Here are various profiles I have identified:
Generally young (aged 18-25 or even 30) or in the middle of a mid-life crisis, these men want to enhance their physique. They pay great attention to the way they look and want to gain visible muscle definition. They want to be attractive, boost their sex appeal, show off , and are somewhat “exhibitionist”. Impatient, they are ready to do anything it takes to change their physical appearance without changing their lifestyle, which is often not particularly healthy.
The one with hang-ups
There is no set age for this profile (18 to 50). These men are at a time in their life when they want to change, transform themselves. Overweight, obese, thin, anorexic, weedy or just unhappy in their own skin, they all have one thing in common: a lack of self-confidence and/or self-esteem. Physical activity becomes a real therapy for them. They are prepared to fight hard to achieve their aim; they want to be happy with themselves and feel accepted.
The conscious exerciser
Often aged over 40, the conscious exerciser wants to feel good. They are motivated by sport as a pill for youth: exercising for health, to boost their sex drive and fight stress. They build exercise into their lifestyle. They want to work their whole body, want to try everything despite their age. Their lifestyle tends to be very healthy, which allows them to age well and as slowly as possible.
The gym addict
A gym expert, the addict eats, sleeps, breathes, sweats and lives sport. The gym is often one of their passions, or even their job (all types of competitor). They are true sport addicts. With better-than-average physical assets, they are constantly seeking to improve themselves by working on their weaknesses to enhance their performance.
The gym tourist
This last type could also be called the Sunday exerciser, businessman, etc. There is no set age, but these men tend to follow the crowd. They come to the gym to change their physique and because they feel it’s the right thing to do. But that is not their main motivation: they want to spend time with other people, and see their coach as a friend, the gym as a social hub. They tend to talk more than they train.
Every client can be distinguished by their motivations, their aims, their socio-professional background and their age. Nevertheless, there is some common ground between the different profiles: an addict can also be a playboy or a former playboy, for example. Men tend to find it difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, with regard to both exercise and diet. A trainer must be able to listen, adapt and draw up a training programme according to each person’s wishes. They try to guide their client towards making the right decisions and adopting good habits. Medical treatments are a “bonus” way of changing a person’s physique, but should not be seen as a one-step solution from the outset! We must first focus on the essentials: a healthy diet and regular exercise!
Charles Louiset is a personal trainer who works in the most prestigious and well-known gyms in Paris (Le Molitor, 50FOCH, Champion Spirit, etc.). A qualified sports coach, he focuses on fitness, muscle-strengthening and physical preparation for combat sports. He has a Masters in Sociology and Social Science, which helped him form his own personal view of the fitness world.