CONFESSIONS OF A PERSONAL TRAINER
Confession by Robert Selders, Owner of 3Q Fitness
You are not perfect. I am not perfect. Even personal trainers aren’t perfect!
I had the chance to talk to my previous trainer and family friend, Robert Selders, about his confessions. Scroll down to read why he quit his job as an engineer, what he says when people wear see through leggings, pet peeves, and more!
1. I QUIT ENGINEERING TO BECOME A TRAINER
“I’m not what you would call a traditional or typical personal trainer. My path has been quite the ride and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana (1993) and a Master’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT (1996). I worked as an engineer ever since my graduation from MIT in 1996 to 2009. When I realize that I had a passion for health, I left my corporate career as a Power Electronics Design Engineer to run my fitness business full-time. Prior to that, I worked part-time as a personal trainer and performance coach helping my clients reach their health, fitness, and performance goals.
Currently, I live in Texas with my amazing wife Keila and three beautiful daughters: Myah, Nina, and Ava. I own 3Q Fitness, a private fitness and performance training company in Garland, TX, and we’re also a licensed CrossFit affiliate (CrossFit Garland).
I have several certifications: Certified Fitness Trainer (ISSA), Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA), Performance Enhancement Specialist (NASM), Corrective Exercise Specialist (NASM), CrossFit Level 1 and Level 2 Certifications (CFHQ), CrossFit Weightlifting Certification (CFHQ), CrossFit Gymnastics Certification (CFHQ), Functional Movement Screen (FMS), and Integrated Movement Specialist (FES/Osar Consulting).
2. I PUNISH PEOPLE WHO ARE LATE TO MY SESSIONS
LOL!! We have a rule at my gym that if you’re late to a workout session you perform 5 burpees for every minute that you’re late. If you’re a staff coach, you have to do 10 burpees for every minute you’re late. Now if you just don’t show up for a session that you’ve scheduled with a coach (and you didn’t communicate that you would not make it and needed to reschedule), then that’s 100 burpees and you still get charged for the session.
So that said, people aren’t usually late for their workout sessions. When they are late, I just look at the clock, then I look at them, and I smile and say, “You’ve just made my day!!” And without hesitation, the respond with “How many do I owe?”
3. I TELL PEOPLE I CAN SEE THROUGH THEIR LEGGINGS
I’ve had a few people wear workout clothes that revealed a lil’ too much. And yes, I’ll let them know that their business is showing and that they need to wear something different the next time.
4. PEOPLE FART IN MY GYM AND I LAUGH!
It happens more than you think! In fact, I just had a client let one go the other day. We actually belly laughed about it…luckily I had the high speed fan on and didn’t have to experience it! Most people may try to ignore it. I don’t, I actually laugh, but not to embarrass anyone – I just think it’s hilarious how it happens when you least expect it.
It’s a natural bodily function and when it’s totally unexpected, it’s funny as all get out. And yes, both men and women fart when they workout, especially when they’re doing exercises that require moderate to strong abdominal contractions like curl ups.
People have even coined the phrase “crop dusted” as someone has let one go and walking past a person or group of people. It’s never good to get crop dusted!
5. PET PEEVE: WHEN PEOPLE DON’T HAVE PROPER TRAINING ETIQUETTE
In the gym, my biggest pet peeve is when people take equipment out, use/sweat on it, and then don’t wipe it off with disinfectant wipes and return it to its correct location. I give burpees for those people who do not return or take proper care of the equipment.
As far as working personally with someone, my biggest pet peeve is someone who doesn’t give me their full effort. I’ve been blessed with great clients overall, but I have had to fire a few clients when we were not a good fit for them.
6. I LIKE TO CHEAT CHEAT CHEAT
My favorite cheat meal would be red beans and rice, fried chicken, collard greens, grilled corn on the cob, candied yams, Jiffy corn bread, and sweet “red” Kool-Aid!
7. I GET FOOD CRAVINGS
I absolutely love to eat! It’s like eating is a hobby for me. If you love to cook and are great at it…I will love to be your taste test guy!
8. I HAVE INJURED SOME CLIENTS IN MY SESSION…INDIRECTLY!
There was this time when I was working with a group of athletes. I was teaching them an overhead lift (the Push Press). We started out with a PVC pipe and then progressed to using a barbell after they’d demonstrated competence with the lift. One athlete decided to move without the group. This person did not follow the coaching cues and didn’t tucked their chin before pressing the bar. You can guess what happened – they clipped their chin. Don’t think I’ve ever had any problems with that athlete or any others who saw them doing that movement improperly. LOL!