So, you go to a fitness club and take a look at the team of trainers placed at that club, some might be young (18 to 30 years old, that’s the majority) some a little older (30 to 40 years old) and some older, granted its less common to see older than 40 year old trainers at the fitness clubs and will address that a bit later.
So who do you go for help? Who do you think is the best person to guide you towards your fitness goals? Are you going to base your decision on age alone? Does your own age play a factor on your decision?
From time to time I hear “I have been in the business for 20+ years before you were even in the business” or “you need your time in the trenches to know what you are doing” or I have been doing this long enough to know…” but what does that actually mean?
I am the first to tell you that experience as a trainer is incredibly important and here is why; when I first started out I thought that making my clients puke due to excessive exercise exertion was a good thing, that if they could not walk the next day because their legs was so sore was awesome, that their chest was so sore they had to sleep on their back (yes it happened). How wrong was i!! Reality is they didn’t really enjoyed the feeling the next day purely because they were new to fitness, they were uncomfortable, they were just starting out, they thought that every time they trained they were going to feel like their bodies were disintegrating.
Experience now tells me that that are two types of traumas after you workout, physical and emotional.
Physical is the workout intensity and the soreness or DOMS (delayed on site muscle soreness) reaction that happens when you exercise, this normally goes away and you forget after a couple of days.
Emotional is how you felt during and after the workout session, if this emotional part is not addressed and you had a bad experience with the trainer being abusive and mean, shouting and screaming at you plus you felt like crap the next two days this will leave a much bigger scare than your Physical trauma, I’m sure you won’t be skipping and hopping to the next session because although you are getting intensity from the workouts the aftermath is a crucial part to make you want to go back again.
Little did I know, 15 years ago, about the emotional trauma workouts would play, especially for a member to start and stay with me and reach their goals, Needless to say, I lost a few members and now I know why. Too late to apologize now.
Well that’s what experience has to offer.
But here are the negatives of experience, There is a risk of becoming complacent.
I say this because I still see the so called trainers with 20+ years of experience still doing the same thing with everyone for the past 20 years and they are not changing. That is the soul problem of the so called experience trainers and that is what you have to look out for.
Truth is that most recognizable and respected Fitness certifications address the psychological affect fitness plays in the general population, something that 5 years ago was less mainstream so in my view the younger fitness professional coming from a respected qualification will be passionate, excited, better informed and better prepared than the fitness professionals that qualified 5 to 10 years back, that’s a good thing. That means our industry is improving and becoming more respected and professional, but how can we know that these experienced trainers kept up to with the changes? That’s why we don’t see many long term good trainers above 45 to 50 years of age In the Fitness Clubs, They either left to pursue their own business, changed careers or it was just too much to meet the obligation of long hours and financial commitments for the general commercial fitness club.
But not all experienced coaches are complacent, i can tell you, I have worked with some incredible experienced (from 50 to 60 year old) coaches, they were either in the business all their life constantly learning and adapting and some just decided to change careers. Either of these experienced coaches will be fantastic coaches because of these two reasons,
- kept up and adapted by continuing learning new things
- Changed careers because of passion for the industry and genuine care to help others.
You see, both coaches can make a big impact in your life either new or experienced coaches, you just need to make sure before you make a commitment to them they have the right type of qualifications, kept up with the fitness trends and changes, you identify yourself with them or simply because you feel that genuine passion and rive to help you achieve what you intended to achieve when you join the gym.
So to conclude, don’t make assumptions about the coaches by gender, age, or years of experience. Instead look for what they can offer you in terms of quality knowledge, care and how genuine they are in helping you.