The following is a guest post by Greg Justice.
Clients train to look better. Health is secondary.
The decline in health is all around us and we, as Personal Trainers, have the tools to turn that tide. So why aren’t more trainers pursuing the health and wellness message?
Well, in the general public, there are two schools of thought about exercise. One group loves it; the other group looks at it with ignorance, and lack of interest.
Personal training has increased in popularity with this first group. The focus of working out has been on the outside of the body (what they can see in the mirror), the “cool” and scant workout clothes, and the excitement and sweat. The end result is to create a sexier or muscular body. The inferred message is that you will be more popular, happy, attractive to the opposite sex, or a better athlete.
This image does nothing for the percentage of population in the other group. We’ve effectively cut off communications with those who do not see the need for a sexier body in their life. They do need regular exercise, but not for the reasons we’ve marketed. They need exercise for their health and quality of life.
Can a profession suddenly change the direction of its message mid-stream, while maintaining its current message? Nope. As complex as the human brain is, it likes simplicity and black and white.
When the doctor tells a patient to exercise regularly and eat right, the patient would rather just have a magic pill.
Does this mean that the medical profession has aligned itself with an image that has removed self-care accountability from the average person and laid it at the feet of the doctor to get them healthy?
When you look at how our population views the roles of doctors and personal trainers, you start to understand that the depth of our health crisis runs deeper than statistics. Misunderstanding is woven into the very core of our culture.
How do we transform our image from sexy-maker to health-producer so we can capture that market and make a real difference in the health of our citizens?
We must have a separate program that is marketed strictly to health benefits and make it available where people are thinking about and need to do something about their health.
An example of this could be adding a ‘shoe camp’ (when boot camp is just a bit too much) to your class schedule. That way you’re including those that would otherwise never consider joining your gym or studio.
Whether you agree with me or not, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject.
Also, be sure to check out & “like” thePTDC’s Facebook page and join over personal training movement
Greg is the author of Treadside Manner: Confessions of a Serial Personal Trainer. To download a free preview of the book click here.
Greg Justice, M.A. is the owner of AYC health & Fitness who believes the key to client success is finding a workout they enjoy enough to continue throughout their lifetime. Consistency is what matters and it shows: Greg has been a personal trainer for over 28 years.
photo credit: RXAphotos
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