Male or Female Trainers – Who Would You Rather Have Train YOU?
This is a question I have to ask a lot of potential clients. Every new member at our gym gets a free personal training session, and when setting up these appointments, I often ask, “Do you prefer a male or female trainer?” Now, a lot of people will say they don’t care either because they really don’t or because they’re afraid of offending me with their answer. But I often wonder, who do people really want training them? And what’s the reasoning?
Personally, I have only had male trainers. You would think feminist me would be all about having a female trainer, but I just wasn’t. Mostly because guys were the ones who approached me, but also because that’s what I asked for when it came time to actually buy training. It’s not that I don’t think a female trainer could kick my ass, because I know from my own training that this simply isn’t true. In fact, I’ve nearly made guys puke during my workouts before (so there!). But honestly, I think my choice stemmed from my own insecurities. The female trainers at the gym by my apartment all seemed so girly and just teeny. Thanks to being a sorostitute for three years, I was worried that they would all be sizing me up while we trained, as women often do with one another (catty bitches, right?). So I went with guy trainers because I didn’t care about being sweaty and gross in front of them. They can judge me all they want, but they can’t really compare my body to their own, so I don’t really care.
Other women feel the total opposite. My friend Kate said that she wanted a female trainer at first because of her insecurities. When she started with a male trainer, she said she always tried to “get dressed” to go to the gym, but then she learned it was more about the sweat and the hard work, and stopped caring what she looked like while she was working toward her goal. And I’ve talked to a lot of women who feel this way. They don’t mind dripping and panting in front of other women, but working out with a male trainer makes them nervous. I’ve also heard that women like working out with other women because they can relate. Duh, I didn’t even think of this one, even though most of my female clients talk to me about their lives every single day. I get it that stress does a number on you and your goals. I get it that we can’t drop five pounds as easily as the guys. I get it that sometimes you need a little chocolate and that there are certain days when you will be crankier than others. I get it.
With guys, the situation can be a little different. Boys are gross to begin with (if there are any male readers, feel free to defend yourselves in the comments section), so I doubt they worry too much about sweating a lot during their workouts. However, some men are a little iffy about sweating that much in front of cute girls who are telling them what to do. I’ve even heard from one or two male gym members that they’re worried that if a woman trainer is touching them (for instructional purposes, obvi) and ordering them around like a drill sergeant that they’ll “get turned on.” (I had no idea how to react to that comment.) Anyway, some guys choose male trainers because those are simply things they don’t want to fret over.
The issue of competence is something else entirely. I think, at times, both men and women think that female trainers won’t be as tough or can’t possibly know what they’re doing. I’m going to be biased for a second and tell you that, we do, in fact, know our stuff. We had to get certified just like the guy trainers, and we do just as much strength training as they do. Just because we can’t lift as much as some guys, this does not mean that we can’t put you through the workout of your life. [Girl Power rant over.] Some guys will say they want a guy because they don’t think a girl will be able to help them bulk up. Other male clients will say they wouldn’t mind a female trainer because they don’t mind if someone a little prettier watches them sweat, and they feel like they might even work a little hard to impress their trainers.
In the end, there’s no general answer across the board. I guess it all depends on personal preferences, and it might not even be gender-based, but actually just whether or not your personalities mesh.
What do YOU think? Would you rather hire a female or male trainer? Why? Does it matter to you, or you just need to make sure you have a trainer with whom you get along and who motivates you the right way? Spill!