Personal training is a two-way street.
In one corner, we have the trainer who meticulously designs programs with progressing set and rep schemes, thought-out de-load weeks, and super nifty exercise progressions so people make progress, lose weight, or increase performance.
In the other corner, we have the client who shows up for 6am workouts, performs every rep with perfect form, and who accepts new challenges with open arms and crushes workouts like Aragorn taking on an entire herd of orcs.
Alas, little does the trainer knows that once the client exits the gym walls, he consumes 3 cups of coffee a day with heavy creamer, eats a catered, Chik-Fil-A office meal for lunch, gobbles down M&Ms to avoid a late afternoon crash, and drinks a few cans of beer before bed. With take-out pizza.
As much as I want to say your trainer is the panacea for your fucked up health, they’re not.
There’s only so much a trainer can control in your life. To that end, the hours you spend with them (likely 2-4 hours a week depending on how much you train), are not enough to make major strides in new behavior, unless…
you put in the fucking work on your own.
I know this is a tough pill to swallow it almost chokes your esophagus.
Anyway, I’m sure you’re wondering, ‘well, I’m paying X amount of $ per hour to have a trainer, so they SHOULD ensure I lose weight and perform.’
Oh, and fuck you.
You see, trainers aren’t THE ONE solution to your fucked up health and weak ass performance. Rather, they act as the catalysts to propel you to living a healthier, more empowered life.
Diet and exercise behavior and sport performance change takes work, people.
It’s an effort of yes, the trainer, but also on your own end. The trainer ain’t a FBI agent who monitors your every move the moment you leave the gym to the moment you drop your pants to have sex with your spouse, to the moment you have that post-sex burger and fries.
The trainer is there to guide you – to help you discern what motivates you, what drives you, and what propels you to change your habits and put in the fucking work.
This is why fad diets, juice cleanses, and detoxes don’t pan out for the long haul: they’re easy scape goats that may work for a finite moment in time. And the people who do these? Are the people who fail to put in the daily actionable steps for a lifetime to be healthy.
Should I drop the mic now? Just like Eminem in a freestyle battle, I’m on a roll.
This reminds me of when I was a youth soccer player. My parents hired a female trainer who was absolutely stellar.
Her sessions taught me a diverse menu of fancy moves that could break ankles every time I stepped on the pitch.
However, the caveat was: I had to put in the fucking work on my own time. I had to practice my skills. I had to practice my skills at game speed. I had to practice my skills playing 1v1 against my neighbors.
Two meager hours of working with her a week were nothing. It was up to me to elevate to the next level by practicing what she taught me on my own time.
Intrinsic motivation is real.
So this bears repeating: as much as you think your trainer decides your life destiny, they don’t. There’s only so much “hand holding” until it wanes into a law of diminishing returns.
Sure, they’re there to hold your hand in the initial stages, especially when it comes to instilling new habits in your routine and ensuring you nail down certain techniques.
When push comes to shove, over time, you’ll realize it’s up to you to achieve the next level of badass-ery.
I can compare this to my current dating life. Of course, I complain I haven’t met a divine man lately, but at the same time, I’ve accepted I haven’t taken action.
Instead, I go home alone to my cat and don’t actively put myself out there. It’s MY OWN FAULT.
So accept some of this is your own fault, too. It takes strength to move into this level of self awareness.
It also takes more strength to admit: your trainer isn’t the problem.