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Forums » Smalltalk » AMA Gym Manager, Student and Vol. First Responder

Hi everyone,

So i'm in my twenties, work as a gym manager/fitness instructor mostly with the office/admin side of things versus engagement for a facility that services over 900 members in our area. I'm also completing my undergraduate degree which is a bachelor's in medical science and applying for a fast-track nursing (RN) program (wish me luck). I do love volunteering and engaging with the community as well, i'm currently a medical first responder and community emergency task force member.

Probably the weirdest thing for me right now is being in a phase of life that feels like an abrupt change from youth into adulthood, I can certainly say the way I think, do, and feel about things has changed mostly for the better.
Eyy there! Fellow experiencer of the whole 'abrupt change from youth into adulthood' here- I defo know what that feels like. Gotta say, though, you already have an admirable list going, so good on you! Are any of the things that you're currently doing on the list of the things you wanted to be when you grew up, when you were a kid? If not, what motivated you to head down the path of gym instructor and the medical world?
Tyranoth Topic Starter

In all honesty I was a pretty unhealthy kid, didn't play sport all through highschool despite being decent when I did that's sort of what got the fitness thing started and it actually went pretty well, I got into the powerlifting circuit in my area and found some great folks to help along the way.

As for why medicine and fitness, I think it allows you in a very intimate way to connect and empathize with people's vulnerabilities and their true "self". I have a lot of social inertia in general and I never saw myself in such a role when I was younger but it really is so beautiful, you're kind of there for people.

I think people really love dependable, emotionally available and empathic men and when you get to play that big brother/father figure role for people it's very special, it's no longer a power dynamic but more a "hey I want you to get better and I'm here for you".

Doing some authentic introspection I just realized I genuinely like being a kind, helpful individual and it's sort of an important motivation for me as I move through life, youth tends to be a sort of phase where we're kind of illusioned being in the prime of physical capacity and probably beauty but what does it truly mean to be a man and how do you self actualize.

I'd like to see myself become a pillar of hope and support for people who've been dealt some rough cards, and this benevolence and beneficence is so inherent to us as human beings and why we thrive as a species, the only true wars we wage are with our own demons.

Warhammer kind of helped with that, the idea that in a grimdark universe mankind's ambition towards a brighter better future keeps us going. The world today is kind of messy and selfishness is in vogue, kindness is seen as self deprecation, but in a rage against the dying light kind of way I want to be there for what is objectively good.

And helping someone with their health and fitness is objectively good because no narrative can paint those as bad things.
Kim Site Admin

When you say fitness instructor -- is this like personal training, or classes? If classes, what kind?
Tyranoth Topic Starter

My experience is related mostly to personal training particularly working with older clients to add more activity and functionality as they get older to counteract sarcopenia induced by aging and a sedentary lifestyle. Moving is quite literally medicine, I kind of like it since the clients all had varying experiences and stories and most were genuinely thankful for being helped into a good fitness routine but it's incredible to see folks going at it in their 80s and 90s, I gradually transitioned to admin and management e.g. managing finances, inventory, equipment orders, public relations etc.

I never ran classes but had a lot of respect for people that do, in our small town there wasn't a big enough demand so they'd typically just run through the summer. I think running a class takes a lot of crowd control and energy though, I personally just like working at a more personal, engaged and slower pace with clients to incorporate fitness routines into their schedules as a lifestyle change.
Kim Site Admin

You mentioned feeling like you were maturing - has this impacted the way you do personal training too?
Tyranoth Topic Starter

Very much so, you grow out of the gym bro mindset and get into the coach mindset, sometimes I have half hour long conversations about structuring and programming workouts, managing workouts and giving people a real picture of what results look like.

When you think of fitness as less of a look and more of a wellness paradigm I find it helps, gets rid of the hesitation and makes the experience approachable overall.
Kim Site Admin

Do you think there's a common piece of advice that trainers give that is more harmful to your clients than helpful?
Marcus Leocadus (played by Tyranoth) Topic Starter

I think its a difficult thing to do to be able to get into someones mindset, the human psyche is a very complex amalgam built over years, borrowing from many influences and being shaped by many experiences not only that but phenotypic factors like someones body structure, their physiological capacities and structure can contribute heavily to the sort of exercises they are able to perform. I remember one of our clients, a larger gentleman quit because a colleague of mine would constantly expose them to exercises that a large framed individual is simply not comfortable doing nor do they reap a significant benefit, the one size fits all approach never works in fitness and you do have to tailor it to every single client and you need to be equipped with sufficient knowledge to be able to accomodate them.

A great coach is defined by what they are able to do for other people and not what they have done for themselves, case in point being mark rippetoe who doesn't ring a bell as a champion athlete but is one of the GOAT's of the strength training coach realm. I think the worst thing a trainer can do is put someone on a generic plan without engaging with them for their needs, you're not just there to watch the other person and bark orders at them while occasionally correcting their movements, its a circus animal level of cruel and it detracts people from enjoying the experience which will invariably sabotage the entire effort at one point or the other. Rather than attempt to provide the motivation while expecting people to do the work for themselves, I think a better approach is to cultivate a spirit of self-motivation in the person and do the work with them.

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