I have seen a lot of trends in the 26 years I have been a fitness professional. Some have stayed and some have disappeared into the wind. Some that people thought would be junk, have proven to stand the test of time. And some that people thought would dominate the market have gone the way of the Dodo Bird.
A current trend that I am seeing nowadays though is not so much a specific training system, but rather a general philosophy. That philosophy is to make clients as tired as possible so that they feel they are getting a great workout, or in the case of personal training, that they are getting the most value for their dollar. Somewhere down the road, customers started believing that the value of their personal trainer was measured in the amount of sweat that came out of their body. And trainers caught onto this so more and more started creating workout programs designed to make people sweaty and tired. But does it really make people better?
To all the potential personal training customers (individuals or businesses or buildings), you have to ask the right questions when deciding on hiring a personal trainer or fitness programming company. Do you want to improve quality of life, to be a better functioning human being with a longer life span, free of pain and disease? Or do you want to get as tired and sweaty as possible so that you feel you got the best bang for your buck? Know that one does not beget the other, meaning that they are not necessarily connected. This is not to say that a great, functional fitness program won’t make you sweat, its just that you have to know exactly what you are trying to get out of it. If getting sweaty and tired is all people wanted, I would just have them chase my dog down. The result is the same.
To all the fitness professionals and personal trainers, I would ask have you thought about your programming and did you make it with the individuals particular needs and limitations in mind? Or was it made simply to make sure that the client broke a sweat and got tired so that they felt it was a “great” session? Now please understand that I personally know hundreds of top flight fitness pros from all over the world that absolutely know how to make clients better. But there are thousands more out there and believe me when I say its a trend I have noticed over the last few years, specifically as the proliferation of “working out as sport” has grown as well as boot camps and general conditioning classes.
In my opinion, the focus should be on making the person a better person and not just making them tired and sweaty. Personal training at its core is both a science and an art form. When those two disciplines are used in the right combination, we as fitness pros can create fantastic masterpieces, with our clients as the canvas.