Let me start this post with a disclaimer:
I am not perfect.
I am, however, a professional. I take what I do, as a personal trainer, very seriously. If someone has trusted you with his or her health, fitness and general well being you absolutely should take it seriously.
The problem is many personal trainers do not.
I can’t speak for every gym, but I know the big gyms where I live don’t treat or pay trainers well. When you’re not treated well it doesn’t translate to the best experience for your client. Or many personal trainers are training while they learn to be something else. This isn’t a bad thing, however, it can affect the trainer’s focus. And then there are athletes and body builders who train to support their sport, using their training techniques on clients who have very different goals.
If you’re currently working with a personal trainer, or are considering working with one, here are the things you need to know that a personal trainer SHOULDN’T be doing.
- Training with you. Your training session is about you and he shouldn’t be getting his workout at the same time. The personal trainer’s focus should be on you and anyone working out with you. He should be checking form and giving you coaching to make sure you do the exercises safely.
- Taking phone calls, texting or tweeting during your session. See number one. The person or persons being trained should always be the focus.
- Telling you to push through the pain. Yes, being challenged is part of the experience of working with a personal trainer. Muscle fatigue is normal, but pain is not. Anything that is sharp, shooting or sudden is a signal to stop – not push on. By telling you to work through it he could be opening you up to injury.
- Sharing your personal information. While not governed by HIPPA, personal trainers should still work hard to protect your privacy. She may be anxious to share your success on her web site or Facebook page but she should always get your permission first.
- Canceling or moving sessions on a regular basis. Whether it’s due to financial necessity or family needs, many personal trainers do it as a second or part time job. And we all need to take a vacation on occasion. But unscheduled absences or constantly shifting schedules are not normal. If he cancels on you more than he’s there it may mean his other job is taking priority. That means you and your fitness are taking a back seat.
I like to focus on the positive more than the negative most of the time. But sometimes you need to know the don’ts. If your personal trainer is doing any or all of the above it’s time to start looking for a new trainer.
woman lifting dumbbells image via BigStockPhoto.com
July 23rd, 2012