Responsibilities as a Personal Trainer
As personal trainers, it’s our job to educate, motivate and inspire our clients into being a better version of themself. We help clients who want to change their body and ultimately change their life for the better. It’s our job to show them the ropes and guide them through their fitness journey.
Typically you’ll hear about clients coming in and bragging about how often they work out and how many calories they’ve burned in their workout. Maybe they’ll come in and show you their diet for the week expecting you to be proud and praise them. However where is the line where this becomes extremely unhealthy?
It’s frightening at times when you’ve got a new client who come in and show you how much they’ve starved themselves the past week. You can actually see patterns in people’s eating patterns. I.e they’ve starved themselves all day followed by a binge at night.
When exactly do we intervene? How do we intervene? It’s our job to cheerlead them through every pound lost. Client’s who are extremely motivated will be constantly learning about fitness or following fitness models on Instagram for motivation. The thing is the fitness industry glorifies / makes some eating disorder behaviours feel normal.
Are some of these influencers actually helping people develop an easting disorder? Honestly, I think they are unintentionally. They’ve no idea how easily some people can be influenced and misconstrue their advice online.
It is our job as Personal Trainers who watch out for these behaviours and nip them in the bud right away. However the problem is personal trainers don’t tend to receive any training to help notice these behaviours never mind advise and help clients.
We interact with clients at least once a week, sometimes as much as three times a week. It is your responsibility as a Personal Trainer to watch out for your clients health. You are in a unique position to help your clients, don’t throw that away.
Below you will find a summary of the most common eating disorders and how you can watch out for them.
Clients with anorexia will present a fear of gaining weight causing them to restrict their food intake. This is detrimental to their health. Anorexia should not be determined by someones size, someone who is technically obese could have anorexia.
Some physical signs are, extreme fatigue, dramatic weight loss, denial of hunger, fear of gaining weight, sudden lack of emotion and depressed moods.
Some examples of language used could be something like “I wish I was as thin as you” or “I’ll do anything to get to that size”.
People with Bulimia Nervosa will binge on food and then proceed to compensate for that by behaviour that minimises the impact of the binge. Common behaviours / signs are fatigue, dehydration, extreme fluid intake, depression, anxiety, low self esteem, extreme fear of gaining weight or some form of expression of dissatisfaction with their appearance.
Read more about bulimia here:- https://www.newbridge-health.org.uk/the-newbridge-treatment-model/outpatients/bulimia/
Obviously you’re not able to notice all of these signs but I just want you to be aware of them. In the next blog I’ll discuss how to deal with the situation if you think a client is developing bad behaviours.