Approachable / Unapproachable

“Trainers carrying extra weight on them are seen as being more approachable.”

I can’t get behind that line of thinking.  If anything, it sounds like an excuse made by a trainer that happens to be carrying extra weight. Are muscular, athletic or even undersized people naturally considered less approachable than others? I personally don’t believe a person can be equally approachable or unapproachable in the eyes of everyone. Mind you, I’m not a guy that has any issues or bias against overweight or undersized trainers in the first place.  I just hate the idiot trainers.

Approachable:Friendly or easy to talk to.

Unapproachable:Not Welcoming or Friendly.

Neither word is associated with a particular body shape,gender,nationality or age. People form their own opinions on your approachability (or lack thereof) based on any number of factors.

While first impressions matter, so does ones actions and actual abilities.  As I’ve stated before, a persons exterior has no bearing on their ability to do a job well.

The trainers “carrying the extra weight” love hearing, and repeating things like that …along with mentioning the high number of football coaches with guts on them. What they forget is that carrying extra weight doesn’t necessarily mean that your excellent in actual coaching or motivation, or that looking like someone that has put in the work at the gym doesn’t automatically mean they’re a bad trainer either.

In a profession dominated by a lot younger faces, I’m a 47 year old guy who’s just shy of 175 pounds at 5’7″(ish.) Up until I decided to grow a half-white beard I was told I looked much younger and I’m undeniably not a huge guy by most standards. I also happen to be self-employed as a private strength coach, and a number of people contact me for suggestions on programming, strength development,dealing with training problems and for professional advice. I help people, both in the gym and within the profession.

As a Strength Coach, I generally help clients train for strength,size, improved mobility or sport performance. Based on my own job description, it could be argued that my rather average looking physical appearance could render me unapproachable to those looking for a Coach that specializes in the areas that I do.

What  could a 5’7’ medium build older guy really know about strength, or how to train heavyweight lifters? Seeing the results of their work across a variety of individuals is a decent indicator.

“Weak”, “Lazy” “Unathletic” or “Ineffective” are not words I hear attached to my name. If they were it certainly wouldn’t have helped me gain any business or kept me in the good graces of the gyms superior lifters. The fact that I’m routinely seen lifting and training strong people along with being a strength sport competitor certainly hasn’t hurt.

My actions and actual abilities helped determine whether or not I am viewed as approachable, or at least viewed as approachable to the segments of the population with whom I want to view me as such.

I’m perfectly cool if some people consider me unapproachable.

Using my own 80/20 rule (where I stated that 1-2 out of every 10 trainers was actually good) then each side would have trainers of every shape. The 20% has within it trainers that look very average, some that are overweight/undersized and some that present very impressive physiques. It is their abilities as a coach and dedication as students of the craft that define them.  They are always getting slightly better than before.

The lower ends of the 80% reached a comfortable plateau and have decided to stay there, they may or may not be carrying extra weight.


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