Many Men Feel Uncomfortable Seeing Their Lovers Around Us –Gym instructors

Standing a little above 5ft and packing piles of muscles all over his body, Dotun Ololade is perhaps the perfect description of what a real ‘macho’ should be. At 31, the Ede, Osun State native is not only living his dream of using his gifts to ‘bless’ others, he is also fulfilling his desire of meeting and knowing a lot of important people in the society. 

A fitness trainer of many years, clients, desperate to burn off calories and maintain great bodies, constantly demand his services…
The massive patronage has reflected in his bank balance as well – money trickles in by the day.

But beyond the seeming financial safety and decent life that his muscles have brought his way, Ololade’s experience as a professional has come with its own rigours and downsides, as well. For example, despite helping dozens of male and female clients to achieve the body of their dreams over the years, his work has sometimes earned him ‘enemies’ in low and high places.

“Despite doing my best to help a lot of clients achieve set targets by transforming their bodies through exercises and other fitness routines, I am sometimes seen especially by the lovers of my female clients as a threat and perhaps an enemy,” the 31-year-old, who is currently pursuing a degree in physical education at the university, told The Punch. “These men, who sometimes come to the gym to check on their wives and girlfriends, get uncomfortable when they see the way I perhaps hold their bodies to maintain a certain position or height while training is ongoing.

“Some get so uncomfortable to the extent that they openly tell me that I am crossing my boundaries too much and that I should take things easy around their women.

“Even if as a human I want to feel bad and react in a certain way, I don’t do so because as a professional, it is my duty to reassure such persons that their women are safe around us and that there are ethics guarding our work.

“But despite such reassurances, some men still go as far as withdrawing their lovers from our gym just because they feel that they could be falling for us due to the way our bodies look. As a professional, who knows his job, there is nothing that can be as painful as that,” he added.

Asked if he’d ever experienced situations where female clients try to seduce or invite him out on dates where sex could be on the ‘menu’, the Ede native answered in the affirmative, revealing that it was a regular issue he constantly faces in the course of doing his job as a fitness trainer.

“While the men sometimes feel uncomfortable seeing the way we interact with their lovers during fitness sessions, the women in fact get carried away by all those physical contacts during training and want something more from us,” Ololade disclosed. “In my years on this job, I have had plenty female clients openly tell me that they can’t take their eyes off me and that they fantasise about us having sex. Some even go as far as buying all sorts of gifts for me and inviting me to their homes and hotels to give them special fitness routines. But because I know this is not right professionally, I decline but still relate with such women as friendly as possible. It has required a lot of wisdom to handle these situations,” he said.

Like 31-year-old Ololade, Ekemini Ekerette popularly known as Kemen, has also witnessed the ‘other side’ of men whose wives or girlfriends he is taking fitness training. The 29-year-old, who participated at the last Big Brother Naija reality show, told The Punch that as a result of the fear of fitness trainers like him taking over their women, some men even make it a point of duty to come with their lovers and hang around throughout the duration of such training sessions before taking them back home.

“Well, there are jealous people everywhere, both men and women and they tend to be over-protective of their lovers.

“However, the gym, being a place where people show up in tight outfits, sleeveless and shorts, makes these kinds of people more scared. It is our job as trainers to keep them comfortable with our actions and professionalism,” he said.

To handle this situation, Kemen said he came up with a formula that has since been working. According to him, once he notices any insecure traits from the lovers of his female clients, he encourages such men to also enrol at the same gym so that they can be a part of activities there and get to monitor the progress of their women.

“It’s normal for people to show interest, but as a professional you wouldn’t want to build a wrong perception about your brand.

“Whenever I have a female client who is married or engaged, I usually try to encourage their husbands or lovers to join us at the gym. There have been instances where such men listen to us and registered. The idea behind this is to make such men comfortable with the fact that their women are around us at the gym,” he said.

While revealing that sometimes as humans you admire and appreciate some of your clients whether male or female, Kemen told The Punch that he has managed to keep the heady ladies at bay due to work ethics.
“It is natural that as a human you sometimes admire your clients but due to the ethics of the job, you are forbidden to go beyond there.

