Big Brother Is Watching You

Training has taught me a lot when it comes to understanding the art, science, and business of what I do. Enough that evolving into mentoring and educating is fueled by a lot of lessons, insights, and for some of the trainers that I work with on a more personal level...rants. I have mentioned this in previous writings and I do not hide from it like I used to but I do train out of a big box facility. What I can say about it is that it is big enough and systemized like a big box concept but at the same time very personal trainer oriented and small enough that you can get your voice heard if you have something to say.

For that reason, one of the big take home points that I try to nail down with the trainers that I do work with is professionalism and more importantly the idea that as long as you are in the gym you are always and always will be under the microscope.

I had recently asked some of my clients if they were willing to share their experiences that they have had working with me and as you can see I have started to post them onto my blog. One that I have yet to share but feel compelled to do so after spending the weekend with some of the best professionals in the business. This one came from someone that I have spent the past number of years working with. Great client, great friend, and great professional. Not to mention someone who has taught me more about being a fitness professional than I could ever express. He was kind enough to share his experiences but gave me something more off the record that has really hit home for me.

Hey Jeff,

Thanks for asking me to compose this. It is important for people to hear how they impact others. It is a testimonial as well as a "Jeff is a real professional" blurb. Hope that is OK.

Things I did not say in the testimonial, but need to be said:

a) thanks for not chewing gum (at least that I ever noticed!)
b) thanks for always coming to work on time
c) thanks for not checking your phone and/or texting while I worked out
d) thanks for not wandering off to talk to other trainers and or clients while I worked out (this is why I will rarely interrupt you when you are with someone)
e) thanks for not going to the front desk or taking the phone call when you're called over the PA system
f) thanks for being uber flexible with times of when you would work
g) thanks for having the where-with-all to read me by the greeting handshake and question
h) thanks for not yawning at 6:00 in the morning so I could actually see it (although we ALL yawn at that time of day)
i) thanks for not playing with your lacrosse ball or some other thing while I worked out
j) thanks for not looking at yourself in the mirror and/or the TV's more than at what I was doing
k) thanks for not cheaping out and giving me a circuit of 4 or 5 things to rotate through for the majority of a workout (OK for groups or boot camp but not for 1 on 1 or with a partner) while you just stand around giving zero feedback.
l) thanks for not spending untold workout time just standing and talking - I appreciate you trust I can lift a weight and listen/talk at the same time.

Yup my good man, you and perhaps one or two others meet the "##### standard" of trainer professional excellence as outlined in the testimonial and the 12 points above. Get your sorry ass into the education and professional standard end of the business so ######## trainers (or wherever you end up working) gets the reputation of being heads and shoulders above the plethora of gyms out there. The market is crowded, trainers by nature are all super nice guys (at least in my experience), but excellence is a requirement if quality of service and profit are to increase.


I didn't want to share this as a stroke of my professionalism (although it does pat me on the back nicely so why not) but more importantly than that it taught me how observed we really are while in the trenches. More importantly in my eyes is the last sentence of this letter as it affects myself and every single one of my colleagues.

I do have my frustrations working under the big box stigma because I see big box behavior day in and day out. At the same time however I really do like where I work, I do work with people who truly care about what they are doing and as long as I am under this platform I will do my best to change this stigma.

For the colleagues of mine that I do work with who may be reading this whether it be trainers or even management I think that we're in a position to collectively change the personal training model that we are under. One of our people just showed us this in the letter above exactly how important this really is and it goes well beyond the gym floor.

Let's Grab The Bull By The Horns

Big brother is watching in all aspects of our business so we best give him something worth tuning into.