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Running a CrossFit Facility Tips and guidance on how to open and operate a CrossFit gym.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:30 PM   #1
Jamie Sutton
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How Important is Appearance in Training

I am wondering how important you all think that personal appearance is in marketing personal training and in being a successful coach. The reason I ask is that I am getting my CPT certifications and my degree in Sports Medicine, and hoping this summer to go to a Crossfit Level I cert.

I have respectable to good times on all the benchmark workouts, I exercise and train 20-30 hours a week and I have a 17 percent body fat, not the best but I am working hard on it and it is coming down.

The problem is that I'm 5 foot 6 and 198 lbs. I've always been really heavy and stocky (before I started training I was 242) and at 17 percent unless I lose a good deal of muscle, I'm never exactly going to be sleek or skinny.

Two people today, whom I trust and are themselves personal trainers, have told me that I might have a very difficult time because of my short and stocky appearance, and that even though they might be wrong, a wide market of people simply won't pay for personal training from someone who looks thick and wide, regardless of what their Fran time might be.

Any opinions? I understand that good coaching, quality instruction, and a love of fitness is very important. But realistically in marketing, appearance sells and some people do judge books by their cover.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #2
Kris Murphy
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Well, judging by most of the trainers at the Globo gyms I'd say you have nothing to worry about. Though I wouldn't let a single one of them train me based simply on the fact that it looks like the only time they spend in a gym is when they're working.
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Old 05-08-2009, 03:53 PM   #3
Amber Mathwig
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Charisma/personality and coaching skills are going to take precedence in the end. If someone wants to question your body composition, show them the incredibly varied profiles off all the people who are qualifying for the 2009 Games.
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:32 PM   #4
Justin Rovtar
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

If you are selling a strictly performance oriented program then looking good is less important if your performance is off the chart.

That said, you will be more respected by people who just meet you if you appear to be athletic. Some people are short and stalky, some are tall and lanky. You need to optimize your body based on your body type.

Start eating well and keep hitting it hard. Drop some more body fat and you should be fine.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:55 PM   #5
Emily Mattes
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

I think it is going to be more important for women trainers than men. Provided you have large shoulders/musculature to fill out your stocky frame, you wouldn't be hurt too much. But a female trainer with extra poundage, even if she's clearly got muscle . . . Probably not going to recruit as many clients. Cheryl Haworth would probably have to work twice as hard in recruitment as Natalie Woolfolk. Our society sucks like that.

Of course, being incredibly compelling and charismatic can make up the difference.
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:07 PM   #6
Glenn Pendlay
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Sorry to go against the grain here, but from what I've seen, personal appearance is more important than any other single thing if you want to make money in personal training. If you look like people want to look, they will pay you money. If you dont, its takes a lot of explaining and salesmanship.

glenn
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:32 AM   #7
Eddie Watts
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

i dunno i was sold on crossfit largely by watching Glassman and Rip in videos talking and explaining about it all.
they're not the general publics perception of 'fit appearance' are they?
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:13 AM   #8
Travis Loest
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Eddie, most people aren't that cerebral.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:22 AM   #9
Rene Forestier
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Pendlay View Post
Sorry to go against the grain here, but from what I've seen, personal appearance is more important than any other single thing if you want to make money in personal training. If you look like people want to look, they will pay you money. If you dont, its takes a lot of explaining and salesmanship.

glenn
I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie Watts View Post
i dunno i was sold on crossfit largely by watching Glassman and Rip in videos talking and explaining about it all.
they're not the general publics perception of 'fit appearance' are they?
It almost depends on age. If the coach is "older", the client is more apt to believe he has "been there and done that". If the coach is younger, the client needs to see that he can walk the walk for credibility sake (if the trainer is overweight, there will obviously be doubt).

I know that both Coach and Coach Rip have been there, done that.

Having said that, one can still be a firebreather and look a little soft...so, to relieve doubt in your abilities, you can do a demo of you abilities every once in a while.

Last edited by Rene Forestier; 05-09-2009 at 09:27 AM..
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Old 05-09-2009, 10:11 AM   #10
Ned Ferguson
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Re: How Important is Appearance in Training

Look at Jeff Monson. WFS

He's never going to be sleek and skinny either, but I would let him train me. You don't have to be svelte to look beastly.
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