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Confessions of a Personal Trainer – “I touched a female client intimately”

December 30, 2011

I don’t know why it is that people open up to me. I like to believe it has something to do with the rapport skills I’ve worked for years to develop, but I think there’s something else, something innate. There’s something I send out unconsciously that says, “tell me about it,” even when I haven’t any interest or desire in hearing the raw details of personal stories.

My guess is, most of the personal trainers reading this have had similar experiences.
Perhaps it’s one of the traits that make up the inner workings of the personal trainer. We have a deep empathy, an uncommon caring, and it shows in our eyes, in our mannerisms, and in the way we carry ourselves. I’d daresay there isn’t a personal trainer alive who doesn’t know intimate secrets about at least a few of his or her clients.

I must admit, even with the obvious opportunities that are bound to emerge when a sweaty body moves at the direction of a lean, fit, attractive trainer, I remain stunned by the number of personal trainers who have shared stories with me of sexcapades with their married clients, and the adventures cross the gender gap. Male personal trainers became overtly intimate with female clients, and female trainers found themselves “falling” for their married male clients. Some of the confessions I was on the receiving end of came across as boastful, but others came with deep remorse. I personally know more than 20 specific incidents of broken marriages due to affairs with personal trainers. That may not sound like a very big number, but I’m talking only about specific incidences I’ve been a single degree of separation away from. Add in the stories I’ve heard and we have hundreds of incidents. Add in the celeb stories of broken marriages due to affairs with personal trainers and it begins to appear this is epidemic.

Have I touched female clients intimately? Yes, I have, but I’ve never crossed the line. “Touch” is a sort of power personal trainers are granted. We can touch our clients behind their legs to help them understand how to isolate and contract the hamstrings. We can place our hands under their low backs as they lie down, and we can feel their abdominal walls as they rotate the pelvis upward and downward in core contractions. If a stranger, a mailman, or a police officer walked up and touched your clients in that same way, you better bet there’d be cries of sexual harassment, but personal trainers (like doctors) have a pass. The pass isn’t permission to excite sexual triggers, but rather a trust that the touch is non-threateningly valuable to the client’s health, fitness, and betterment. It’s when that pass is abused, when professional barriers are allowed to fall, or when personal trainers fail to maintain personal distance, even while professional intimacy evolves, that the blurred lines lead to poor judgment and bad decision making.

Let’s put things in perspective. What do we know?

1. Personal trainers can enter what might be considered personal space when training their clients

2. Closeness evokes intimacy, and intimacy can take one of several paths

3. Personal trainers, in order to inspire and motivate, must at times take a leadership role, a role of directive power

Sometimes a sense of power provides advantage, but with power sometimes comes misuse, and I assert that most of the personal trainer / client transgressions could be chalked up to misuse of power. That doesn’t make sex-with-client purely a trainer crime, as there are two parties involved, but it does suggest that a recognition of the power that creates attraction and bonding can be channeled toward a greater outcome.

In 2009 I met with a revered psychologist with a very specific intention. I wanted to understand, not only how to create a better bond with clients for enhanced adherence, but I wanted to know why so many people had such reverence for the now-extinct “old time family doctor,” and we spent hours working to understand the implications and power of intimacy.

The old-time-doc was intimately familiar with the lives of his patients, but wasn’t a sexual force. There was a respect, a connection , extreme trust, and a purely platonic intimacy. If we can recognize what factors led to that once-present reverence for a medical practitioner, we can, within our own scope of practice, attract the same professional relationships, but first we have to understand the boundary between professional intimacy and the other kind.

Understanding the replicable pieces of the professional rapport puzzle has empowered me to build a bond with clients that goes beyond “thanks you changed my body and my life,” and most personal trainers would be thrilled to reach that enviable pinnacle. With the application of some vital strategies, some modeled behaviors and a willingness to expand the assessment process, you become the health care guide, a revered expert who provides empowerment for anyone seeking not only aesthetic change, but also health improvement.

I’m going to teach personal trainer how to move to a new pedestal, and I can guarantee my ASPIRE program will be the most powerful career booster for any personal trainer living and working in the year 2012. I’ll show you the secrets of adherence. I’ll shock you with the power you have to change mindset in yourself and others. I’ll take you step by step through unconventional exercise protocols and demonstrate how they can “fix” hormonal imbalances, biochemical abnormalities, and lifestyle-induced disease.

This isn’t anything you’ve heard before. I guarantee it. It evolved out of intense study with psychologists, neurologists, and innovative medical practitioners who were willing to explore, to share, and to test implications of research, research that was all but buried because it failed to support the mission of the pharmaceutical giants.

I’ll teach you about creating intimacy, at a professional level, giving you the power of “the one-way power flow,” a condition where you literally command your clients and they happily obey.

If you haven’t yet registered for ASPIRE, it’s ready to take you to all the places you dreamed of when you considered earning a living as a fitness professional. It’s the future of the personal training field, and at some level, the future of the American medical system. ASPIRE will teach you to empower, to connect, to prosper, and to grow, and best of all, if you register now, it’s shockingly affordable.

A $6400 program for $165 a month (for four months with a $90 deposit). Too good to be true? Nope. It’s true. ASPIRE is real. Join us. Initiate change. Register NOW!

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 31, 2011 11:31 am

    I love this article!

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