The personal trainer relationship is a very odd one. If you go on a consistent basis (2-3 times per week) you may spend more time with him/her than you do most of your friends and family. In fact, the only people you may see more are work colleagues, your significant other and the cast of Game of Thrones. Whatever you want to call it, it is a relationship. And like every relationship, it has rules. But it doesn’t seem like anyone has defined them.
So here are some Ritter Rules for You and Your Trainer.
1. Pretend you’re more committed than you are.
My trainer asked me when we started how committed I was personal training. Already within 2 minutes of meeting him, I told my first lie. I said on a scale of 1-10 I was at a 7, when really I was at a 2.
My trainer asked me to keep a food log. I think this is going a bit too far. I get that nutrition is a big part of personal trainer and it’s their job to guilt us in to it. But the last thing I want to do is write in my diary at 2 am while crying “Dominos, 2 large pies with everything, 20 buffalo wings, 2 cheesy breads, 4 sides of ranch dressing, 6000 calories.” Instead I just leave out any facts that would make him want to break up with me…like we do in our real relationships.
3. Rule for Him: Let Me Skip Once in a While On the House
Let me cancel without charging me…as long as I don’t do it more than once every few months. We’re only human, things come up. We get sick, we have work events…who are we kidding, we get hungover and I’ve heard is hard to lift after doing Molly. If a trainer lets this slide every now and then without charging, it goes a long way towards making us feel like we’re not just a human ATM. Let’s remember that sessions cost more than most dinners we go to.
4. Don’t get fat.
As individuals we are actually the body of work for these trainers. Getting fat or not taking it seriously is like walking around with yellow crooked teeth for your dentist. It’s a bad calling card for our trainer. I know someone that got fired by their personal trainer because after two years they hadn’t lost weight or gotten any fitter. Truth be told, if you even half ass your workouts and half ass your diets, you should see significant changes. It’s up to you what you want to get out of your training sessions, but it shouldn’t be a fatter ass.
5. Become Acquaintances With Your Trainer, Not BFF
You can become friends with your personal trainer. But I won’t. Usually, the trainer leaves it up you to DTR. A buddy of mine, a partner at a law firm, started taking his trainer to events, concerts etc. Not all the time, just on occasion, as a thank you…and then he didn’t invite him to a party he had mentioned and the trainer got surly. The last person you want to piss off is the person that forces hundred pounds of weight onto your chest with no witnesses around.
Look, it’s nice to maybe invite them to a big holiday party, but be careful with the boundary you set up, once you cross it, it sets a bad precedent for those times you just don’t feel like talking about your personal life…or inviting your trainer to your birthday party. It’s goes without saying that you shouldn’t have sex with your trainer…unless they are super hot (obvious exception to any rule)…When you inevitably quit working out because you are lazy slob, do you really want to have to end a friendship, or worse a relationship. No, you want to be able to just stop showing up one day and never see them again, right?