Thursday, May 9, 2013

Would You Hire A Fat Personal Trainer?

Would-you-hire-a-fat-personal-trainer
Yesterday I was at a seminar where I met 2 personal trainers; both were overweight.  They weren't obese but could lose 25 to 30 pounds.  When I first met them, my first thought was:  "You guys are in the fitness field?"  However, after talking with them, I realized they were very nice and knowledgeable. This led me to wonder whether I would hire them to train me.  I started thinking wide and fast!  


I have gone to a beautician whose hair wasn't perfectly done.  I rationalized and figured that maybe she just didn't have time to fix her hair that day.  Had her hair been neglected, bristle, and falling out, I would have certainly traced a beeline through the first exit door.  It goes the same with financial advisers.  Who would want to take advice from someone whose debt level is through the roof and whose phone number is on speed-dial in collection agencies?

When I got my Master degree in Exercise Physiology, teaching aerobics was one of my side jobs.  At one of our health clubs, there was an overweight aerobics instructor whose name I will not share here.  Her classes were always full.  Try as I might, I could not fill the room the way she did.  The truth is not only was she in excellent shape, she also had the innate ability to teach a good class while entertaining her audience.  Other members claimed that her physical appearance did nothing to inspire them and stayed away.

We are such complex creatures capable of incredible feats but yet, we can get so elemental on the most basic concepts.  See, I am torn at the idea that I would resist taking a fitness class from an obese instructor.  Makes me wonder:  Is perception so powerful that it trumps reality?  In this case, should my decision to get in better shape be based on the instructor or should it focus on the actual instruction?  Hum…  I am so confused!  What do you think?

Check out another great post
Hiring a personal trainer when on a budget


15 comments:

  1. This is a great point you bring up. I was in a fitness class once and had the same mind set. The instructor wasn't fat, but wasn't what I would have expected body shape wise. I feel horrible for even having that thought. But you know what, if they are teaching a class they definitely know what they are doing, that day I definitely got a good workout! half of the people in the class couldn't keep up with her!

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    1. Thanks for your reply, Danielle and have a great week-end.

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  2. Honestly? I wouldn't hire an overweight personal trainer. I would want someone to practice what they preach. I would not be confident that they could help me attain my goals if they were not disciplined enough themselves to get into shape. :) Great post.

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    1. I am with you on this one: I wouldn't hire them. To a personal trainer, his physique is his/her calling card. It says "have confidence in me, I can help you reach your goals". If he/she is not in shape it makes me question their discipline, nutrition, etc. Now, I understand certain illnesses can cause a person to gain weight but that is a whole different situation.

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    2. Asphalt and Trails you echo my thoughts exactly. :)

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  3. Great post. I honestly think it would depend on my goals. The gym I work at does have a couple trainers who are a little overweight but very knowledgible and great. I think the gym newbies or those looking to lose weight feel more comfortable with them but I as a competitive runner what someone on my level.

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    1. These are some good points, you are making Marathon Mom. I think someone new would find an overweight instructor less intimidating.

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  4. I probably wouldn't but then before I let someone cut my hair, I make sure they keep their hair nice.

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  5. I don't know. Part if me would like to think I would hire a trainer based on qualifications, knowledge, etc. But then again, a trainer that practices what he preaches would be more inspiring and motivating to me.

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  6. This is a tough one. It would depend on the recommendations... I don't think I'd actively pursue an overweight trainer if they hadn't received glowing remarks from other clients. I completely agree that the instruction is far more important than the instructor; however, obesity, in my opinion, would detract from a trainer's overall credibility. Ahhh, this is confusing! Anyway, hope you're having a great weekend!

    xo,
    Steph
    Diary of a Debutante
    www.stephanieziajka.blogspot.com

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  7. This is a tough one! If I take a class and I am not uplifted, having fun and getting a great workout. Or I feel the instructor was bored or high and mighty and just doing their job, regardless of their appearance I wouldn't go back to the class. But if I had a great time, and a positive experience and great workout I'd go back. Its hard to judge on a first appearance, but I know it happens. I would hope I am not the type who would judge based on appearance, but truthfully I have never been in this situation so it's hard to say what I would do.... Tough one!

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  8. This is a great post! I've never really considered it before, but I think I'd be a bit hesitant to hire an obese personal trainer. Like others have said, it's harder to trust them if they don't practice what they preach.

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  9. Hmmmm, very interesting. I'd never considered that before!
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