Updated: Feb 21
Starting a fitness journey is a big step towards leading a healthier, happier life. However, many women face a range of struggles when starting on their fitness journey, especially when it comes to choosing the right coach. Hiring a male personal trainer may seem like a convenient choice by the sheer number available in the industry. The fitness industry is heavily male-dominated, with men making up the majority of trainers and coaches. Despite this challenge, it's important for women to seek out female coaches who can provide them with the support and guidance they need to achieve their health and fitness goals.
As a woman's health and fitness coaching specialist, I have worked with a range of female clients. The challenges that women face in the gym are unique, and this is on top of their individual medical and exercise histories, which can range from disordered body image, eating disorders, pre-natal, and peri-menopausal. I understand the unique challenges that women face in the gym and can provide a safe and supportive environment where female clients can reach their fitness goals. If you feel uncomfortable sharing about how you are feeling bloated or how your menstrual cramps are keeping you up at night, working with a female personal trainer might be the best fit for you. Read on to find out the key reasons why you might want to consider working with a female personal trainer, in particular one specializing in women's health and fitness.
1. Knowledge of Women's Health Issues
Theoretically speaking, personal trainers accredited by established fitness institutions should be qualified to create safe and effective exercise program. Yet, having textbook knowledge is vastly different from having real-life experience working with clients of a similar profile.
I have seen and experienced first-hand the range of challenges that women face. From feeling self-conscious about their bodies to struggling with the male-centric fitness culture, women often find it difficult to feel comfortable and confident in their workout environment. That's why hiring a female fitness specialist is the best choice for women who are starting on their fitness journey. Let's take the most common issue raised by female clients: the impact of menstrual cycles. A female coach would have experienced the same struggles on a personal level, fully comprehending the hormonal rollercoaster and provide suggestions to alleviate the physical discomfort that arise when Aunt Flo visits.
Having a coach who understands that cramping, bloating, irritability, fatigue, and depressive moods are a normal part of your period makes a huge difference in making you feel supported. Instead of averting the topic, or worse yet, brushing it off as all in your head, your female coach will be able to share useful tips and tricks on how to sail through the crimson tide. As a female personal trainer, I understand that menstrual cycles can have a significant impact on a woman's mood and energy levels. After all, I go through it myself on the regular! It's important to acknowledge these effects and adapt our approach to training and nutrition accordingly.
One common issue that many women experience during their menstrual cycle is fatigue. Hormonal changes can leave us feeling tired and low on energy, making it difficult to stick to our usual workout routine. To combat this, I often recommend incorporating rest days into your workout plan and focusing on low-impact exercises such as yoga or pilates.
Another common issue is mood swings. Hormonal changes can leave us feeling irritable, emotional, or even depressed. To overcome these struggles, I encourage my clients to prioritize self-care practices such as meditation or journaling. These can help to reduce stress and promote a more positive mindset.
Nutrition also plays a key role in managing the effects of menstrual cycles. It's important to focus on nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy, such as complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Additionally, staying hydrated can help to reduce bloating and other uncomfortable symptoms.
As a coach attuned to the unique health and fitness goals and needs of women, I understand that every woman's experience is different. That's why I always take the time to listen to my clients and adapt my approach to meet their individual needs. By providing a supportive and empathetic environment, I can help my clients to overcome the challenges of menstrual cycles and achieve their health and fitness goals.
2. Deeper Level of Empathy
Which brings us to my second point, empathy. A key skill that all personal trainers should have is empathy; the ability to listen without judgement in order to truly understand and provide effective support. I have worked with female clients specifically seeking out a female personal trainer because they felt that they would be less self-conscious about their bodies. Some had tried working with male personal trainers in the past, but never felt like they truly understood the challenges that they were facing as a woman. There was a strong impetus to seek out a trainer who had undergone the same experiences as they did, who would be able to truly empathize. Having once been medically defined as 'morbidly obese', I understand what it's like to struggle with body image issues, to feel overwhelmed and stuck in a fitness journey, and to deal with the psychological effects of losing a significant amount of weight. My decade-long journey with weight loss and overcoming mental, emotional, and physical challenges while has provided me with insights that only experience can bring.
Yet, this is not to say that every client's experience is the same. Being an empathetic trainer requires me to step outside of my own experiences and put myself in someone else's shoes. It requires me to listen to their stories, to understand their struggles and triumphs, and to see the world through their eyes. This can be a challenging task, as it requires me to confront our own biases and assumptions. I have learnt that there is always so much more to learn about every individual client I work with, and this requires me to acknowledge that I don't have all the first-hand knowledge of their experiences. I can always learn more.
