The clients that paid me to do nothing!
Today’s blog takes a look at two stories that are both strange, but funny though, a case of why on earth would someone pay a personal trainer, then not even use them. Doesn’t make sense really, but then again, maybe it’s not supposed to.
One thing about being a personal trainer is you have to give the client what they want, even if what they want is a total waste of their money and your time. You know the old saying “The customer is always right.” even when they’re wrong it seems, which can be quite often.
A classic example of a client having more money than they know what to do with was Tara who requested the 8pm time slot, as this time was free, I gave it her. She claimed she just wanted to tone up and improve her overall fitness. As she claimed she was already in shape I expected a pretty easy training session, I didn’t quite expect it to be this easy though.
She’s paying me while she watches TV!
As we warmed up on the treadmill, she asked would it be ok to change the channel on the TV as her favorite program was on. No problem, as there was never anyone else in the gym at this time, I changed it over for her. Whatever it takes to make them feel more comfortable, as it turned out Tara got very comfortable, actually, to the point of not doing anything at all!
After 5 minutes I asked her if she was ready to really start the session, her reply amazed me as she said, “No I’m fine, you go ahead and workout if you want, I want to watch my program.” I wasn’t quite sure if she was joking or not to start with, so I just laughed, but she was very serious.
So basically, she’s paying good money for me to work out while she walks very slowly on the treadmill watching her favorite program on TV, she even used to bring coffee so she could relax and enjoy her show! She would walk very slowly for a few minutes then stop completely to stand on the treadmill and watch her show!
After several weeks her favorite program had come to the end of its current season and so did Tara, she quit, and then returned a few months later for the next season. It was the same thing again; her only interest was in watching TV.
Not that I was complaining, but out of interest I asked her why she couldn’t do this at home, she said she didn’t have a treadmill at home, I pointed out the fact it would have been way cheaper for her to buy a treadmill than keep paying me full price for nothing. She said “Oh, that’s ok, I like working out with you.” that made me laugh as she never did a single thing with me. She also said the atmosphere in the gym was more productive than at home! Productive for what? How much motivation does someone need to do absolutely nothing?
Of course, she never did get any fitter, and considering she wasn’t paying me for that reason it’s hardly surprising really! But she did get to watch her favorite TV program and I got paid for doing nothing. Both client and trainer were quite content with this unusual arrangement.
Another client paying me for nothing!
Yet another generous client who paid for my services but never used them like he should have done was a guy named Allan, he came to me wanting to improve his endurance as he was a long-distance runner. Allan was very lean and in very good shape. Should be pretty easy I’m thinking, once again, I didn’t expect it to be this easy!
The day of the first session arrived, Allan stretched for 5 minutes then asked would it be ok if he went for a short run around the block to get warmed up, I said sure just don’t expect me to come too as I’m no runner, just not for me at all, not something that interests me, just not built for it I guess, but, each to his own as they say.
Anyway, so off he went, I’m expecting maybe 10 minutes and he`ll be back but as I can see him out of the gym window running past the first block, he’s disappearing way into the distance, I’m thinking just how far is he thinking of going? Obviously, his idea of a warmup and mine are a little different. Slight understatement there!
He`s paying me while he goes running!
15 minutes passes and no sign of Allan, so I start to work out myself, may as well do something productive while my client is on the run! Then 30 minutes passes and still no sign! Now I’m thinking maybe he’s been in an accident or something. Finally, after 50 minutes he’s back in the gym doing his stretching again, this time to cool down. By this time the full hour is up, and he says, “great session, I enjoyed that, see you next time.” and off he went seemingly very content with what he’s just paid good money for. Each to his own, but I certainly wouldn’t pay a trainer that kind of money then go running the streets the full hour! I wouldn’t even pay me to do that!
This went on for 2 months, twice a week. This guy would pay me basically to come into the gym to stretch as part of his warmup, then take off running, and return back 50 minutes later to stretch to cool down, and then go home! A little eccentric to say the least.
I just used his hour to workout myself as he obviously didn’t need me for anything at all. I didn’t even bother to question why he felt the need to pay a trainer to go running by himself. He was happy with this strange arrangement and I certainly didn’t mind getting paid for doing nothing.
So, he finally quit after 2 months but I still see him to this day running around the streets, maybe it’s time to get him back in the gym for that special stretching again that he used to like to pay me for or maybe he finally figured out he didn’t need to pay a trainer to go running by himself!
I miss having a client pay for me to work out while they go running around the streets the full hour! So, if you feel like doing this yourself just let me know! I won`t object…Honestly!
Just remember, personal training certainly isn’t the cheapest service around, and it`s your hard-earned money you’re paying a trainer with. Maybe if you have money to burn it’s no big deal, but I’m not so sure too many people would waste their money like this…or maybe they would? Seriously though, make sure you’re getting the most out of your training.