Cautioning Clients Against Comparisons

When a client tries to hold herself to unrealistic standards, the result will not be a satisfactory outcome. Comparing to others ends up with the client chastising herself for not working hard enough.

Our job is to offer her a new and more positive perspective on the true self she is probably overlooking. We also have to be careful that we don’t contribute to the body shaming and false perceptions circling around the fitness industry

Gym Avoidance

According to a recent study conducted across the United States, 65% of women polled expressed “gym anxiety” to the point of avoiding the gym altogether.

The root of this feeling appeared to stem from the fear of being judged by others. 55% admitted feeling looked down upon for not appearing “fit enough”, and many even expressed feeling anxious about their choice of fitness attire bodybuilding personal trainer online.

The root of this feeling appeared to stem from the fear of being judged by others. 55% admitted feeling looked down upon for not appearing “fit enough”, and many even expressed feeling anxious about their choice of fitness attire.

Society Defines Self-Image

How many of our clients engage in physical exercise due to excessive media messages promising a road to changing one’s size, shape, and weight? This notion negates any possibility of cultivating acceptance and a positive sense of self.

While results-driven goals propel us toward self-improvement, at what point does this take a negative and obsessive turn? This occurs at the juncture of comparison to other athletes, and the lack of understanding that such a mindset can turn a positive experience into a destructive, spiraling tailspin.

Life Outside The Gym

It has been pointed out to me, and demonstrated many times, that what occurs during a training session has less of an impact upon results than lifestyle habits. We can only be held accountable for providing knowledge, guidance, support, encouragement, safety, and ever-changing workouts to challenge our clients…all in a 55-minute session.

What occurs when the client is not with us? Helping him/her acknowledge life patterns that may intercept or even sabotage gym goals can register as the “Aha!” moment that had never been considered.

Role Models?

A prime example of this is the client who seeks out and compares herself to an unrealistic role model. Such clients will, for example, point out a woman at the gym who is preparing for a bodybuilding or bikini/physique competition.

There is a vast difference in the lifestyles and habits of these two individuals, a point that is lost on most female clients. Your client may consider herself dedicated to her workouts and eating a clean diet, and she is probably accurate.

The competitor, on the other hand, is training and eating in a very different manner.  The lifestyle restrictions that one must endure during competition preparation are extreme.

By helping your client understand that her habits outside the gym differ greatly from a stage-bound woman, and pointing out what she is able to embrace and enjoy as part of her time away from the gym (such as enjoying a glass of wine or occasionally going out for pizza) may help her gain some realistic perspective.

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