Personal Trainers – More than Gym Rats, but not quite Hairdressers!
At Victoria Wellness, we as personal trainers, are very fortunate to have such an committed and dedicated group of clients that come prepared to put forth their best efforts each and every time they come to train. Our role isn’t so much about motivation as it is support and monitoring. For the most part, it is the clients that motivate me. I agree, it is nice to have that booked appointment, but I feel our clients are already well motivated.
We have a very active group of clients that participate in a host of activities and sports outside the gym. Along with the very active lifestyle, comes potential for injuries, be it minor or more serious. Some issues are more chronic but still do have an impact on training sessions in the gym.
On the surface, personal training may look like an easy job. Hanging around in a gym all day – lots of fun. In fact I once had a male hairdresser tell me he could be a personal trainer since he liked to work out. My thoughts? Well, being a gym rat doesn’t qualify you to train clients. After all, I don’t think he would appreciate me cutting his hair!
To help you understand our role a little more, I thought it might help if I shared with you our role in keeping you healthy and playing hard.
First and foremost we need to talk about the workouts. Program design at Victoria Wellness is taken very seriously.
A lot of time and preparation goes into the design of each clients’ individual program. Yes, there are certainly similarities. There are a host of exercises that are the basis of what we do. Namely, variations of squats, deadlifts, rowing, pressing and all the core exercises lay the framework for all our programs. It is how, when and if we incorporate any of these exercises that determines the individuality of each program. What may be appropriate for one client could injure another.
Exercise selection here is based on what the lastest science has to offer. Never, will you see the latest exercise making the rounds on You Tube or Facebook. Even our small group training has exercises carefully chosen for the group, and regressions and progressions for each base exercise lays the framework.
Along with the intital program that will be the base program for a term of 10-12 weeks, we make allowances for training frequency, injuries, chronic issues and even personal preference. Yes, we do like to see you have “fun”. Programs must be established for those that are in the gym every day to those that are here with just once a week. Each program will have it’s own set of variables.
Also, at Victoria Wellness, we work as a team.
All trainers will work with all our clients at any given time. Most clients will spend the majority of their training sessions with one trainer, but they also may be working with any one of our team members. For that reason, all staff must be familiar with each and every client and the intricies of each program. Having most of the programs designed by just one individual (myself mainly) helps with the continuity and keeping detailed training logs/notes on each and every workout of every client assists that as well.
In order to prepare for each day’s training sessions, all trainers will go over each clients’ training card and review the workout that is scheduled for that session. This is also the time that the training team will communicate any concerns that may have come up with a client. Many of our clients are under care from other practioners (physio, chiro, family doctors, etc). It is imperative that all staff know the status of each clients’ training in order to keep clients safe and training within their abilities.
The training team must also be prepared to change workouts “on the fly”. We will routinely check with each client on their arrival to see how they are feeling from last workout, or last time we have seen them. If all is okay, we move forward with the planned workout.
However, it is not usual for clients to arrive with aches, pains and sometimes even an injury since last in. In these cases the planned workout may need to be shelved and a new workout prepared. And again, since we have such a dedicated group of clients who wish to stay active, taking time off is not in their makeup. Yes, there are times when it is not prudent to train, but for the most part there is always something we can come up with.
In order to keep pace with the changing face of exercise science, the training team must be a group of dedicated individuals that thrive on learning. Yes, it is necessary to do a certain amount of continuing education to maintain a training certiifcation, but here at VWP we go above and beyond the basic requirements.
Constant reading, practice in the gym, staff meetings, seminars and conferences are all an integral part of keeping pace. I think that unless you have a constant desire to learn and have an open mind to new ideas, personal training is not your field. Thankfully, Victoria Wellness has a training team that thrives on the challenges our industry presents!
Till next time,
Train hard, train safe.