1. The Narcissist
The only thing this guy likes more than hearing himself talk is looking at himself in the mirror. The phrase “never met a mirror he didn’t like” or a storefront window or shiny toaster oven, holds true for this PT. He is so self-absorbed he spends his training sessions talking about his own problems instead of listening to his clients’ questions or statements.
He wants you to get results but not because he actually cares about your results. He just wants to make himself look good. He is a like-able guy, as most narcissists are, but beware. A personal training session should be about you, the client, not about the trainer, and as long as you work with this person everything will be about him.
2. The Drill Instructor
This woman got her personal training certification from some weekend seminar and was brainwashed into thinking she is the end all be all of exercise. She is also an asshole.
The combination of Red Bull and not eating a Carbohydrate for the past three months cause her to explode anytime someone questions her methods. Even her closest friends will admit this. Even though the closest she came to a war zone is Costco at noon on a Sunday right before a Bears home game, she still insists on calling her training sessions “boot-camp.”
Are people still teaching classes called “boot-camp?”
Her sessions consist of a high intensity warmup, Metcon, HIIT, more HIIT, and soul crushing work during every session. The sad thing is that the people who really need the motivation that comes from a coach are scared away by her teaching techniques and exercise selection.
3. The Lasy-Ass
This guy was at one point, on some level, pretty fit. Now he is just a hypocritical douchebag who hasn’t paid attention to his personal exercise and nutrition since the Bush administration. He has a before and after picture on his business card that looks nothing like him (well at least not the after.)
This guy has the knowledge to help people, at least to some extent, but lacks all the initiative to actually use it. He tells his members what they need to do to get results but doesn’t practice what he preaches. He stands on a soapbox preaching healthy choices one day while the night before he was taking shots of Jagermeister at a bar downtown. He has zero integrity. How do you follow someone like this?
4. The Machavelian
This guy values results at any cost. His favorite workouts are Crossfit, strongman, bench press, and anything that can destroy your connective tissues. He does the same workout with every client that is constantly changing. He did bench press today; you will do bench press today. He does a lot of sled drags; you will be doing a lot of sled drags, you and everyone else who is unfortunate enough to know and trust him.
With some people (people who are exactly like this trainer) this might work but not everyone can do HIS workout and he will definitely sacrifice your form to get it done. He may have some degree of knowledge about exercise science and biomechanics but he spends most of his time shit-talking other trainers’ skillsets rather than work on his own. He is more concerned with making others look bad to build himself up rather than actually increase his own credibility. He has zero empathy for anyone else day to day struggles yet expects everyone to do him a favor because he feels the universe owes it to him.
These are all extreme examples of personalities I have encountered in the fitness business either in person or through TV and other media. The purpose of this article was to poke some light hearted fun at some of these stereotypes.
If you feel some of these traits describe your training style (the author admits to falling into some of these categories at one point in his career) that’s good. The first step in correcting a bad behavior is realizing it is taking place.