If You’re A Trainer, You’re A Psychologist

If You’re A Trainer, You’re A Psychologist

Being a fitness professional comes with many hats.

The Coaching Hat.
The Motivating Hat.
The Teaching Hat.
The Listening Hat.
The Joking Hat.

We are far, far from being one-dimensional professionals.

Given the diversity of clients and athletes we work with, it’s inevitable we’re going to have to wear many hats.

And some, we enjoy wearing more than others, but nonetheless, we wear them all. It’s part of the job.

What’s funny, however, is how trainers say, “I’m a trainer….and a psychologist” with an annoyed look on their face. And then they go off to explain how they’ve listened to clients’ marriage problems, anxiety issues, depression issues, break-up shenanigans, and Tinder ghosting stories.

Excuse me, but this is part of coaching: to listen to other people’s problems.

I know it’s a tough pill to swallow, but more often than not, people aren’t just coming to see you to work out.

Newsflash: they’re coming to see you because 1) they trust you 2) they can vent to you and 3) you make them feel better all while doing bicep curls.

Expounding further, if I put myself in my clients’ shoes, fuck yeah I’d want a trainer who yes, makes me jacked, but also someone who listens to my messy emotions. In fact, someone who listens *aggressively.*

As a coach, you’re everyone’s escape from the traumas of the real world, the stressors of high school, or the shit storms of marriage.

So you’re a trainer? Cool.

You’re also a psychologist.

So suck it up.

And if you don’t like listening to people’s problems, then maybe you’re in the wrong profession.

Coaching, to that end, becomes more about helping people mentally and spiritually.

As an example, I have had many clients come into my facility bawling their eyes out due to personal, family, and work problems.

I’ve had clients storming into the facility shouting “fuck this!” and “fuck that!” because the stock market was down and they were losing business money.

Instead of being a deer in headlights and going into a seizure, I embraced them with big, sweaty hugs. Then, we started deadlifts. And as they all vented about their lives, I happily played the part of the sounding board. Naturally, I’m an empath and can brag about the gift of understanding others’ emotions.

But hey…

Did my clients feel better at the end of their workouts?

Did they still pull some heavy weights?


In fact, I’ve had several clients tell me they come to me for the exercise science and performance knowledge and programming, yet they *stay* for the trust, connection, relationship…and profanity and jokes. ;-O

You see, people just need someone to listen. And to be a friend. And to be an objective sailor mouth.

I’d be remiss not to mention that the mental component of what we do is what makes the physical better. Here’s why:

We teach people to overcome adversity.
We teach people to fail gracefully.
We teach people to be human.
We teach people to evolve.
We teach people it’s okay to act up.

So if you’re a trainer, you’re a psychologist.

After all, mental training enhances the physical training.

Do more of it.

Oh, and shut up and listen.

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