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Would You Hire an Overweight Personal Trainer?


I read an article in the Washington Post recently that touches upon the issue of overweight trainers and its implications, inside and outside the gym. It seems that overweight trainers are faced with major criticism and have a harder time getting hired at gyms. The whole thing got me thinking about my gym and the fact that I have seen several overweight employees there. The visual skepticism of their ability as a trainer has definitely crossed my mind, good or bad, I have yet to decide.


I am curious how you guys feel about it -- Would you hire an overweight personal trainer?

Join The Conversation
tezcatbus tezcatbus 9 years
of course I would! thin people don't have a monopoly on sense, and just because someone isn't in peak lifting condition anymore doesn't mean they have nothing to teach me. look at trainers for any other kind of sport - they tend to be older and more experienced, and now they train other people. the fact that they aren't in peak competition condition doesn't somehow magically mean their brains got erased. do i want a trainer strong enough to spot for me? yes. do i care if she has fat tits or chubby cheeks? nope. some of you need to get your heads out of your tiny asses.
Wannabetrainer Wannabetrainer 9 years
I am overweight, and I would like to be a personal trainer. I exercise every day when I'm not working, but my career keeps me tied behind a desk for 12 hours a day, and I commute for another 2 hours. I'm a stress eater and have ADD as well, so to keep going and keep focused I overeat all the wrong foods all day long. I think that by becoming a personal trainer and giving up my Accounting career, I will eventually shed my excess weight. Why can't someone be training someone else at the same time they are getting into shape themselves? I have a 4.0 in school, a higher than normal IQ and the will to succeed despite my stress and ADD problems. I am good at motivating others! I don't have to have a flat stomache in order to recognize good or bad form in whomever I am training. I don't have to have visible biceps in order to teach someone how to lift weights. And as for setting an example, isn't that exactly what I would be doing? "If the fat lady trainer can do it, so can I!"
behemoth_the_cat behemoth_the_cat 9 years
I want to say "yes", but if he's a personal trainer, then why is he overweight? Sports is what he does for a living! There really is no excuse for him to be overweight...
Dean1 Dean1 9 years
There are some magnificent sport coaches out there that are overweight or obese. Just the same there could be some excellent personal trainers that have their own issues and weaknesses for food, but are excellent at what they preach. Its just like an overweight doctor who smokes, he could be a much better physician than another doctor who isn't overweight and doesn't smoke. You shouldn't judge people by their outward appearance. You can have a personal trainer who is in good shape but isn't good at what they do and an overweight or obese trainer who is great at what they do. Who says you have to practice what you preach? It doesn’t mean you cant do you job, and do a great job of it too.
Posh-Vee Posh-Vee 10 years
hahahaa ! Hell no ;P I feel that a personal trainer should be there to motivate you . Seeing someone who is overweight probably won't motivate me to go to the gym.
SU3 SU3 10 years
I agree with what Oread said - 'I wouldn't have any belief that their method of training would work for me if it didn't look like it was working for them.' If they can't do what they are telling/teaching me to do... then absolutely NO.
geekygirl geekygirl 10 years
Well, I live in a small, small town and there is only one gym and the chick that runs the aerobics classes is overweight (like, not just a bit overweight, i would guess needs to lose about 30 kilos to be healthy). she is a good instructor in that she comes up with good routines and is good about monitoring form and effort. it annoys me she can't do the whole routines (she goes for a walk around the room and sometimes i catch her 'hiding' up the back having a little rest). however, at the end of the day, i don't care, i'd rather have a fat aerobics instructor than none. but given the choice i'd prefer someone who practiced what they preached. anna ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Find something good in every day. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
krisua krisua 10 years
This question made me laugh. The answer is a definite NO though... :)
aras8218 aras8218 10 years
To train me? no the person should be in shape, not super thin but in good shape.For other positions, like receptionist or something, then it shouldn't matter.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 10 years
I would hire the best person for the job. If that trainer happened to be overweight but knew how to help me achieve what I want than excellent. as someone else wrote skinny/thin does not equal healthy or phyiscally fit. Reading through the other posts I see fat bias rearing its ulgy head. Fat people are lazy, lack self-control, self-respect etc. Yeah right if that were the case you'd never see a fat person in public cause they'd never leave their bed. Every skinny person or not so skinny person who has ever said a mean degrading thing to a fat person would be dead if fat people lack self-control. And self-respect knocking other people for their visable flaw to me shows that the lack of self-respect is coming from the skinny person toward the fat person. These fat bias are also applied in the work place. Employers deem that a fat employee who works hard is lack displine and shouldn't be promoted. Fat employees are put in behind the scenes, low paying, depressing positions, again because they have an issue that others can see and feel free to judge them for.
