Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The death of personal training or the rebirth of something new?

I have to be totally honest. I really don't like many many things about my industry. I think many high level experts and/or big fitness businesses might be confused about their alignment: the pursuit of profit or the pursuit of helping people. They don't always co-exist. I also find my industry intensely misogynistic. The fitness gurus getting most of the clout are often the most elite minded, the most judgmental and the least open minded about the variety of ways people can find transformation. AKA if it's not their way, it can't be right.

I'm not saying every influential person in my industry is that way. I'm just not finding that I want to be identified with the mainstream. I like to learn from people who not only know their stuff, but live life with a goal to increase their capacity for compassion and with the knowledge that the more we learn, the more we find out we DON'T know.

So what are people's options if they are looking for a more evolved approached to movement and health with more socially progressive, compassionate people. Often times, we can find this type of supportive vibe at Yoga or Pilates studios. But where do people find help getting stronger by lifting weights or doing traditional resistance training? Certainly not big gyms that pressure sell you as soon as you walk through the door. And any environment oozing testosterone is a sure fire miss.

I think this is where the personal training industry is dying a slow death. Regular people don't want to go to harsh, judgmental, rigid and obsessive compulsive personal trainers who are primarily jocks. How can these people without outside interests relate to people juggling so many different things? If you're lucky, you will find a balanced personal trainer. But if you're not lucky, like so many new clients I meet, you will run into someone who just can't understand your challenges. If they can do it, why can't you?

Because change doesn't happen that way. Where do I think the personal training industry is going to go? I'm not sure, but I know I want to create a path that includes compassion while maintaining personal accountability, that focuses on relational coaching, and explores that opportunity to heal through movement on a very deep level, not just look better in jeans, or be able to lift more and more weight, run further and further, feeding a compulsion to always be reaching instead of allowing ourselves to just be and rest sometimes. Something we do so poorly as a culture, to just be content whenever we can!

I like my little bubble at the studio and I love that I share space with two very balanced trainers who bring in regular clients who struggle like we all do.


  1. If personal training will going to disappear what would be the new existence?

  2. I think in ten years personal training won't look much different than it does now. And the people who will pay for personal training will be a different demographic. But I don't really know where it's going. I just know that the fitness industry isn't truly helping that many people implement lasting change partly because our society is so out of whack in terms of priorities.