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Six Easy Payments of $9.99

By David Maldonado

 

We live in a dangerous time.  Everything we could ever want or desire is available to us in a moment’s notice.  Have a thought, question, or desire?  Open up your cellphone browser, type it in, press enter and boom.  You have your answer, or information, on whatever it was you searched.  Technology and accessibility is a beautiful thing, and at the same time it’s our biggest enemy.   Looking to lose weight fast? Buy this electromagnetic ab belt that will help you tighten and firm your abs in only 21 days, for only six easy payments of $9.99!  Hungry? There are three burger restaurants, two taco restaurants, four sushi restaurants and about 15 fast food chains located in a 10 mile radius of where I work.  When everything is this easy, people become complacent, lazy, and unmotivated.  It gives people a sense of entitlement. They start to feel everything in life should be THAT easy.  How can you blame them?

In the world of fitness things get interesting. With dozens of online personal training (PT) certification courses out there, people have the ability to spend a few hours of time and become a “certified PT.” Sad but true.  Then we give these people the right to call themselves a professional and trust them to put people’s bodies in stressful situations with weights and other apparatuses that I can almost guarantee will lead to an injury of some kind. The internet is littered with these people.  The amount of profiles on social media that promote themselves as a PT or an online coach is sickening.  There are thousands, selling themselves as the next best thing in fitness.  They all have the ‘secret’ to losing weight and how to lose it fast.

As a career PT with a B.S. in exercise science, I could not be more insulted by those people.  The title of PT holds great meaning to me as it should. I look back at my life and the people whom I have been trained by, who molded me into the person I am today.  A PT or coach is not a title that is given or declared by a piece of paper you achieved in five hours online.  It has to be earned.  Look at the best PT you know.   You’ll find that they work endlessly at what they do; they become obsessive in their field.  A PT gets their clients to believe in themselves.  They inspire their clients to do more than they think they can. In fact, all good teachers do this. They get their students to entertain possibilities that stretch the limits beyond their beliefs.

Being a great PT means staying focused to your client’s goals, putting your ego aside and ensuring they are doing the exercises relevant to them and not your own. As a PT you need to be a human being; life isn’t all grilled chicken and broccoli. The key to success in the gym is finding ways to still enjoy life, while staying true to the goal.  A great PT practices what they preach. We train harder than our clients, train more frequently, recover smarter, and we eat better too. We never ask anything of people unless we are willing to ask it of ourselves. A great PT sees the potential in people that they fail to see in themselves. This is a 7 day/week, 365 day gig that we do with a smile on our face because we love what we do.  This is not an easy job, and definitely not something that can be learned over a few hours.

As an industry we need to change the way we are starting to be viewed and remind people how important a PT can be in someone’s life.  Those of you, like me, that have been fighting this battle know that this has been going on for years and it’s only amplified with the growth of the internet and social media.  Those of you new to this career, do your homework, remember what you stand for and carry yourself as you’d like to be perceived.  We have an uphill battle but I wouldn’t want to be fighting for anything else.

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