SIGNS THAT YOUR PERSONAL TRAINER SUCKS!
Yes, not all trainers are created equal. While there are many outstanding trainers out there, there are also many trainers who have no business training themselves and certainly not clients So here are the Top 10 signs that your personal trainer sucks.
1. THEY DON'T SHOW YOU WORTHWHILE OR PRACTICAL EXERCISES
There are many trainers who love to amp up the "WOW" factor and show you crazy, exotic, and often dangerous exercises. Standing on a stability ball while doing dumbbell curls and simultaneous knee lifts may seem very effective. You're training your balance, core, coordination, and so much more, right? Wrong! You're risking falling off and breaking your neck! And the supposed fitness benefits are negligible. Ask any of my clients and they'll tell you I don't show them any ridiculous exercises like that. We do Squats, Rows, Mountain Climbers, Presses, Pushups, etc. and variations of them. Why? Because they work and they have worked for decades and even centuries. Trainers who show you ridiculous exercises are simply trying to impress you with stuff you've never seen before. Don't fall for it!
2. THEY CHANGE THE WORKOUT AND EXERCISES EVERY TIME THEY SEE YOU
Another thing is trainers who constantly change the workout and exercises every time. They'll tell you it's for muscle confusion. Doing the same thing more than once will lead to staleness, right? You have to keep the muscles guessing, right? Wrong again! If you go for a month before doing the same exercise again, how are you going to be able to measure your progress? If you were to teach kids the alphabet and you only went over the ABCs once every month or two, how long would it take them to spell "DOG"? I suppose if overcoming boredom is your only concern, then changing every workout may be good for you. If however, progress is what you're after, then definitely not. Now we often play around with the warmup exercises and finishers, but the main body of the workout must be repeated for at least a few weeks or so.
3. THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND BASIC BIOMECHANICS
I once saw a trainer explain to someone that a cable pullsown exercise will trainer the chest and shoulders. Clearly he had no clue about biomechanics. That is an exercise to train primarily the upper back muscles. Of course the shoulders will be trained also, but that's secondary. Another thing I see is trainers who still have people do straight legged leg raises or Leg Throwdowns where someone standing will forcefully push your legs down towards the ground while you're in a lying or supine position. Are these trainers TRYING to injure peoples' backs? Because I guarantee those exercises will!
4. THEY DON'T UNDERSTAND PROPER BREATHING
Proper breathing is something which everyone should understand and certainly if you're in the business of instructing others. If you see a trainer holding his breath during his/her workout while exercising, walk away. That person has no business training you or even himself!
5. THEY TALK WITH THEIR FRIENDS DURING YOUR WORKOUTS
This is just ridiculously unprofessional! My client used to be a member of a gym and hired a trainer there. She put him on a machine and walked away into the offie to chat with her friends. He finished the reps and was just sitting there wondering what to do next. Seriously? Someone pays you for your time and expertise and you walk away? Unbelievable!
6. THEY DON'T LOG YOUR WORKOUTS
This goes hand in hand with constantly changing workouts. Think about it. It's so easy! If you always change the workouts, you don't need to keep records. You can just give out whatever workout you feel like on any given day and justify it with keeping things fresh. Of course the trainer probably gave the same workout to every client he had that day! Logging workouts is essential. Every client of mine has a booklet where I record all the workouts, weights, reps, etc. That way I can look back at it, see how things are progressing, and go from there. Doesn't that make more sense?
7. THEY DON'T HAVE YOU DO A PROPER WARMUP
It's imperative to go through a proper warmup every time you workout. You can't just start cold and start physically pushing yourself. You need to warmup not only the body but the mind! Not warming up can in fact be dangerous and cause an injury.
8. THEY ENJOY CAUSING YOU PAIN
There are some sadistic trainers who laugh when their clients are so sore they can barely move. Now of course, there will be soreness and discomfort. That's unavoidable. Hard work is necessary, but it must be tailored to the level of the individual. You shouldn't feel like you're crippled. I remember many years ago when I worked at my first gym, there were some trainers having lunch and they were laughing about the clients they tortured. Sometimes they pushed people so hard that they threw up! In now way, shape, or form is throwing up beneficial to your fitness progress! I couldn't stand listening and chose to leave the room and finish my lunch elsewhere. Seriously disgusting behaviour to laugh about someone who came to you in good faith wanting to improve themselves!
9. THEY TRY TO SELL YOU MLM SUPPEMENTS
I can't tell you the number of times over the years that I've been approached by people wanting me to sell Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) supplements to my clients and the answer is still a big NO! I will not try to sell to everyone I know. And I certainly won't sell overpriced products full of questionable ingredients. If you have a trainer who immediately tries to sell you on some type of detox program to drop 30 lbs in a month, walk away! And of course there are also pre-workout drinks that are just loaded with caffeine that people will try to get you on as well. Honestly, if you're going to go that route, why not just use Speed or Cocaine? The fact is there are no shortcuts without consequences. Sure, if you starve yourself with these meal replacement powders at 200 calories each, then you'll lose weight quickly. But it isn't sustainable. Don't believe the nonsense you hear. When you stop using the supplements, the weight will return. And planning to stay on these supplements for the rest of your life is simply idiotic and completely unrealistic.
10. CANNOT ADAPT TO CHANGING SITUATIONS
This ability to adapt and change things on the spot only comes with experience which of course takes time. But the fact is that you may not always be feelinng 100% and your trainer should be able to modify things for you when that happens. You may also have an injury and your trainer should be able to figure a way around that. Going back to the knowledge of biomechanics, lack of this knowledge would make it pretty much impossible to make safe and productive changes.
So there you have it. My Top 10 Signs that your personal trainer sucks! I hope you found it helpful.
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