would hurt him or go outside of his goal but, enough he would feel every rep currently, he is in the lead of this competition with a total of four times.
The second type of trainer is the punch in punch out trainer the one who doesn’t want to be there at all. They don’t talk much and they are easily angered by any bad news or anything that makes the job just slightly harder or makes them stay a little longer. One of my coworkers was fired because he would treat the clients that were struggling with lifts like they were under him and would yell and curse at them just because it made his job slightly tougher even though that is what he there for to help clients with their goals and with their lifts. Another time he mad Tristian a new client cry because what he was yelling at her. When he was fired, he ran out with a smile on his face.
Those are the four types of people and clients that you may come across as a personal trainer but, if you can work with them and deal with the headaches that some will cause. Being a personal trainer is a lot of fun well if you can look past the meager pay.