Sunday, February 21, 2010

Poll Results - What's the most important quality of a PT?

Work is finally taking a slightly slower pace these days (maybe its because of the CNY holidays) and I am finally done traveling for work (and leisure as well). So I finally get sometime time to post something. Sometimes having a weekend with no big travel plans can be nice.

Anyway, enough chit chat, it’s time once again to review our poll results and see what everyone thinks and share why they chose the answers they chose. The question asked this time was: If you had to choose only 1 quality, what is the most important quality that a Personal Trainer should have? To be honest, all the 4 answers I gave were important but of course I wanted you to choose which was most important to you. Let’s just have a quick review of why each one was important and the votes that it received.

Well your personal trainer should know the basic science of fitness and what he is teaching you. You don’t want someone who doesn’t know anything about fitness teaching you. I honestly felt that this answer would get a much higher score but surprisingly, only 6 people voted for this. This goes to show that though certification is important, its not everything. Being a good personal trainer is more than just being a good student who can pass certification exams. You need to be passionate about it. I knew of one personal trainer in California Fitness who scored the highest in the certification course, but then I saw numerous clients shouting at him and sharing their dissatisfaction with him. So I guess I understand why this answer got such a low vote.

Looks Fit
This is extremely important to me and my vote landed here. As a personal trainer, you need to look the part. Do you really want to take fitness advice from someone who is fatter than you? Learn how to cook from an anorexic? In short, don’t sell Nokia hand phones to other people when you yourself prefer an i-Phone and use that instead of a Nokia Phone. To me, if my personal trainer looks fit, I am assured he has some basic knowledge on fitness even if he doesn’t have the paper to show it. Plus, I feel a whole lot more confident knowing that my personal trainer has personal experience on how to get there. Being fit needs a lot of self motivation, so I am sure he will be able to motivate me, the same way he motivates himself. Only 8 people out of 51 voted here and I was 1 of them.

Able to motivate me
This was of course the big winner of the whole poll by a huge margin. 70% of people felt that this was the most important thing to have. If you have a certification, look fit, but don’t know how to motivate people, the first 2 criteria are just wasted. It’s like having a Ferrari but not enough money to put petrol in the tank. What’s the point of having a Ferrari then? No wonder so many people chose this. End of the day, people want to be motivated to push themselves to the limit.

Good listener
OK, I know I kind of skewed the results by putting up a post about Personal Trainers who are hired only because their clients want someone to talk to. But in actual fact, being a good listener is important as well. By this, I don’t mean about him listening to your complaints in life or why your favorite TV Show got cancelled. What I was referring to was listening to what your fitness goals are and what motivates you as a person. A lot of personal trainers try to impose their own fitness goals onto clients without stopping to ask what their clients want. This is why being a good listener is also important to being a personal trainer. When your client shares his emotions, you need to listen to and connect with them. This way you can truly motivate them because you understand them better. So yes, listening is important as well. Only 1 person voted for this answer. Does the person who voted here want to share why you chose this?

So there you have it, what it takes to be a good personal trainer. For personal trainers who read this blog, I hope you are taking notes. :-) Anyway, what was your vote and what was your reasoning behind it. Do share and as usual, look forward to hearing your comments.


Aizan Suhaira said...

I voted for certification because I don't want a PT who teaches me crap, which was what happened when I hired a PT for the first time. She told me to warm up on the treadmill for 20 minutes to half an hour before our actual training starts. On hindsight, I think it was a ploy for her to buy time between clients.

About choosing a PT on how fit they look. Hmm.. I don't quite agree with this. Look at Kristy of BLA fame. She looks fit but she doesn't have a clue how to handle the contestants' various level of fitness.

Motivation. I didn't choose this becaue I already have motivation. I don't need a trainer to push me. In fact, I usually tell my PT to give me something more intense as I sometimes feel the workouts are inadequate. But then, I'm not like most people I guess.

Being a good listener is good. But I'd limit it to stuff about fitness and diet. You can b*tch to your bestfriend about life in general.

Lexis Excellence said...
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Rajan said...

Aizan: Good points. I can't believe that PT made you warm up for 20 mins. That's really outrageous. I guess this way, that PT only has to think of exercises for another 30 mins.

Kristy from BLA is just nasty. She probably thinks she is cool by being nasty. If she was fat, i bet you she would be a whole lot nastier. But i do get what you mean.

Lexis: Maybe the closest fit for the answer you wanted would be Certification.... maybe i should have re-worded it to Education or something to that context and that would be closer fit to what you wanted. But yeah... good points.

Sam said...

I vote certification. Great blog.

Rajan said...

Thanks for your input Sam. We still waiting for the guy or gal who voted for good listener

Nizam said...

I voted good listener. :-). SOmetimes, I just want the PT to hear my rambles.

"For me, my most important quality probably isn't on here... the only people I'd pay to train me would be coach Mark Rippetoe, Verkhoshansky, Poliquin, or any number of other US Olympic Team strength coaches / scientist. Thats because they work on the cutting edge of fitness science."

LOL.. then what are you doing here you american reject... go back to the US la...

anfield devotee said...
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