When I first started working as a personal trainer in a public facility I trained whoever my supervisor asked me to.
Young (13 year old Irish dancer training for the Canadian nationals), old (75 year old grandmother wanting to keep up with her grandkids), women (new-to-the-weight room cardio junkies) and men (out of shape weekend warriors). Whatever their goals, I trained them all.
For many of them, I was not the trainer they needed.
Our fitness perspectives and life experiences didn’t mesh. I didn’t get them. They didn’t get me. Clients came and went. Some met their goals. Some didn’t. Some found other trainers. Some disappeared off the face of the earth (or at least from the gym ).
Those that have stuck with me over the years (and through my evolution as a personal trainer) are members of a very specific demographic; all are women over the age of 40.
In fact, 22 of the 24 clients I train regularly are over 40 women. Women who have sought me out to be their trainer as a consequence of attending my group fitness classes, a friend’s referral or seeing me training other over 40 women in the gym.
Why the change? I believe that personal training clients are attracted to trainers they perceive as having similar values and life experience. Trainer who will understand their perspective while motivating and encouraging them towards their fitness and health goals.
For me, over 40 women make the best personal training clients because;
- They’re in it for the long haul. Let’s face it; older women often have more disposable time and income than their younger counterparts. Both of which are required for a successful personal training relationship. They also don’t expect results in a month and aren’t training to fit into a wedding dress or vacation bikini (although many of them rock theirs!)
- They value function over aesthetics. While still wanting to look their best, they don’t worry about 6-pack abs or buns of steel. They understand the functional benefits of lifting weights and celebrate being able to do more challenging work over time.
- They’re quick to identify non-scale victories. Better sleep, better sex (personal trainers are kind of like therapists; we talk about everything with our clients!), fewer aches and pains upon waking, more energy, and better range of motion are just a few of the many non-weight related benefits my clients spontaneously report to me.
- They rarely cancel because something better came along. They know that there IS nothing better than a good session with their personal trainer! They prioritize their own health and well-being and enjoy the hour we have to work together towards their goals.
- They love to learn and ask lots of questions. My clients, like me, are almost all women who’ve discovered strength training a bit later in their lives. When I ask them to do something, more often than not, they challenge me and ask why. What muscles am I using? Where should I be feeling this exercise? How will it help me reach my goals? Education is one of my favourite parts of the job and they frequently give me opportunity to share information and knowledge.
- They’re not intimidated by the free weights section of the gym. Indeed, many of the young men grunting and groaning in the squat rack are young enough to be their sons!
The two clients who aren’t over-4′ women? One is close (but I won’t rush her) and the other, an over-70 male who shares many of the attributes of my female clientele (without the extra X chromosome…’atta boy, John!’). I love training them just as much as my over 40 women, despite their respective youth and gender
Are you an over 40 woman looking for an experienced and knowledgable over 40 personal trainer? Why not try online personal training with fitknitchick? I’d love to help YOU reach your health and fitness goals!
Do you consider similarity in age and life experience when you choose a personal trainer?
Personal trainers; do you have a specific client demographic that you prefer to train?