When it comes to body image issues, personal trainers have a lot of clout. They have the power to establish the framework for meaningful dialogues regarding body image. Such is the case because people look to them as a trusted authority.
What they think and communicate matters to their clients and the communities where they belong. If a coach uses body shaming, they can pass such an attitude to their clients. People may also imitate negative behaviours since their trusted personal trainer seems to approve of them.
A personal trainer worth hiring is not only one with the most certifications. Even if they are the most in-demand in the industry, it is a big red flag if they participate in toxic behaviours. Since fitness is a personal journey, no one has the right to make fun of other people for their weight or size.
The good thing about it is that there are practitioners whom you can trust when it comes to these kinds of issues. If there are bad apples, there are also industry professionals who are mindful about promoting a positive body image. They know how to motivate their clients using a combination of science, encouragement, and trust. In fact, there are personal trainers in Newcastle who would fit such a description.
But what exactly do they do that helps their clients have a favourable view of their overall wellness journey? Here are some of them:
1. They emphasize that the goal is health, not to look a certain way.
Clients would often approach fitness trainers and tell them they wanted to look like a swimsuit model. Sometimes, this is easily attainable, but it may not be as easy as it seems in other circumstances. People have different body types, and what works for one person may not necessarily work for others.
The role of personal trainers is to have a thorough assessment of each client that asks them for help. After this process, the two parties must have an honest conversation about the goals. It would also be beneficial to talk about specific milestones so the client can celebrate even small wins.
It would help if that trainer were honest about a customer’s goals at this stage. If these are not realistic or attainable, honesty will go a long way. Sometimes, some personal trainers would promise impossible results to get clients.
But such a practice would not be beneficial for the client and coach in the long run. Yes, the client will hear what they want to hear, but how would they feel if they do not see the results promised to them? It might be suitable for the personal trainer for a few weeks because they gained a new client, but what will happen to their reputation in the long term?
The goal here is health and wellness. This is what credible personal trainers emphasize. Even if you may not appear the way you envision it after a few months or years of exercise, it will still be worth it if you are healthy.
2. They do not condone body shaming.
A good personal trainer will not bash people based on their looks. Aside from the fact that this is basic good manners, this will do a lot of damage to people’s body image.
Society indeed emphasizes the need to look healthy. We see how television, magazines, and social media glorify what they think is a sexy physique. The message seems to be: If you do not look like these models, you are doing it wrong.
But legit fitness coaches are more grounded in reality. They know that not everything we see and read online is true. A lot of these images have been digitally-enhanced. In addition, they understand the complexities of the human body. Sometimes, even if someone does not have a six-pack or sculpted arms, they can still be at the peak of their health.
3. They tailor-fit a program based on one’s goals.
Often, trainers automatically assume that all people who approach them for their services want to lose weight and have a toned body. This is both wrong and rude.
First, it is wrong because people have various reasons for approaching a coach. Some would want to be stronger, and others have entirely different goals. If a personal trainer automatically assumes a goal and communicates this to a client, imagine what effect this will have on the customer’s self-esteem.
Second, it isn’t polite because you judge a person only based on their looks. The best course of action is always to ask first and listen. This way, both the client and the coach will be on the same page.
4. They motivate without using harsh language.
There are ways to inspire people who go to the gym that do not employ using words that shame a client. A toxic coach often gives snide remarks about “slow progress” or “not losing enough weight”. These kinds of statements may be effective for a while. But these will definitely have adverse long term effects on a person’s self-image.
A competent coach will use positive and encouraging words. They know how to motivate their clients by pointing them to their goals and their vision for themselves. After each training session, a client will leave feeling refreshed even if physically tired because the workout has been life-giving.