I know of a PT who is over-weight. By over-weight, I don’t mean slightly chubby or carrying a few extra pounds. No, this person is plus-sized. She is a popular PT, and has a solid client base and seems to be respected in the industry. Many people feel that she does not fit the mould of what a PT should look like, and have said she is the last person they would even consider hiring to help them achieve their fitness goals. My friend Desiree said, “when I look to a hair stylist, I don’t go to a frumpy person with a bad roots, scraggly ends and who puts no effort into their appearance, so why would I get fitness tips from someone who is over weight?” My husband feels the same way as Desiree. He feels a PT should look the part, complete with six-pack abs, muscles, and little fat on their frames. After all, he debates, they are representatives of the fitness industry, so shouldn’t they look that way? When I say debate, it is because we have had “heated discussions” about this issue, as I’m on the fence about it. Sure, I admire someone who obviously works hard to look physically fit, but I feel someone who is over-weight can indeed be a good PT. If said PT trains their client effectively, is certified, is dedicated, and has the tools to educate and help the client reach their goals successfully, should it matter if the PT is plus-sized? In the large scheme of things, it is the client who will be doing the physical work in the gym and will be sweating, huffing and puffing. However, if Jillian Michaels had a muffin top, saddlebags and a Buddha belly, would she be making millions on fitness apps, magazine interviews, DVDs and books? This was still hubby’s argument. “Well,” I asked my husband, “consider this. What about a trainer who looks like Jillian Michaels, but smokes like a chimney? Would you consider such a person to be representatives of the fitness industry?” Ha! I got him. No, he replied, “they should live by example. Smoking is a disgusting habit.”
Andy’s and Desiree’s idea of what a personal trainer should look like:
So to sum it up, a PT who is not keeping abreast in fitness trends, education and training or someone who is lackadaisical in helping the clients to achieve their goals, does not make a good trainer in my books, may he/she over-weight, average, muscled-up or somewhere in between. Ultimately though, it is up to the client. The person who will be spending those dolla’ bills to get in shape and improve their health by turning to the expertise of a professional will have the final say as to their perception of what a personal trainer should be. If a PT is over-weight, but is getting me to the level of fitness where I want to be, I don’t think size would matter if I was happy with my results.
How do you think a PT should look? Or does it matter? Would you hire a heavy or over-weight person to help you obtain your fitness goals?