Monday, March 23, 2009

Should Personal Trainers Give Unsolicited Fitness Advice at the Gym?

As I wrote yesterday, I have recently been thinking about hiring a personal trainer. As I stated before, one of the reasons is that I am constantly surrounded by personal trainers and their clients at the gym and that my workouts seem boring and routine compared to what some of the trainers have their clients do.

However, in observing the trainers and their clients, I have also noticed one trainer who appears to want to drum up business. When he doesn't have a client, he usually positions himself somewhere in the weight area where he can observe the entire area. From his vantage point, he looks for people, as far as I can tell only women, he can give unsolicited advice to about their workout. I have now overheard several of his conversations, and they all go something like this:

Trainer: What part of your body are you trying to target right now?
Potential Client: [Says body part she is trying to target.]
Trainer: Well, let me tell you how to work this body part better.
Potential Client: Thank you.
Trainer: Well, if you hire me as your personal trainer, I'll show you many more exercises and you'll get into really good shape. I charge $____ per hour, and we should schedule at least three sessions (the number of sessions he suggests varies).

I am always stunned when I overhear and/or observe this conversation. To me, the trainer's approach is so wrong for so many reasons:
  1. No one asked him for advice!
  2. He is trying to "sell" his personal training sessions, which I am pretty sure is against the policies and rules of our gym.
  3. He makes me (and I am almost certain others) uncomfortable because I feel constantly "watched" when he is around.
  4. I always try to mentally "brace" myself for his advice. However, I am still not sure how I'd respond... I am quite meek at times...
  5. Some of his advice, especially the nutrition advice, sounds a bit questionable to me...
  6. And back to No. 1: No one asked him for advice!
Okay, so am I off base? Or is he just inappropriate????

Be well,