As one observes the setting at a typical health club or personal training studio, it doesn’t take long to notice the diverse personalities and workout styles of the membership. The following fitness personality labels and their descriptions come from the perspective of a personal trainer about his or her clients. Where do you fit in?
• Model Client. This person is a motivated and enthusiastic individual. They’re willing to accept training philosophies and programs without question. These individuals train diligently and have definite health and fitness goals. However, model clients are more likely to train through pain and discomfort because they don’t want to let down their instructor or training partner. It can be easy to take such a dedicated client for granted. An instructor needs to actively encourage feedback from this individual.
• The Boss. This person is typically a high-level executive or business professional. Bosses are generally more aggressive than an average client. This personality type may want to have control of various training situations to satisfy their authoritative needs. Part of the success of this person’s exercise regimen and results will be dependent upon the instructor’s ability to take control of the workout at the appropriate times. Usually, these individuals are willing to put forth a good effort—but sometimes at the expense of their own safety. Their desire to complete an exercise task may overshadow their ability to maintain proper exercise form and technique.
• Internalizer. This person is the most difficult to tailor the psychology of the exercise program to because they tend to hold back feelings and stress levels. Even on good days, they can appear isolated and uncomfortable with themselves or the exercises. This particular person probably needs a motivated or enthusiastic instructor or training partner. A proficient instructor may allow this person to open up and vent their feelings. This enables them to focus their attention on the exercise session.
• Hypochondriacs. Most of us have experienced physical pain and injuries. However, more than the average person, this person may complain about an aching low back, a sore knee, or a strained shoulder. This person needs empathy—not sympathy. The personnel at a health and fitness facility may not always agree with what this person is telling them, but they should always strive to understand what they’re saying. No matter how trivial one’s complaint may sound, the staff needs to put themselves in this person’s shoes. An instructor needs to have patience and the ability to keep the exercise session on course.
• Submissive/Passive. These individuals are at the opposite end of the spectrum as The Boss. They understand the value and importance of a regular exercise program but are reluctant to start. They generally don’t have clearly defined health and fitness goals. This type of person needs motivation and help in setting achievable goals. Their feedback and involvement in the exercise program is a must; a two-way line of communication must be kept open at all times. On the other hand, this can be a facility’s most loyal member. IBI