Search Box

Friday, July 24, 2009

Personal trainers

Whenever I see people working out at the gym with a personal trainer, I always have the same reaction: how self-indulgent.

It's one thing to hire an instructor to teach you how to organize a workout regimen, lift weights, do core body strength exercises, and so on. But once you've learned how to do it yourself, why keep spending the money? The vast majority of personal trainers seem to be hired more as personal motivators, people who will effectively function as your exercise conscience.

I also get the impression that many people hire trainers simply because they don't want to be alone. These are the same people who always have a cell phone growing out of their ear. (If they didn't have distractions, usually in human form, they might actually have to face themselves.)

And why do people always have to practice yoga in groups? Once you've learned the basics, do you really need an instructor to tell you to greet the sun?

There's something about a lack of inner resources that just screams "soft and spoiled." (Have you ever seen a personal trainer attending to someone who actually looked fit?)

There have been studies in the past which have shown that motivation is strongly correlated with intelligence. (In other words, a lack of willpower also screams "stupid.")

Having a personal trainer is not quite as bad as having a personal shopper. But it's close.

Personal trainers are actually a bit more like personal life coaches. Both function as cut-rate psychiatrists whom you pay to listen as you talk about your favorite subject, during which they will pretend to be interested.

Maybe I should hire a personal father for those times I don't feel like dealing with my children.

But given that I like to be with them, and their lack of reciprocation, I guess it would make more sense for them to hire personal children.


Anonymous said...

Personally I agree with you and would never hire a personal trainer - except as you mention (to make a plan, learn a new technique, etc). I also don't enjoy exercising in a group setting. But given the obesity problem in this country, I would encourage any approach necessary to promote exercise. Those lacking inner willpower and using personal trainers may continue to be stupid, but perhaps they won't also be fat.

John Craig said...

True enough. Better that than nothing. It's just that it's hard to respect anyone whose personal discipline is so lacking that they need someone else to substitute for that character trait.