Sometimes, well-intentioned directions can be misconstrued.
That is why Mr Nur Irfan, a freelance trainer, says he is always careful in his interaction with female clients.
When he trains them one-on-one, he makes sure it is done in areas full of people.
And if he has to take female clients into a studio, he makes sure there are surveillance cameras around to safeguard both the client and himself.
"I inform my clients before we start training that there will be some physical contact.
If they are not comfortable with it, I try to get a female trainer.
"If they say they are comfortable, we would go ahead (with training)," he says.
However, he adds that instructors and trainers must know where they can and cannot touch the clients.
If he has to correct his clients in more sensitive areas, he relies on verbal cues first.
"If she still does not understand, then I seek permission from her to direct her physically," says the 29-year-old.
He notes that touches do not often get misconstrued by long-time clients who have received training.
He says: "Some people think that as a personal trainer, it is an opportunity to take advantage.
"But I do not like to be touched myself.
So when I train, I give my clients personal space."
Although he has not had personal experience of clients who have misconstrued touches meant to correct, he has had colleagues who have had close encounters.
Since some communication is needed to arrange training sessions, the way clients text can set off alarm bells.
He had a female client who started to text him more personal questions, and frequently as well.
"She wanted to meet up for lunch even though we weren't meant to train that day."
When he gave her instructions, he noticed that she was more engrossed in him than the instructions.
To deal with her, he decided to be more strict.
Mr Irfan says: "I tried to be less nice. I wasn't mean to her, but I tried to keep it strict when teaching her. I tried not to be too friendly."
"If a session is done, the session is done," he says firmly
This article was first published on Mar 1, 2015.
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