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Is it acceptable for a personal trainer to be overweight? Join in on the debate…


Bitching about an overweight personal trainer…

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I’d just sat down on the gym mat, ready to do some foam rolling before a brutal workout. Now I usually wear my Beats By Dre headphones, and blast out music to get me all psyched up, but on this occasion I forgot them!  This was a bad idea as the music in my gym sucks! I mean how can you get pumped up for a monstrous leg workout listening to the likes of Abba and Steps?

As I got into my painful foam rolling (IT band…ouch!) I overheard a conversation between two ladies. I can’t recall the convo word for word however the gist was this…

They were under the strong opinion that a personal trainer should be in good shape, not overweight, and that it was highly unprofessional to be carrying excess timber. As they were speaking they were directing their message to a coach who works at my gym. “He should practice what he preaches! before barking out orders!”

Wow, I was kind of taken back by this and would be devastated if I knew people were talking about me in this way. Their tone was sour, and they were clearly projecting their inner frustrations out into the world that morning. Cheer up ladies!

That said it did get me thinking, and although I didn’t agree with the way their issue was raised I did think to myself….have they got a point here?

I’ve discussed this with lots of people this week and it’s been interesting to hear people’s thoughts. In this post i’ll give you my honest opinions and I also want to know what you think too…

Is it acceptable for a personal trainer to be overweight?

After establishing who these women were talking about, I decided to observe this personal trainer in action. I wanted to judge him on his personal training, not his appearance. After many trips to the water fountain and subtle turns of the head, I managed to get a good look at what he was doing with his clients. The guy was good, he was demonstrating techniques to a professional standard, and there was great thought to his programming, theirs no doubt he knew his stuff.

If you were to see this chap on the street and guess what he did for a living, you would not guess personal training. There’s no disrespect intended here, but he just didn’t fit the typical stereotypical mould of a PT. As much as many of us fair human beings try not to judge a book by it’s cover… we still do. We have too, and it’s part of our inbuilt instinct which we’ve inherited from our ancestors.

Would I hire an overweight personal trainer? 

I asked myself two questions…

1) “If I base my decision to go with this personal trainer based ‘only on looks’ would I sign up?”

The answer was no. Just being honest.

2) “What if I based my decision on his coaching skills alone?”

The answer was absolutely Yes. He was excellent.

Why do you hire a personal trainer in the first place?

You hire a personal trainer because you want them to help you get results, theirs absolutely no doubt about that. Whether you want to look good on the beach, train hard for a competition or just have a greater fitness level, so your able to run around the park with your kids. You also want your trainer to be approachable and not make you feel intimidated about approaching/speaking to them.

I see far too many coaches (in great shape!) who love themselves more than Madonna (first name that came to mind!). They walk around like they own the joint, their ripped bulging biceps bursting through their tight t-shirts (or vests!) walking around with a swagger like Liam Gallagher…

liam gallagher swager

Do you think this attracts people? it may attract a small few, but do you think the person who’s overweight, hasn’t trained for years and maybe suffers with a few confidence issues is likely to approach such a grandiose character? Most probably not. The overweight personal trainer I observed was likeable, relatable and i’ve noticed he seems to have a lot of sessions, he’s very popular and people like him. My bet is that it’s because he’s approachable and relatable, and people like that.

My opinion…

Personally I do think that it’s important for a personal trainer to be in shape, especially if what they are coaching is body composition (fat loss, muscle building). I am a believer in that you need to practice what you preach. Although how you look and what you can do are two separate things, people do judge books by their covers. I do believe that it’s more advantageous for the personal trainer when it comes to appealing to new clients. I think the perfect combination (just my opinion) is a personal trainer who’s in shape, but who is friendly and maintains a professional image and wears suitable clothing (not a Gym Shark vest!).

If your paying a coach to help you look good and lose weight, which i’m presuming a large majority of people are hiring personal trainers for, then I think as a customer… your influenced by how they look. The proof can be seen in the pudding (if you pardon the pun). As a client you want to know that your coach has the tools to be able to deliver results, and that he/she applies them to their own routine.

What do you think? 

I’d be really interested to hear your own thoughts, feelings and opinions. What do you think? Have you a different way of looking at this? do you agree? or disagree? I’d love to hear your views. Leave your comments below if you want to join in on the debate. Keep it clean though please ladies and gents! Any aggressive or abusive behaviour will not be tolerated and your comments will be deleted.


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👱💪 Nick