I’m A Fraud – Confessions Of A Personal Trainer

This is by far my most honest post yet. I’m sitting here drinking coffee (nothing changes there, does it?) and just thinking, thinking, thinking. I’m thinking about where my business is today and why it grew into what it has become…

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Over the years, I coached thousands of clients, while simultaneously working on and improving myself. More times than I could remember, I’d tell them to FOCUS.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

I told them to focus on eating healthy and exercising as if nothing else mattered in their lives. I spouted these commandments because they were a common belief within my world at the time, not to mention the rest of the fitness industry. Popularity doesn’t makes something necessarily true.

I really thought I was helping my clients. Instead, I was creating unnecessary obstacles which actually got in the way of their success and happiness, as well as my own.

The law of attraction says, and I paraphrase here, that you pretty much can’t help but attract people to just like you.

Take the cynical belief that you just can’t trust other people.

When two people who believe that get together, logically, it’s just a matter of time before that relationship dies a horrible death, which happens when one or both of their “warning sensors” are activated. When those activate, an emotional chasm opens up between two people, eroding the connection they’ve worked so hard to build, but was doomed to short circuit.

Like I used to, you might only think in the short-term. What real chance of long term success did a coach/client relationship have? I was imposing my short term beliefs: It’s Only About Dieting and Working Out. Eventually, my clients began to think the same way that I did.

That is how I was wired. I worked in a gym 24/7. I was young. Had no other responsibilities like family and children. My workplace was home and work was my hobby. Training. Eating. Gym. Repeat.

Upon deeper reflection, I’ve learned some hard truths. First, I owe a lot more to my clients – and other personal trainers – than just workouts and diet strategies.

And I’ve come to realise that everyone goes on their own unique fitness or weight loss journey (myself included). It really is far more than muscles and “looking good”; it’s also about feelings and emotions which go much deeper than workouts and eating plans.

As fitness professionals, we have to be very careful that we don’t project and push our “stuff” (i.e, emotional and psychic baggage) to clients and people who look up to us. In a sense, our bodies have become a fraudulent way to influence people, as if the muscle means they automatically listen and follow what we do and say.

“I wish I looked like you” is the common phrase we hear that. People who aspire to be fit and healthy look to us, see our bodies, and are convinced that we know the way. What they often don’t realise is that we struggle to get our shit together most of the time. And we’re so hell bent on keeping up appearances and making money that we don’t correct them. After all, in today’s fitness industry climate, it would be financially unviable to show vulnerability.

Yes, we have the bodies and people mainly admire us for that. But, for me at least, achieving this took living in a gym 24/7 and being surrounded by gym freaks every day for the past 14 years. As personal trainers, we need to think beyond the confines of the gym, in more emotional terms, in order to help ourselves and our clients. There are three key questions to ask yourself and the people you are training:

 

What’s your lifestyle like?

What are your relationships like?

What’s your overall quality of life?

 

These are the questions that trainers should ask their clients when it comes to losing weight, feeling fitter or preventing health disease.

These are the questions I asked myself over a year ago.

I found a coach and I became committed to creating the best version of myself mentally, with the same intensity I had dedicated to creating the best version of myself physically.

And while it’s been a long process to right the ship, I’m finally at a point I’m happy with. I wish I could put into words how truly liberating it feels to have true physical, mental and emotional balance.

For the thousands of times I’ve told clients that nothing else matters and to only focus on exercise and diet … I’m sorry!

You are truly inspiring to me. I admire you for coming to me, when intuitively, I believe, you could see the cracks in my way of thinking.

Is there a lesson in that? I don’t know if there has to be. It’s just my perspective now.

I suppose the point I’m really trying to make is this: be careful of who you admire in the fitness world when seeking out help to lose weight. Most trainers (including me) don’t have it all worked out.

So, my question is: how is the fitness and weight loss industry ever going to help people become the best version of themselves if we’re not there yet ourselves?

Is this the REAL problem why the fitness and weight loss industry is FAILING?

Luckily, though, I’m embracing the journey, and on a mission to help fitness experts, personal trainers and gym owners to do the same.

Are you the best possible version of yourself right now? If so, would love to hear about what you’ve done to get there in the comments below.

Not sure if you are the top version, but are amped up to get there? Book a personal discovery call with me. In one 90 minute call, I can get you farther than what’s possible on your own in a year.

 

 

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1 reply
  1. Joe Hanney
    Joe Hanney says:

    Hey Everyone!

    I forgot to mention… learn to be a better personal trainer, business owner by becoming a better man, every week. Subscribe to The Fit Man Times Newsletter. Delivered to your inbox each Sunday.

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