Today during my workout I watched a personal trainer train a client. Then after he was finished I watched owner walked outside and smoke a cigarette behind his car. I was still in the gym working out but could see him smoking from my location.
At first I was a bit shocked. Was the trainer really out there smoking? After he just spent an hour training a guy and giving him advice on how to get healthy? I’m pretty sure he didn’t advise him to start smoking. So why would he go do that himself? Especially where gym members could see him?
After watching this incident I started thinking about the question of whether or not gym staff, and gym owners, should be healthy.
My Experience Working At A Gym… While Unhealthy
I know not all gym staff are healthy. I know it because I worked at a gym at the unhealthiest point in my life.
Technically my first job out of high school was at a YMCA gym. I weighed somewhere between 255 and 260 pounds, wasn’t active, and I wasn’t healthy at all. I knew I didn’t fit in at the gym because I was so overweight and out of shape, but I felt like I fit in at the front desk. My job though was to greet people at the Y and do paperwork. Actually all the ladies I worked with there were overweight and struggled with obesity. The first representation of the gym that people saw was a very unhealthy front desk staff.
I wasn’t out there training people or even working on the gym floor so it didn’t seem like a big deal at the time. I loved that YMCAs have staff of varying sizes and ages so exercise and healthy living is very inclusive. Working at the YMCA actually helped me get started on my journey of weight loss and is one of the reasons why I’m much healthier than I used to be. I appreciate that they let unhealthy people work there and give them a chance at better health.
Should Gym Staff Be Healthy?
But shouldn’t the people at the gym in charge of helping people train and get healthy… actually be healthy?
Obviously I believe you don’t have to be thin to be healthy. But should you be at a normal weight/thin if you own a gym? If you are a personal trainer? Should you smoke? Should you engage in other unhealthy behaviors?
I thought about Marci, a Biggest Loser contestant who despite owning a gym ended up on The Biggest Loser. Obviously gym staff and owners deal with the same issues everyone else does. But should they promote a healthy lifestyle if they aren’t living it themselves? If a gym owner smokes on his breaks should he be telling clients smoking is bad and they need to avoid it to run faster and workout harder?
I don’t exactly have answers to this but I do think gym staff should be trying to be healthy. I think it’s important that if they are going to work in a gym or in the fitness industry that they at least work toward better health and give off the appearance of being healthy.
Maybe I’m wrong though… I’m interested to hear your thoughts:
Should gym staff be healthy?