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Bob Wilcher: The Answers Most Trainers Won’t Give You

Some may tell clients what they want to hear, not what they need to hear

Personal training has been a growing business for many years. Many people benefit greatly from working with a qualified professional personal trainer who knows how to motivate them and keep them on track for their goals.

Bob Wilcher
Bob Wilcher (John Conroy photo / www.johnconroyimages.com)

As beneficial as this relationship can be, it can also stray far from this and become anything but a physical workout. It can become a social interaction where laughing and small talk predominate, or it can even turn into a therapy session/babysitting gig where the trainer becomes a great listener to all of the client’s problems.

I will give a few situations that may happen between client and trainer. Maybe you’ll find some truth in the following situations. If not, then just enjoy.

Client: How come my heart rate is so much higher than hers and (pant) I’m not going (pant) as fast as she is on this elliptical machine?

The nice trainer: It’s just because your machine is more difficult, and you had a rough day. I’m sure you could do better after a good night’s sleep. Let’s try a different machine. How about some meditation exercises on your back? Let’s focus on your breathing.

The honest trainer: That lady is in much better shape than you. I see her here five or six days a week, and she burns calories like crazy. Her heart functions much differently than yours. If you want the same results, then let’s get you on the five-day-a-week plan. If you can’t make that commitment, then understand that you will never have those results.

Client: All I want to do is lose weight. I couldn’t care less about getting fit. Show me how to do it. I want to look like this girl on the magazine cover.

The nice trainer: I can really sympathize with you. It’s a tough world out there. There are so many different opinions and approaches to weight loss. Why don’t we take the next 15 minutes and I’ll give you a shoulder massage. I’m a great listener, and you can really open up to me. We’ll come up with a plan that best fits your needs.

The honest trainer: If all you want to do is lose weight, then don’t eat. You will lose weight every time. You will look like a wafer and nobody will think you’re attractive, but if that’s what you really want, then go for it. What are you at the gym for? After you go from not eating to eating again, you’ll gain all the weight back and more. This is a common pattern of depression. If you really want to look and feel great, then your only route is to live a lifestyle of activity and healthy eating. Now get on the machine and let’s get a workout.

Client: I’ve been working out for two weeks, and I haven’t lost any weight. How long do I have to keep this up for? I hate this!

The nice trainer: It’s OK. Just hang in there. You can lean on my shoulder. Let’s talk about something else. What do you think of this sunny weather we are having?

The honest trainer: Did you really just say that? You are 45 years old and 50 pounds overweight. Your life up to this point has been overeating with a big lack in the physical activity department. Do you really expect to see drastic weight loss in two weeks? That’s like someone who doesn’t know how to swim jumping into the ocean and swimming to Catalina and back. If you hate exercise, then chances are you will never see its benefits. It’s very difficult not to fall into the trap of wanting immediate gratification considering that’s the world we live in, but you’re in for a very upsetting journey if that is what you are after. Please sign this waiver again!

— Dr. Bob Wilcher is a chiropractor and personal trainer in Santa Barbara. He owns Killer B Fitness, a personal and group training studio also located in Santa Barbara. Contact Wilcher at www.killerbfitness.com or 805.448.2222.

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