The "standard image" of a health and sports professional is constantly evolving, much like the fitness industry itself, and there are many concerns about the body image. This is at least partly due to the fact that building a better, more efficient and more powerful body is part of the fitness business. On the other hand, fitness is not just about the physical body – at least it should not be that way.
While the fitness industry has never resisted the body's image, the subject has received more attention lately. In a recent issue of the IDEA Fitness Journal  fitness expert Amanda Vogel noted that "body image problems in the fitness industry are nothing new. The need for a more positive philosophy and more diverse notions of beauty is particularly relevant at the moment. With increasing competition from fitness technologies, social media stars, fitness, TV trainers, and an increasingly dense marketplace in our own communities, a nice body can (and should) only bring you so far in this industry. "( Bird, 201
- What makes a Personal Trainer successful?
- What makes a personal trainer? qualified and valuable?
- Does a personal trainer directly relate to customer success?
- Is it a realistic and fair expectation that all health and exercise professionals have a perfect physique?
- What does perfect even mean?
Judging by past definitions and images of "perfection," no one really knows anything. Why should we take care of it?
Fitness experts will agree: A perfect body is not required to be a specialist in the health and fitness industry or to succeed in the industry. However, this view is not appropriate for the images presented in industry advertising, social media and marketing materials. Images of stereotypically chiselled six-packs on sparsely clad bodies dominate the visual aids that we and our clients are exposed to.
Therefore, it is more the rule that a client makes such statements than the exception B. "I want to have a six-pack" or "I want to get a perfect body by next summer." It's not unusual either that health and sports professionals put the same pressure on themselves to "look" the part. Interestingly, the majority of health and physical activity professionals do not care about health and fitness in terms of appearance. Rather, their focus is on helping someone build a better lifestyle.
Why should we, as professionals, push ourselves to maintain and maintain a so-called perfect body when nobody knows what that means?
In her article, Vogel argued that the change must begin with us (2018). Chris Gagliardi, an ACE-certified expert, agrees. "The perfect body is the one you can rely on. Physical appearance can not be equated with knowledge, competence or professional effectiveness. It is time for us, as industry and as individuals, to acknowledge that looking healthy for and for everyone is healthy.
How can we help our clients develop body confidence and body pride when we are not able to do the same?  Perhaps the best question is not the question of what a personal trainer should look like, but how a personal trainer should be. To be a personal trainer, it's not about fitting into a cookie cutter image airbrushed and with photos. It's about character, integrity, passion and knowledge. In addition, the success of a personal trainer does not depend on the presence or absence of some idealized physical traits that most people are unlikely to possess. We have to realize that our thoughts and words have tremendous power. We also need to focus on what really matters – the individuals and the contributions they make to the fitness industry. The total sum of a caregiver's contribution to health and exercise will not be his body. Unfortunately, when we see it that way, we are in our mission.
If you have ever attended a conference or workshop for a professional fitness industry, the images you see in advertising are not exactly representative of the professionals in the industry. Fitness pros are different from each other and that's O.K. That's authentic. That's real. We are role models. We are leaders. We are influencers. That is the sign we leave behind and are judged – not a size or number on the scale.
What should a personal trainer look like? Like you Like me. Like each of us in our individual and imperfect glory. This is how we look.
Vogel, A. (2018). Does the fitness industry have a problem with the body image? IDEA Fitness Journal, 15, 2.