The word “helpful” seems to be weaved within the role of personal trainer. Making a difference in the lives of others happens naturally in this field. However, being a truly triumphant trainer is something special to strive for.

My mother taught me many things as I was growing up, one of which was “Never go to a dinner party empty-handed.” If someone went to the trouble of placing you on their guest list, the least you can do is show up with flowers or a box of candy. It’s simply the “right thing to do”.

But what about those times when giving, be it a gift, your time, or the sharing of your expertise, isn’t necessarily part of your job description? Recall a time when you extended such a gesture; how did it make you feel?


The Science Behind The Kindness

A multitude of studies have been conducted through the years in an effort to understand the therapeutic benefits of helping others. The data of this research show that individuals who regularly engage in the practices of giving and helping others tend to experience an increased sense of wellbeing.

Could it really be that simple? The answer is a resounding “Yes”! The health benefits to charitable acts are many:

  • Reduction in stress level, thereby curtailing overproduction of cortisol (known commonly as the “fat hormone”)
  • Reduction in daily anxiety
  • Increased sense of self-worth
  • Promotion of a euphoric feeling of happiness


Now, consider how a client feels upon hearing these words on their tough, second-to-last repetition: “Come on, push through it!  You’ve got this!  It’s all you! Awesome energy!” I would imagine the client feels empowered as well as appreciative. You were not aiding in the effort being expended — it truly was all his/her doing — but those words of support coming from you provided the “umph” needed to transform the client’s “try” into “triumph” by completing the set.  Certainly a trainer can merely stand by and spot the client; this we know as due diligence and responsible personal training.  However, it is once again what you didn’t have to do, or in this case say, that provided the impetus for success.


A Win-Win Scenario

This certainly seems like a worthwhile endeavor, something in which personal trainers ought to be regularly engaging. If selflessly extending such a courtesy to others can bolster our health and emotional wellbeing, consider what must be occurring within the mind/body/spirit of the person who receives such generosity….

We all have jobs for which we get paid. However, in doing those little tasks that are not required of us – helping a co-worker tackle a new computer system, demonstrating how a fitness machine works to a new member or one who is not a client, covering a shift or class when another employee has an emergency – these are the opportunities for us to give, for us to turn “Try” into “Triumph” — it’s that extra little umph.


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Cathleen Kronemer

Cathleen Kronemer is an NFPT CEC writer and a member of the NFPT Certification Council Board. Cathleen is an AFAA-Certified Group Exercise Instructor, NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer, ACE-Certified Health Coach, former competitive bodybuilder and freelance writer. She is employed at the Jewish Community Center in St. Louis, MO. Cathleen has been involved in the fitness industry for over three decades. Feel free to contact her at She welcomes your feedback and your comments!