What is a Personal Trainer? The definition at Dictionary.com says a Personal Trainer is “
- How many clients do you train each week?
- Do you have a degree? What do you do for continuing education?
- How long have you been a trainer?
- Do you have any testimonials?
- Why are you a Trainer?
It’s funny, In the ten years I have been a personal trainer I have seen and met a lot of different people who called themselves “personal trainers“. Many have been career trainers like me who I respected and worked with at different health clubs and gyms. But some have been something else a little less professional. What I like to call Posers or Glory Trainers. This type of trainer is not in it to help people or to make money. Often the primary motivation is to call themselves a “Trainer” to family and friends. This type of trainer is usually a part timer who does not need the money and at best it is a hobby to them. Often their own workouts and image are more important to them than the needs of their clients. I have seen many of these unprofessional trainers who will train people for free or for little money. Sometimes they are even using it as a way to score with girls. When it gets boring for them or if they have something more important to do they will blow off their clients or forget to meet them for appointments. This is bad for the client because they do not get a professional experience and go away thinking personal training does not work and personal trainers are a joke.
This irritates me because it leaves many people with a wrong idea of what a Personal Trainer is and what it could accomplish for them. Here in Playa Del Carmen where I live now there are a lot of CHEAP Personal Trainers who offer training for as little as $10-20 USD per session. Some of them are OK and can give you basic coaching and hold you accountable for a workout. But let’s face it, You Get What You Pay For and their knowledge and experience is limited or they would be charging a little more for their services. Some of them are terrible and could even hurt you. After you pay for your training package they will stop showing up, be unavailable or always be late.
If you are on a budget and looking for an economical trainer while here in Playa Del Carmen please contact me and I can help you. I will refer you to one of the better economical trainers who is a good fit for you and your goals.
The Mexican Floor Trainer
An interesting training system that I encountered here in Playa Del Carmen while working at both The Gym and Evolve Fitness is what I would call “Secret Random Group Training” offered by the Floor Trainer. The Floor Trainer is a low paid, salaried gym worker who does not work with clients one on one because his job is to be on the floor, available to all members. He or she is responsible for helping gym members to understand how to use the cardio and weight machines. The floor trainer is responsible for supervising the gym floor. He or she must pickup the weights and equipment in the gym and answer questions on exercise form, offer demonstrations or help with anything else in the gym the members might need. It took me a little while to figure out what the “floor trainers” were doing here because it’s actually pretty slick and the members seem to expect it and go along with keeping it a secret from the management and gym owners. This is because all gyms and health clubs require personal trainers to pay a commission or rent to train clients in their facility.
What they do is offer to meet with clients at anytime during their shift at the gym and tell them quickly what exercise to do but not stay with them because they need to be available for other members. This is also because they don’t want the management to catch on that they are being paid on the side! If the floor trainer is slow at that time they may have more time to spend with the client. But it is understood that they are not doing one on one coaching and may be working with other clients. They generally charge around $50-100 USD monthly for this service and call it Personal Training! Some clients seem to like it because it is cheap, they can come any time during the trainers shift so it does not require an appointment and they are working with a trainer.
The problem, of course, is that it is not effective or professional and the member usually does not accomplish anything or continue. Once again, the customer goes away with a wrong idea that trainers are cheap and ineffective. Not to mention that the club is earning nothing and their employees are offering a very unprofessional, crappy service that hurts the entire fitness industry.
Planet Fitness is a big health club chain in the United States that offers something similar at some of their clubs. These are the guys that offer $10-20 USD monthly memberships with credit card billing and discourage intense training in their clubs to avoid intimidating sensitive and insecure members. They use marketing and pricing to appeal to non exercisers which is great but from what I have heard 80% of the members might not even be coming in at all.
They call it “Free Personal Training” with floor trainers and you do not need an appointment. At first glance it sounds good but what I have found is that people do not take it seriously if they do not pay for it or have an appointment with a professional.
In the United States Floor Trainers have been mostly discontinued and instead when a gym member wants a tour of the gym or has questions it is handled by the membership services or reception staff. When the member has questions about exercise or training they are encouraged to meet with a personal trainer for a free consultation who can answer questions about the gym and equipment and explain the cost and benefits of purchasing a personal training program.
My mission is to help people to find a better quality of life. To have more energy, feel better and stronger to live better. Please contact me today to find out more about quality coaching and personal training in Playa del Carmen and Beyond.