Is Your Personal Trainer Full of Crap?

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I have heard and read about personal trainer stories that just make you wonder where did these personal trainers get their training from? For those of us who seek out the help of a personal trainer, it's important that we don't end up with someone who isn't very qualified or just doesn't care about their client's well-being. As with anyone you hire to provide a service, you want the best for your money. How can you know if a personal trainer is qualified and genuinely cares about helping you? Below are some things to look out for.

Beware of the personal trainers that:

Tell women not to lift weights
I won't go into the details of the importance of lifting weights for both women and men, but if a personal trainer tells women not to lift weights - dump that trainer fast!

Cut your calories to a dangerous level
Reducing calories helps in shedding pounds but be weary of a personal trainer that suggests reducing calories to dangerous levels. If you're in doubt consult with a nutritionist or your doctor.

Won't track your progress
I've seen both types of trainers at my gym. The ones that carry a log book or clipboard as they train clients and those that don't. If I had to choose one, I'd consider the one that is logging their clients progress. A good trainer will track everything - exercises, weight lifted, measurements, sets, reps, etc.

Tell you that you must purchase vitamins and supplements
This will happen most often in the larger gym franchises. Many times the personal trainers are also pressured to upsell these items. A recommendation is fine but they shouldn't make you feel like they are required to be in shape.

Daydream while they're spotting you
A trainer should not be dazing off into the distance as you are performing your reps. They should be focused on you ensuring that you have proper form and that you aren't struggling with the exercise.

Push you too hard
Most people think that working out hard is a sign of a good trainer. A bad personal trainer will take advantage of that and push you beyond your limits to avoid really doing their job. You shouldn't be in pain after a training session.

Tips before hiring a personal trainer:

  • If you're going through your gym ask about a free training session before buying a package
  • Check certifications (some good ones include ACE, ISSA, NASM)
  • Ask for referrals from friends or family
  • Check references

Those are just some of the things to be aware of when considering a personal trainer. Feel free to leave more tips or advice in the comments.

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