inertia inertia 10 years
My gym has no overweight instructors (it's in Tokyo, there's no way it would fly here), but I don't think I'd care if they did. I'm one of those weak and naturally thin people so I know well that being slim doesn't have anything to do with fitness. What I'm looking for in instructors is someone who can teach me how to improve my strength and endurance, and it's blatantly obvious to me that many of the overweight people at my gym are a million times better at that than I am. If the instructor is qualified, knowledgeable, and can do the routines, I don't care what they look like.
brennerj brennerj 10 years
i am a personal trainer myself and remember you can be thin and be out of shape also! Some people are not meant to be a size 6 or a size 2! Some people are not meant to have ripped abs it is all about what you inherit from your genes! lets face it some of us are just not meant to have great bodys no matter how hard you work you can make improvements but never have that perfect set of abs unless you are that one lucky person with genetics! I myself got 3-4 percent body fat and am a skinny little guy and yet dont have a ripped six pack but when it comes to comparing the endurance and strength of my abs not one person in my gym can last!
sparklestar sparklestar 10 years
I only hire trainers who look hot. =P
Megg21 Megg21 10 years
There are a lot of reasons people are overweight and a lot of people don't practice what they preach (including ministers). Ultimately what i look for in a trainer in someone who pushes me and who I feel comfortable working out in front of. In fact, it may put me more at ease to know a trainer has battled weight issues as well and understands food addictions and things.
kungfubunni kungfubunni 10 years
i have a yoga teacher who is pretty chubby and she is awesome. but i hear people after class mumbling about how they wouldn't want to take class with her b/c she isn't thin. yoga is a bit different though. i am not very flexible through my hips b/c of so many years of running, and some people who have never worked out have a much easier time getting into pigeon, or butterfly or split! also the sculpting teacher is not what i would call thin, but she's great and knows what she's doing... so I think everyone should be given a chance!
yogadarla yogadarla 10 years
i work out with 2 different trainers one male and one female. one is for weight training(female) and one to motivate me for cardio (male). they are both very fit and very motivational. an overweight trainer would never motivate me. if i am paying someone to tell me how to get fit, they better "walk the walk" as well as they "talk the talk".
ponneke ponneke 10 years
I said no, I'm overweight/obese myself and I think I would be more inspired to work with someone who has a nice body, it doesn't have to be perfect. SOme flaws are human, but a really overweight trainer would not get me motivated. ( spelling??? ) "There's a difference between staying alive and living."
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
sigmaration has a good point and that is what I was thinkng. Personally as someone who isn't overweight and already watches what I eat, I would have a tough time taking tips and advice from someone who isn't. However, I feel that someone who is self-concious about their weight and is overweight would feel much comfortable and less intimidated by going to someone who isn't uber-skinny but is fit even if they are "overweight."
sigmaration sigmaration 10 years
Honestly, I would. I'm overweight (probably still obese, but working on it) and I think that I need someone who has the knowledge to demonstrate moves and workout safety to me correctly, but I also think that you can't possibly understand what it is like to be overweight (and all the emotional and physical issues that go along with that) unless you have been there. I personally would feel MORE comfortable with someone who is overweight but knowledgeable, and understands my own personal struggles. It's also why, as a Jenny Craig weight loss consultant, I was the busiest and most successful consultant in the store. Not because I was skinny, but because I wasn't -- because I totally understood what these people were going through, and had real advice from the trenches.
shaygo shaygo 10 years
i agree with julieulie. i have plenty of friends who look fit but can barely walk up a flight of stairs and i have plenty of friends who are round and soft who are yogis, dancers, or run every day. i think if you can't do what you are asking your client to do then yes, you are unqualified, but the shape of your body doesn't necessarily indicate that shape that you are in.
julieulie julieulie 10 years
When I specified the difference between overweight and obese, I meant the difference between overweight and obese. I am well aware that someone who is not thin can still be a healthy weight. I was referring to someone who is, indeed, in an overweight category. One of my closest friends is overweight, and he has completed 7 marathons in the past year. I'd much rather have him train me than one of my size 4-6 friends who can barely run a 5K. Being thin or normal weight does NOT mean that someone is in good shape, and being overweight absolutely does not imply that someone is a couch potato or unathletic. Like I said before, if the overweight trainer can complete everything he/she is asking me to do without a problem, then clearly he/she is in better shape than I am, and clearly can help me.
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