Official Website of Sarah E. Rippel, BS, CPT, FMS

-The Experience-

Do they look like they're bored?

Yesterday, I was inspired by a note written by Tyler English (of Tyler English Fitness & Farmington Valley Fitness Boot Camp) on his Facebook page. He titled it “What Type of Experience Are You Leaving Your Clients With?” In a nutshell, his stance was that many fitness professionals get so caught up in the “my training style is better than yours,” and “this one fitness tool outdoes all the rest” ongoing argument baloney that they lose sight of what is truly important – their CLIENTS.

“Give your clients what they want and what they need! Stop worrying about what training methodology works best, why that person is wrong, why you don’t agree with this or that and start focusing more on what’s in front of you!”


Thank you, Tyler! More of us need to speak out about this!

Personally, I have moved away from interacting with many other fitness professionals. I do have my core group of amazing people with whom I love to exchange ideas and “soapbox” with, but I feel there are too many trainers/coaches out there who think they know everything. They spend so much time trying to prove to the masses that they are so smart and know exactly how to do things that they don’t seem human. I mean, they obviously work with clients, but they never seem to bring to light their success stories or client experiences. All they seem to care about is regurgitating scientific principles, training tips, and continually puffing up their own egos.

Do their clients actually ENJOY training with them?

I seriously wonder if they do. I mean, if you are so busy with trying to prove that you are good at what you do, without ever really giving back to those who are the REASON you are able to do what you’re so good at doing…what does that make you?

In my eyes? Lame.

Who wants to work with a trainer who has placed themselves up on a pedestal, making themselves appear to be a training god amongst a sea of incompetent others?

Yes, I do feel there are many out there who flat-out stink as trainers because they don’t have the skills and experience…but they have personality, which is one thing most of these “self-propelled onto a pedestal” standers seriously lack. Yes, I know that personality ain’t gonna cut the mustard alone in this profession. Duh. 🙂

My main point? Like Tyler, I feel there is too much negative energy flowing about because too many fitness pros are caught up in trying to prove they are the best. I feel this detracts from the client experience. I feel they have lost sight of what allows them to flex their expertise in the first place, their clients. I mean, without clients you wouldn’t be able to work as a fitness professional.

Put yourself in your clients’ shoes. Take a few minutes to check out and think about what you are offering them. Are you giving them the total package or are you so worried about coming across as an expert that you’re out of touch with your clients? Are you so focused on over-educating them that they are bored to tears? Are you spending more of each training session talking their ears off and less actually having them MOVE?

Here I'm informing the group that we WILL be laughing a lot in the upcoming hour!

We have a gazillion conflicting viewpoints in this industry and always will. I don’t care if you do CrossFit, are a kettlebell purist, don’t believe in endurance exercise, think that old school lifting is the only way to go, or are an over-zealous functional training junkie. ALL OF IT IS GOOD! There is no one right way of doing things! By restricting your viewpoint and throwing out the others, you are doing a disservice to your clients.

I have always said that I am proud to not refer to myself as an “expert.” Yes, there are some who would call me an expert because I am good at what I do, but I do not like the label. I feel it is just plain cheesy and pompous. Also, when you look into what many of the “experts” preach, they are dead-set on their way of doing things. They are quick to dismiss the ideas of others and God forbid you question their methods. Do ya really think I want to be lumped into a group of people like that? No thanks.

Give your clients the best training experience of their lives, day after day. This doesn’t just mean providing top-notch training that delivers results…this also means making it FUN and memorable. Most people have way too much stress in their daily lives. The last thing they need is to be placed in a training environment that is restrictive. As adults, we have a ton of responsibilities and need to let our hair down on a daily basis! It’s healthy! Play brings us back to our younger years…back when we didn’t view movement as “exercise” and as something to dread. We need to be allowed to be grown-up kids now and then!



7 responses

  1. Amen! Great article and SO true!


    February 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    • Thank you, Ryan!
      High five! 🙂
      Keep doin’ your thang – I LOVE your blog! How do I subscribe?
      Have a great Sunday and an awesome week with clients!!!!
      Yours in Health,

      February 27, 2011 at 2:04 pm

      • Wooohoo! yes yes yes and yes!! awesome stuff…I forgot how much alike we
        hope to catch up soon..

        April 11, 2011 at 4:36 am

        • Yay!!! Glad you like! And yes, been a long time…catching up would be good!

          June 14, 2011 at 5:44 am

  2. Well said! You and I are always on the same page. I also just quietly do my thing trying to provide the best experience for my clients. Sometimes trainers get caught up in the “training” and they forget about making it an experience to remember day after day. I think that is why I have clients that have trained with me 3,4 5 and even 6 days a week for 5 years or more. It isn’t always about the training. Yes we need to provide safe and effective strength training and there are technical aspects that we need to know. But, our clients don’t really care about that.

    They have their goals, they need some down time from life’s stressors and yes they want to have fun.

    I try to look at my studio as a sanctuary for that hour. Clients can come in, get strong and fit, have fun and put away the worries of their lives for a short period of time. That at times is the biggest plus = it isn’t always about the training!

    Keep it comin……

    April 14, 2011 at 5:51 am

  3. Tom Godwin

    Hi Sarah,

    The bootcamps are looking awesome, hope all is well with you!


    April 23, 2011 at 11:39 am

    • Thank you, Tom!!!

      June 14, 2011 at 5:43 am

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