Personal Training – Who is accountable?
I finally got my wish, and someone set me the challenge of writing a blog about a topic of their choice! As they were describing the topic of accountability (responsibility) to me they worded it in such a way as to imply that by having Personal Training the client is removing accountability from their health and fitness goals.
Now me being me, that got me thinking, and I wasn’t so sure that was the case. So I discussed it briefly with a few clients and came to the following opinion.
I think its fair to say that by investing in Personal Training that the trainer is assuming a lot of the responsibility. We are the ones that plan your sessions and decide when progression, regression or a total change of direction are in order. We analyse your food diary and decide what you need more or less of in your diet, what you should cut out or introduce, which supplements (if any) you need. Its not only what pearls of wisdom we decide to impart on you, but the way we do it. Everyone learns in different ways and responds differently to techniques of teaching. So being straight to the point and firm with one client may not work with another. We also take the accountability for training away from the client. A massive proportion of my own clients feel that personal training is the best move for them regarding exercise because its an appointment and they don’t want to miss it. Outside of the trainers skill and knowledge I personally believe that this is the biggest reason that clients gain better results with a trainer as opposed to training alone. You wouldn’t miss a doctors appointment for example so why miss an appointment with your PT?
Now for the flip-side of my thoughts. Its all very well and good having an amazing trainer that puts thought and knowledge into your sessions and what you need to be doing outside your sessions (after all most trainers see their clients between 1-4 hours a week, out of 168!) but what if the client doesn’t follow it? Too many times before I have handed people food diaries to complete and had them back with only the “good” foods filled in or days missing, given people a workout for home that hasn’t been completed. Now I do feel that as a trainer there are things I can do to motivate people to do these activities, and so some accountability for this does still fall on the trainer, however myself and all other trainers I know have had at least one client that doesn’t do these things or worse still isn’t committed and accountable for the sessions that they have booked. In other words they turn up late or not at all.
To conclude there is an element of accountability from both parties, and I feel the trainer does assume more of it but not however all of it. As the client I feel that that person needs to be accountable for choosing to start Personal Training and what it entails. It’s not always a walk in the park, but then again the best things in life often aren’t! 🙂