Bizarre Questions People Ask Personal Trainers
How can I get sexier knees?Every trainer we talked to has heard some version of this request: a client wants her knees to look less prominent or her clavicle to look more prominent. "This change may involve a significant decrease in body fat," says Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. (Or, more likely, it's simply not possible without plastic surgery.) Matthews says that she'll remind her clients that we can't spot-shrink (you'd think we'd have gotten that message by now), but she'll sometimes use the question to motivate them to try something new. She'll tell them that while they may be stuck with the shape of their knees, they can sculpt sexier legs with targeted strength-training exercises, and they can kick up the number of calories they burn with high-intensity interval training.
Can you help me lose 20 pounds for my reunion—which, by the way, is a month away?Trainers often get calls from people who suddenly realize they're just four weeks away from a big event and want to slim down, stat. The industry recommendation for weight loss is one to two pounds per week, says Matthews. This means it could take five months to safely lose 20 pounds. But if Matthews only has one month to work with, she says she'll gently dissuade the client from trying to drop too much too fast and will instead get that person to focus on creating definition. "You may not be able to drop two dress sizes in one month, but you can feel more confident and look better in the dress you already have," Matthews says.
Where's my quad?"I used to take it for granted that people know what I'm referring to when I talk about parts of the body," says Donavanik. But that's not always the case. One clueless client admitted he had no idea where his quads or glutes were. He was new to the gym—but he happened to be an avid cyclist and runner. Since then, Donavanik makes a point to clearly identify each part of the body as he's explaining exercises. We know you know where your quad is...but in case you're secretly wondering about the exact location of, say, your iliotibial band—or IT band, it's the wide piece of tendon that runs down the outside of your thigh and attaches to the front of your knee.
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