#4. The Salesman
There’s a growing number of trainers who use every opportunity to sell products or additional services to their clients, regardless of whether the product or service is appropriate for their specific fitness goals or not. It’s all just a trick to get more money flowing into their pockets at the expense of the client. We say this because lots of the supplements these trainers work hard to promote are actually bullshit and nobody really needs them or at the very least, their effects haven’t been well-studied yet. That’s usually a very good sign that your trainer is dishonest and doesn’t care about you as an individual.
Your training session shouldn’t include commercial breaks. Don’t tolerate a trainer who constantly shifts the focus of the workout from the training itself to his promotional campaign, or a trainer who never seems to shut up. Tell him to cut it out or simply replace him with someone who actually cares about your priorities and is ready to follow your needs.
#5. No Sense of Structure
This really is a no-brainer, but it happens all the time so it’s worth being mentioned here. A trainer who shows up to the appointment without a detailed session plan, doesn’t have a clear vision about the direction of your training and frequently gets confused about the right order of exercises… is a complete waste of your time and money. OK?
An effective trainer will create an entire training program for you and will be able to explain the role of every exercise in that program. An effective trainer will closely follow your progress and keep a log of all your sessions, past and present. Furthermore, such a trainer will take measurements monthly, if not weekly, so that he can track your progress and motivate you by showing you “real”, numeric results. That way you’ll know whether your efforts are producing any meaningful results or not.
In other words, if your personal trainer can’t show you where you’ve come from and doesn’t appear to know what he’s doing in the moment, there’s a very slim chance that he’ll be able to take you where you want to go.
#6. Neglecting Nutrition
It’s not your trainer’s job to control what you eat and when, but he should be engaged enough to try to improve your dieting habits. There shouldn’t exist a licensed personal trainer who doesn’t recognize nutrition as a crucial part of both weight loss and muscle building. Never. Ever. If he tells you “you can eat whatever you want as long as you train regularly”, you have our permission to run away screaming.
It’s kind of your trainer’s job to motivate you to take proper care of your body outside of the gym as well. He should educate you about pre- and post-workout nutrition and the caloric requirements of certain types of training. A good trainer will know that eating the wrong foods can ruin a big part of your hard-earned progress and won’t fail to warn you about it as well as give you appropriate tips on better aligning your diet with your training efforts.
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If you have reasons to doubt your trainer’s dedication to your personal fitness goals or you don’t see any results from the collaboration, you should seriously think about firing him. The relationship between and your trainer has to be based on mutual respect and understanding and guided by constructive interaction and feedback. No trainer is perfect nor omnipotent, but he needs to show a considerable amount of knowledge and skill and give you a unique and personalized experience. After all, you need your trainer to help you navigate the gym and all of its equipment so that you get the most out of each session, and that means he has to know exactly what he’s doing, so don’t settle for anything less!