Beyond providing my clients with effective exercise programmes that are uniquely tailored to their unique lifestyle needs and fitness goals, I provide the emotional support and encouragement that they need to keep going. I focus on a holistic method of coaching, that includes teaching clients to form a healthier relationship with food and to start seeing fitness as a journey towards a stronger, happier, and more confident version of themselves. I believe that an essential role of a good female health and fitness coach is to make a client feel more comfortable not only in the gym but in their own skin, because I know that the true transformation that comes from a fitness journey comes from within. This would give her the confidence to achieve her own goals.
3. Role Modelling for Success
As a female health and fitness coach, I believe that it's essential to practice what you preach. In other words, I need to "walk the talk" in order to be an effective example to my clients. Here's why.
When I demonstrate a commitment to my own health and fitness goals, it shows my clients that I am serious about what I do. This gives clients confidence in my advice and they know that I am not just giving lip service to the idea of living a healthy lifestyle. I make sure to practice what I preach when it comes to nutrition and exercise. I eat a balanced diet full of whole foods, and constantly try out easy and interesting recipes. I make time for regular exercise that I actually enjoy and look forward to. I also prioritize self-care practices like getting enough sleep and managing stress through journalling and meditative practices.
When I lead by example, I can provide working solutions that I know have worked for me personally. I have struggled with my own health and fitness goals in the past, and I know how challenging it can be to make changes to your lifestyle. But by sharing my own experiences and what has worked for me, I can help my clients to overcome similar obstacles.
As a female health and fitness coach, I want to be my authentic self; not necessarily setting out to be a role model per say, but showing them that it is possible to be strong, healthy, and confident at any age or stage of life. By staying committed to my own health and fitness goals, I hope to inspire my clients to do the same.
Of course, I'm not perfect, and there are times when I slip up or don't feel motivated. But when that happens, I'm honest with my clients about it. I share my struggles and what I'm doing to overcome them. By being authentic and transparent, I can connect with my clients on a deeper level and show them that it's okay to stumble along the way. In my experiences, I also show moments when I enjoy myself and let loose, instead of sticking strictly to an exercise regime and diet plan on a daily basis. Social media is plastered with images of picture perfect fitness 'trainers' who do not practice sustainable fitness habits, perpetuating unrealistic expectations and an ideal image of what it means to be 'fit and healthy'. I seek to highlight the realities of my own fitness journey; all the ups and downs.
Being a female health and fitness coach isn't just a job to me - it's a way of life. By walking the talk, I hope to inspire my clients to make positive changes in their own lives. Together, we can work towards being happier, healthier, and more confident selves.
A woman's health and fitness coach can offer tailored workout routines that take into account your specific needs and goals, whether it's building strength, improving cardiovascular health, or simply feeling more confident in your own skin. With a female personal trainer by your side, you can push yourself to new limits and achieve results you never thought possible. A good coach is more than just a workout partner. An effective coach can help you work through any obstacles that may be holding you back and provide you with the support and guidance you need to succeed. Whether it's a lack of motivation, self-doubt, or simply feeling overwhelmed, a female coach will be there to help every step of the way. A woman's coaching specialist is able to come up with simple and effective strategies to pre-empt, tackle and resolve issues that arise. This is not to say that male personal trainers are unable to deliver the same amount of knowledge and guidance to their female clients, with the right education and past training experiences. Yet, trying to walk a mile in someone else's shoes is not the same as experiencing the same situations personally, and providing effective strategies that have worked in coping with these issues. No one really talks about the psychological challenges that come with weight loss, but I have personally struggled with these issues myself. I lost 40kg and faced a whole host of body image and psychological challenges that I had to work through. My experience has made me empathetic and equipped to help women who are going through similar struggles, beyond just the physical and what can be taught in textbooks.
So, if you're ready to take your health and fitness to the next level, hiring a woman's health and fitness coaching specialist could be the best decision you ever make. With the right guidance and support, you'll be on your way to a stronger, healthier, and happier you in no time! I am committed to helping women overcome the challenges they face and achieve their full potential. Don't settle for less – choose a female personal trainer who understands your unique needs and can help you reach your goals. Connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on Medium where I discuss topics related to women's health, fitness and technology.