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Empathy and honesty

Empathy and honesty

For a lot of people, the gym floor can be a boring and potentially intimidating space.

Not for me, obviously, but for some people, the gym can be hell!

I understand how such people feel and the reasons why they feel that way. After all, it took me years to become comfortable on the gym floor, even though I was already a rugby player when I first set foot on it.

To my mind, working out is not in of itself a fun thing to do. This is especially true when exercising at a gym, where training is part of the process of getting fit, even if it does enable people to play sport.

When I first started training, I thought my feelings about this would change over time, but after more than 10 years in the fitness industry, they remain the same as they ever were!

Over the past decade, I have learned that many of the people who contact personal trainers such as myself are not especially confident about engaging in physical activity and that part of my job is to build up the confidence of such people.

This lack of confidence does not necessarily come from such people being overweight - a popular misconception. In my experience, many people who struggle with obesity tend to stay at home, rather than face the challenge of a modern gym.

When I started training I could not have imagined that one day I would be a personal trainer and loving my job, together with the daily contact it gives me with my clients. I was also wary, when I started, about what the gym could offer and, in some ways, I retain a degree of that scepticism today. It is what drives me to continue learning about fitness and people and it keeps my mind active, which is important because when you become complacent about fitness you lose your drive to succeed in the sector.

Which may seem a curious statement for someone like me to make. After all, the fitness industry, together with its associated workout programmes and brands, promises its customers a healthier, better life. Plus, exercising itself has been proved in various studies over the years to offer a boost to our emotional, physical and cognitive health.

Exercise is thus good for us, right? It makes us feel and look good and helps us to get through our potentially productive days.

I think there is a certain amount of truth in these kinds of statements, though I also believe there is a quid pro quo where fitness is concerned, as the modern gym environment is also a place for selling products as well as the services of personal trainers.