It’s interesting to see the inquiries that come from my website. I asked one guy what his training goals were, and they basically amounted to “getting as huge as possible”. That’s pretty normal for a young guy with surging testosterone, or who may have been beaten up a few too many times. I make no secret of the fact that I’m not interested in bodybuilding anymore, and not just because of the massive amount of drugs they often take. Shaving your body hair, wearing goofy little shorts, putting on the spray tan and grease, and strutting around on a stage, all for poor prize money – who needs it?
Still, I know techniques that will pile on a lot of mass; it just isn’t the approach I use for my own personal routine. I told the guy this, and explained that though I’m very fit, I’m not huge. The line went dead very quick. Pretty funny.
It’s partially just our age where common courtesy is no longer practiced. Just ask anyone who has contacted scads of companies about work and has never received a reply, not even a rejection. But here they’re missing out on something else, too – even if I’m not the right trainer for that person, I might be able to find somebody for them. And then there are those who clam up and leave when they find out how much personal training costs – this is the other big “conversation stopper”. In some cases I may be able to provide at least some helpful info to these people, but they’re long gone, and heading for the TV so they can buy the latest Lipo-Matic Tuckus Shrinker 3000 Magic Fitness Machine.
I think I can safely say that most people seeking a trainer want someone who they can easily relate to. The aspiring Mr. Olympia candidate will want someone who is already gigantic, and that’s somewhat understandable, as this Large Person will likely be a specialist in hypertrophy (increasing the size of your muscles), and the trainee can view the trainer’s size as a goal. In another sense, someone who has been an adult for quite awhile may be skeptical of the fresh-faced teen at Gold’s who is snapping their gum and saying, “so, I’m like, your trainer?”. Conversely, I’m around middle age, so young males and females who are striving to be “hot” may only want someone their age to train them who is hot already.
Bodybuilding and strength training are related, but are definitely not the same thing. In many sports, it’s more important to be strong than to be enormous, and in some cases, like gymnastics, or any sport with weight classes, size is the enemy. For me, the key is to have a lot of strength that is usable in everyday life. And besides, I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a new wardrobe. Not that I’m cheap or anything. Yet others may find the prospect of getting a new body and new wardrobe to be extremely motivating, so that’s valid, too.
Chances are, if someone is paired with the right trainer, and gets the right exercises, they’ll thrive.