21 Mar Chicago Tribune – Personal Trainers Put Client Needs First
When David Barton, founder and CEO of David Barton Gym, opened his first facility, he wanted to make going to work out was an elegant, meaningful and productive experience. He believes that any person can achieve the body that they want.
He now has gyms in Chicago, New York City, Miami, Seattle and Los Angeles. To reach his vision in his original and each subsequent gym and to help the clients reach their visions of themselves, he requires specific qualities in the personal trainers that he hires.
“I look for qualities like empathy,” Barton says. “Because they have to get inside their clients heads and body and really feel what they are going through so they know exactly the degree of intensity that someone is working.”
He also looks for trainers who are willing to learn new things, which means they should be willing to stay on top of scientific research about effective fitness methods.
Terrence Walcott has been a trainer for seven years at David Barton Gym. Walcott says he has learned about biomechanics, which helps him understand exactly what makes a person’s body get bigger, smaller, gain muscle and lose fat. He says his challenge as a trainer is to improve someone’s health and fitness.
“A trainer’s job is to change the world one body at a time,” Walcott says.
On a normal day, he works from early in the morning into the evening training individuals ranging in age from 17 to 78.
“Everyone has their own plan,” Walcott says. “It is all based on the same science.”
Walcott’s favorite part of the job is when his clients come in and tell him about their success outside the gym. Often his clients will become discouraged because he continually changes their program to ensure that it is challenging. Because of this, clients sometimes feel as if they are not improving, he says.
“When someone comes in and says ‘I played with my grandson all day and my quads didn’t get tired when I was squatting,’ I get proud when the science I believe in proves to be correct,” Walcott says.
Walcott says that people who are interested in becoming a personal trainer should be sure they can handle long hours. They should also be confident that they’re getting into personal training because they want to help people.
Barton says that when hiring a trainer, if he senses that the person is only into training for the money or as a stopover career, he will not make the hire.
“The trainers who we hire are career trainers,” Barton says. “They are into training because they want to be trainers. Every one of them is in this because they want to change peoples’ bodies and change their lives.”