So when measuring a Personal Trainer, then weight and appearance should not be in the criteria for success.
The arguments for Personal Trainers getting into shape, or being in shape is often delivered by people who are not trainers, or from people who are insecure about themselves.
We still only penetrate 2-10% of a gym membership with Personal Training in Health Clubs, and that should be a sign that we might not be right about a lot of our marketing presumptions. Maybe real looking Personal Trainers are the answer?
Measuring a successful Personal Trainer comes down to three components in my experience and opinion –
1. How the trainer makes client’s feel
If a trainer makes a client feel motivated, happy, and like they are being given the service they wanted with the addition of attention and care; then the trainer is doing their job well. To do this then they need to be able to –
Deliver an experience
Select the right exercises short term, and allow them to build gradually long term
Know when to work their client harder and when to let them off a little
How to navigate around pain and injuries, and how to work with other professionals if required
Read research to ensure everything they deliver is needed, adding up to the result, or feeding into the experience
2. How the trainer makes other members of the gym feel
If a trainer is successful, then they will become famous inside their club, and a focal point for members. Great personal trainers improve client retention, and this benefits the club immensely. In fact, a great Personal Trainer will also help guide new trainers in the club, through the difficult times and then celebrate with them as they become successful too.
3. How successful and content the Personal Trainer feels
Ultimately a Personal Trainer can be measured by how content they are. Contentment means how much they love their job, how fulfilled they feel, how happy they are and how they feel they are progressing towards their goals (if they have/need any). It is only at this point that weight may be important, as it is at this point that being overweight can negatively affect confidence and self-efficacy.
It is often said (as you can see in the quotes) that a Personal Trainers body is a reflection of their product, knowledge levels and motivation levels. Their bodies are a reflection of their lifestyle, which is often negatively affected due to the demands of the job.
A Personal Trainer who spends time with their friends and family, reading up on science for their clients, takes courses to improve their product or to help more members, could be more relatable and valuable to a gym than one who eats perfect and trains, ahead of self-development and helping others.
What this discussion does do is allow me to come up with bad analogies for measuring a Personal Trainer on their looks.