'I’m a personal trainer. Here are 5 things I say to clients on repeat.'

I’ve worked in the fitness industry since 2005 and been a consumer of fitness since the 90s. In that time I’ve observed tens of thousands of bodies move in various ways, collected double digits worth of qualifications and have participated in almost one of everything the industry has to offer. 

This time and experience has resulted in a little black book of information, instructions and wisdom that I can draw from at any given moment. 

Watch: The horoscopes working out. Post continues after video. 

Video via Mamamia.

However, after 17 years in the industry, I’ve noticed I’m repeatedly turning to the same dog-eared, stained (don’t ask) pages in my little black book –  and it doesn’t look like this is going to change anytime soon.

So I thought I’d save you (and me) the trouble and definitively share with you the five things I say to clients on repeat:

"Knees over toes."

No word of a lie, the day this instruction doesn’t pass my lips is the day I am retired on a yacht in Monaco. "Knees over toes" is a cue for ensuring your knees follow the direction of your toes when you perform a squat. 

"Shoulders down."

We are a nation of petrified bodies who wear our shoulders as ear accessories. The above cue in the gym is a close second to "knees over toes" and goes some ways to putting you in a better position when executing almost every exercise ever. 

"Just turn up."

"Just turn up" [to the gym] is my most common response to the all-too-common precursor "I just couldn’t make myself". 

Quite frankly the habit of turning up to the gym consistently and doing something far outweighs turning up to the gym sometimes and smashing yourself. 


So on those days you simply cannot fathom the prospect of exercising, "just turn up" and do what you can manage on that day (even if it’s not your usual program). Maybe it’s a walk on the treadmill listening to your favourite podcast. Perhaps you can manage half a group fitness class. Or even turn up to the gym simply to stretch in an effort to maintain the habit.

"Go see a [insert actual qualified professional here]."

Unless a PT has additional qualifications, we cannot rightfully dispense nutrition information beyond the Healthy Eating Pyramid, physiotherapy protocols (no, I don’t know what’s wrong with your shoulder) or any other medical advice that normally requires... you know... an actual qualification. This is not to say PTs can’t have an opinion on said fields, just be wary and know whether you’re receiving qualified advice or "bro-science".

"No. This exercise won’t make you 'big'."

Although over the years I’ve incorporated this follow up question: "What do you mean by big?" Do you mean Incredible Hulk big? If that’s the case then, "No. This exercise won’t make you big". 

Image: Supplied.

In fact, increasing your muscle size even by a little bit takes a specific sustained training regime, not 60 seconds worth of bicep curls twice a week as part of a varied exercise routine.  

What are you sick of hearing us say? PT comrades, have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments below.

Marie has been a fitness industry professional since 2005 and currently owns 12RND Fitness in Canberra. She is a qualified Personal Trainer, Les Mills group fitness instructor, CrossFit coach, and Pilates teacher. For more from Marie, follow her on  Instagram.

Feature Image: Supplied/Mamamia.

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