If you pay close attention, you might see a hint of it in a Facebook post or a Twitter feed. It might be a recurring theme in someone’s blog, or the absence of current photos. But you wouldn’t necessarily recognize the pattern unless you know what you’re looking for.
Spend enough time with fitness professionals, though, and the truth starts to seep out. Slowly at first, and then often as a flood once the dam breaks.
The dirty secret, the shameful fact that one one wants to come clean about, is that many personal trainers don’t feel great, and they’re not getting better themselves.
That’s right. They’re frustrated with their diets. Unhappy with their body composition, seesawing back and forth between beach body and bagel bum. Angry that they haven’t progressed in their favorite lifts.
I saw a post recently posing the perennial argument, “Should a personal trainer look the part?” I don’t think the answer matters, because it’s the wrong question. The right question is: “Are they making progress?”
Stagnation is at best pain and at worst injury. Your training should make you better, all the time. You should leave the gym feeling fantastic, not defeated. You should make progress in your favorite lifts every time you train. Your body composition should be ever-improving. You should be getting sick less often. You shouldn’t be getting injured in the gym, ever.
And yet, I see and hear it all the time. Famous Trainer W is having knee surgery due to some avoidable training injury. Local Trainer X can’t walk up stairs because “leg day” destroyed him so much. Internet Guru Y hasn’t posted a video of a personal record in 3 years. Conference Speaker Z looks like he hasn’t met a food truck he didn’t love, and tells people in confidence he can’t figure out why he’s gaining fat.
These people aren’t listening to their bodies. They aren’t tracking important metrics. And, tellingly, they’re not making changes to their actions that would take them in the direction they want to go. So how can they help you take better actions?
Your training should make you better. If it’s leaving you defeated, frustrated, injured or in pain, you’re doing something wrong. Take a step back, collect better information, connect it, and take action.