A View On Personal Training

24 Jul No Comments Rolandas Personal Training

Fake, is the word for present day big chains of fitness centers and many personal trainers. There are posters, online pictures, flyers all over the place with big cheesy smiles, fancy fitness gear and shiny 2kg dumbbells… “Elite”, “Best in London”…

How many serious faces with sweat pouring down and big, rusty, body crushing barbell have you seen advertising real, tough training?

Basically, it’s like shopping at a supermarket – you go down the shop surrounded by nice, colorful packages that are harshly competing for your attention before you even have a closer look at it. The goal is one and only – attract customer in any way, anything goes. This commercial environment turns something that’s suppose to be serious, tough and challenging into some ridiculous circus with personal trainers as clowns.

London Personal Trainers

London personal trainers… – are you serious!!?

“Elite” London personal trainers…

Here’s an example of how some people get into personal training.

One of the leading chains of fitness centers have an interesting way of employing their personal trainers – you don’t have to have any experience in training, you don’t have to know anything about training, you don’t have to look anything like you’ve been training and frankly, you don’t have to have anything to do with training – all the tests, tasks to choose from candidates are set up to judge communication skills, how outgoing and enthusiastic about nothing you are and… that’s it.

After you get employed for your “exceptional” personality, you go through 2-3 months personal training course and, according to the advertisements, join the “elite personal trainer team” to deliver the “best, top quality personal training” service… Then an overweight or skinny personal trainer walks around the gym with zero experience but with “the whole lot of knowledge” gathered during the couple months training course…

Even though different brand gym chains have a little different personal trainer selection systems, the one above illustrates quite well what it is all about – put a personal trainer t-shirt on a naturally talented salesman and you’ll get a highly entertaining clown whose job is to ensure cash flow to the shiny and cheesy £3.8 billion fitness industry.

Not only market climate dictating major gym chains are responsible for the army of so called personal trainers. There is a training course here and a course over there, only have a look for it and you’ll find a variety of personal training courses offering in 3 months or if you don’t have couple grand then a bit longer to make you a professional personal trainer who will be an expert in all kind of training. Criteria to join a course and become a specialist – have £2000. It’s that simple…

REP’s (Register of Exercise Professional’s)…

Few years ago unbelievably noble initiative has been demonstrated by the organization called Register of Exercise Professionals (skip to the next paragraph if you haven’t heard about them, you won’t miss much) to create a register of all fitness professionals in UK – personal trainers, gym instructors, group exercise trainers etc. for people to be able to check on trainers if they’re registered and match the particular standard. Great service to the society! Who are those thoughtful enthusiasts so bothered about the quality of the service people get from trainers? Just to say thank you…

What do you know, it appears that the organization is not funded by government and basically it is a private business established like all businesses to make profit. For trainer to register it costs, to stay registered you have to keep paying yearly and buy a number of expensive, repetitive courses that normally are organized by Register of Exercise Professionals or have something to do with them. So a bunch of people who have already paid £2000 to call themselves – personal trainer, gym instructor etc. – still are not let go on their way, there is a mechanism created to rip them off on a regular basis further on.

At the end of the day any trainer must have an official qualification to have the legal right to train his/her clients. Every personal trainer is more than happy show certificates, diplomas on demand (value of some qualifications is another matter). The question – what else does the fully qualified, experienced personal trainer has to prove?

What training for personal training?

Let’s leave the backstage of fitness industry and talk about personal training as a training. What will you see if you look deeper into what there is under a personal trainer stereotype – enthusiastic, young person running up the hill together with a client?

Any kind of training is a sport. There are different sports that involve different fitness components when being performed – power, strength, muscle endurance, cardiovascular stamina, flexibility, agility, coordination, core stability etc. Training for each individual sport will require different training to develop the needed qualities. What is the most frequent need, goal for general population? – The absolute majority want to lose weight, fat, some men want to built a little bit of muscle, often to get fitter is mentioned but when broken down to what it means normally it’s the same – lose weight, fat, tone up to look and feel better.

Now let’s see what sports work on exactly those goals.

Boxing, other martial arts, running, cycling, basketball, football, volleyball – all sports have their specific tasks, objectives requiring particular fitness aspects and skills to perform well but does any of them have the prime and only goal to develop trainee’s physique – NO! Training those sports and getting some body changes is more of a side effect from training designed to achieve other goals, hence it’s not specific to weight loss or other physique changes.

The only sport that DOES have the sole purpose of improving the looks of a body (fat reduction, lean tissue development, improvement of body symmetry and proportions) is… Bodybuilding!

Pursuing the ideal physique also inevitably improves power, strength, muscle endurance, core stability and even some cardiovascular stamina, flexibility, coordination. Ironically, bodybuilding has been mocked by many popular UK personal trainers for a good couple of decades now. Steroid abuse in professional bodybuilding doesn’t help its popularity among general population and is the main (only?) reason for a negative public opinion about it. If you take that fault away from it you will get natural bodybuilding.

Without steroids there are strict genetic limits ensuring the muscularity doesn’t go over the top, in fact that’s the last thing to worry about as it takes fanatic, hard work to reach the genetic potential (women can read more about muscle and weight training benefits to weight loss here).

So for those who have seen a one sided TV program about the freaks sport – bodybuilding or have read a random book about 10 best ways to fat loss, maybe done an expensive 3 months personal training course to become an expert of every training – natural bodybuilding is the specific sport with its long history, extremely deep pool of knowledge about specialized training and dieting methods, leading to the most efficient ways of cutting fat down and shaping body, developing, maintaining lean muscle tissue with no negative consequences. Love it or hate it…

For serious gym work contact Rolandas, formerly east London currently online personal trainer, the physique transformation specialist, 2011 British natural bodybuilding vice champion.


Rolandas Malinauskas is online personal trainer with 12 years personal training experience in east London and decorated natural bodybuilder – Natural Physique Association (NPA) Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men’s Lightweight Champion, NPA Mike Williams Classic 2011 Men's Overall Vice-champion and NPA British Championship 2011 Men’s Lightweight Vice-champion. Rolandas has been dedicated to natural bodybuilding for over 18 years now. 3 out of 12 years of personal training career Rolandas has been consulting on one of the biggest schemes of Exercise on GP Referral in London (Islington), allowing him to treat lower back, knee pain, cardiovascular problems, arthritis etc.