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In this week’s blog Peach Founder Tim Hayes tackles the public perception of what it means to be a personal trainer.

What do you think of when you hear the words “personal trainer”?

When people ask what I do and I tell them I’m a personal trainer, I always feel slightly uncomfortable.

Most people’s first experience of personal trainers is when they join a mainstream gym. They tend to think of some guy with a six pack full of ego chatting up the women in the gym, doing the same old exercises over and over again, standing talking to their mates, messaging on their phone or telling their client about their recent tinder date. On the other end of the scale, they might imagine a “good” personal trainer to be an unforgiving army drill sergeant type figure, where you have a miserable time at every session with them but at least get the abs you wanted for your holiday.

When I started Peach, I felt the need to explain myself or create some new fancy name like master trainer or movement specialist in an attempt to sound more superior than “just” a personal trainer. I feel like the trainers on our books’ qualifications and manner separates them from these stereotypes, but the fact is, personal training just needs regulation like any industry, and a resultant image overhaul.

Realistically, being a good personal trainer is tough and deserves respect. You have to deal with multiple personality types, different needs, lifestyles, goals and expectations. You have to have the guts to question people’s beliefs. Training oneself is easy but training others, coaching them, and supporting them when they want to stop is a completely different ball game.

I believe that being a personal trainer is a huge privilege and responsibility. Clients come to us asking for help and parting with a great deal of money and time, clients who are often going through a difficult patch in their life and need to get fit, improve their health and rebuild their confidence. They trust that we can deliver all of these aspirations – it’s not something to be taken lightly.

Seeing the positive impact that personal training has had not just in my own clients’ lives, but the many wonderful people we’ve had the pleasure to work with through Peach, reminds me just how great a privilege it is to have a job that can have a positive impact. Seeing the incredibly talented young trainers joining the Peach team gives me a great deal of hope for the future of the industry.

I am Tim. I am a personal trainer.