“I won’t lie, a lot of female clients fancy and usually make advances at me but I see it as a normal thing now. All I do is to reprogramme their minds and get them focused on the reason why they started the fitness training. I am happy that many of such ladies get to appreciate what I have done later,” he disclosed.

For Felix Aneke, a fitness trainer based in Calabar, Cross River State, handling jealous husbands and lovers of female clients has been more difficult than helping the women achieve their desired bodies. The 36-year-old, who spoke with The Punch through a phone call, said that he had been physically assaulted by a few of such men over the years but refrained from assaulting them in return because he didn’t want to tarnish the name of his business.

“A man once slapped me on the neck for holding the waist of his wife during a fitness session,” Aneke began. “He was not there with us when the training started but suddenly walked in as I was holding his wife’s waist and right hand for bend and later squat. He rushed at me and slapped me on the neck to ‘stop that nonsense’. I felt really angry and embarrassed but had to calm down and address him gently.

“There was nothing I said that persuaded him; he claimed that I was harassing his wife and that he was going to deal with me. He withdrew his wife from our gym that same day.

“There have been other instances too when men would openly tell me that my muscles and well-trimmed body is distracting their women and that I should never come around them again. In fact, one even told me that since his wife joined my fitness club, she had been talking about me all the time. He said I had used voodoo on her and that he was going to deal with me if I didn’t free her from the bondage I had thrown her in. It was a serious matter but the woman kept appealing to me not to be offended.

“As a professional, I witness this type of thing on a regular basis, so there is no reason for me to feel offended or be angry. All over the world, there are standards and ethics guarding what we do. If a particular routine warrants you to hold your female clients in certain places, you do so without any ulterior motive attached to it.

“But because some of these jealous men don’t understand this fact, they think we are just taking advantage of our position as fitness trainers to touch and handle their women inappropriately. This job is a noble one and every trainer has his or her name to protect,” he said.

Aneke however, admitted to The Punch that he has indeed had amorous offers from many female clients over the years but handles such requests professionally and encourages such women to remain focused on the mission at hand.

Interesting as it appears, it is not only male fitness instructors with well-trimmed bodies that have caught the ire of lovers of their female clients. Women in the business of helping people achieve great physiques have also had a running battle with ladies whose men are under their supervision, too. Two female fitness trainers, Bimbo Kasali and Kelechi Iwu, told The Punch that if not for the training they had received over the years, they probably would have fought many women, who had accused them of sleeping with their men training under them.

Based in the Ogba area of Lagos, a densely populated section of Lagos, Kasali, who is a the lead trainer at a very popular fitness centre in the community, said that the nature of their job demands that they hold and touch their male clients in different parts of the body depending on what the case may be, but the lovers of such men, who chance upon such scenes not only take offence but go further to sometimes send offensive messages to her mobile number.

“Many people think our job is easy but it is not,” she said. “Beyond the fact that it consumes a lot of energy, the related hazards especially the menace of jealous women, makes it even more difficult.

“There was a particular day at the gym, I instructed one of my male clients to use me as weight and lift me softly to build his upper arm. In the process of doing so, his fiancée walked in. The way and manner she screamed, you’d think she had seen a ghost. She started crying and ran outside into her car. We all went outside to check on her to see if she was okay, but what she did next shocked everyone there.

“She called me names, saying I wanted to snatch her fiancé and that I was luring him with cheap s*x. It was the worst form of embarrassment but I managed to stay calm all through the period. She ordered her man to follow her and that it was the last time she wanted to see him there. They left.

“Two days later, the lady came back alone to apologise to me. She said she felt that my body could get her man carried away to the extent that he could leave her. She seriously appealed to me and said that the guy had threatened to end their relationship. I later reached out to the man to forgive her. I advised them to come to the gym together and they did. That was how we solved that problem.

“But apart from that, there have been male clients who get carried away by what we do during training and think that you have a special kind of feeling for them. Some begin to send you all sorts of nasty messages, going as far as inviting you to their homes. Such people require wisdom and patience to handle. It has not been easy,” Kasali disclosed.
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