Is He Ever Just a Personal Trainer?

Roberto Hued, a personal trainer in Manhattan, keeps himself busy with a mix of private training sessions and, three days a week, group yoga classes. He works with runners, swimmers and boxers, as well as people who are simply looking to improve their mobility or strength. But with an estimated 90 percent female client base, there’s another segment of his clientele worth mentioning: other men’s girlfriends.

This, along with his being single, straight and ripped, makes Mr. Hued susceptible to a stereotype that he and other trainers can’t seem to shake. The idea that a male personal trainer is liable to “take” another man’s girlfriend has placed the occupation high on the list of guys to be wary of in the dating world.

Mr. Hued recalled one woman who had so enjoyed his group classes that she asked about private sessions. It wasn’t long before the woman’s boyfriend learned that she had switched to one-on-one workouts. And he was OK with it at first — until the day Mr. Hued ran into the client and her boyfriend, who was finally able to put a face to a name.

“That was the last time I saw her,” Mr. Hued said. He later heard from a mutual friend that the woman’s boyfriend had expressed discomfort over her training with him, which led her to quit.

The assumptions that people make about the dangerous allure of the personal trainer has provided fodder for memes, TikTok videos and jokes that go beyond social media: A male personal trainer will use his job to get women. His slyness will require you to monitor your girl’s sessions to quell your insecurities. He might improve your health and break up your happy home. Do these stereotypes hold any weight?

Mr. Hued, 33, who has been a trainer for more than five years, said that he takes his job very seriously and that the stereotypes couldn’t be farther from the truth. Although he’s never dated a client, he’s still human.

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