The life of a personal trainer comes with many hazards. Firstly, there’s the constant risk of injury. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve been accidentally hit or kicked during boxing or even fallen on during a balancing move.
There’s also the constant pressure of secrecy. The trainer/client relationship can be a very close one and some clients are quite happy to share their most intimate secrets with me – many of which I don’t wish to know. However, nothing can prepare the personal trainer for the mental scarring experienced from spending an hour with a client who is wearing inappropriate clothing. Thankfully, most of my clients wear the right stuff and look ready for the task ahead. Some do not.
Firstly, I have a big issue with hats. Why come to the gym with a hat on? What’s that all about? OK, a baseball hat might keep your hair at bay if you have enough of it but what’s the point of wearing a woolly beanie hat to the gym in the middle of summer? I made him take it off before we started our session. I felt a little like his Dad, though.
I have an even bigger issue with Lycra. On the right figure, Lycra can be flattering, even sexy, and I appreciate in certain circumstances it can be practical too. But on the wrong figure it can look disastrous, especially when bits of flesh are spilling out of it.
There’s also the issue that occurs when a stretchy material is stretched further than it was designed to go. Remember that, during a session, I’m looking at my client’s body the whole time, checking posture and technique constantly. I’ve often had one of those ‘can’t look/have to look’ dilemmas when a client’s Lycra trousers are stretched to the point of transparency and I can clearly see where they go underwear shopping. Oh, and men should never, ever wear Lycra to the gym under any circumstances. I don’t want to see that and nor does anyone else.
I can still remember a guy I did a session with once (thankfully, it was only once), who was in his fifties, excessively hairy and was rather partial to wearing running shorts that were just that little bit too short and had those slits up the side that revealed parts of his outer thigh that normally don’t get exposed to daylight. Lunges were not in the programme on that day.
If you’re exercising alone or even in a quiet corner of the gym that’s one thing but, during a personal training session, it’s important to realise that you will be subjected to a little close scrutiny and many trainers are quite ‘hands on’. Please make sure you’re dressed for the part.
Paul Mumford is a personal trainer, writer and broadcaster. He owns the Mumford Phys. Ed. training company in Essex. www.mumfordphysed.com
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Fitness Professionals Ltd or Virtual Magazine. Consult a qualified health or fitness professional before making changes to your diet or exercise.