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10 Clues to Spot a Bad Personal Trainer

Shweta Ajwani Oct 24, 2020
The concept of health and fitness is more than just a routine now. It is a lifestyle. If you are on your way to get yourself enrolled in one of those hi-tech gymnasiums and opt for a personal trainer, here are a few pointers that will help you 'not' to get stuck with a bad trainer.
The human body is the best picture of the human soul.
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Your body is the best work of art. No one else is worth more than your body. Your body is your religion and it is your duty to worship it. Don't invest efforts in half measures if you are not going to be happy with results in half measures. In the same way, don't settle for less, when you deserve the best. Even more when you are paying for it.
Your goal is to maintain a regular exercise routine for a fit and healthy body. It does take two to tango. The team that strives to achieve this goal comprises you and your personal trainer. Investing in a personal trainer when you are ready to hit the gym and get back in shape is a big step.
Investment is not just about the money. When you hire a personal trainer, you invest your time, your trust, your passion, your physical as well as mental energies, and yourself completely. And to waste all this on a bad personal trainer would be a shame.
Your decision of training under the guidance and direction of a personal trainer at the gym is proof of how serious you are about your body, health, and fitness. It is the job of your trainer to further this interest and passion, and motivate you to achieve the goals that you have set for yourself.
The trainer's failure to invest his half in this endeavor would mean a job half done, which would mean incomplete results, which is as good as no results. Read on to know the loopholes and spot the 'not right' personal trainer for you. Take a hint.
The trainer appears physically unfit.
It is human tendency to assess someone's personality on the basis of his looks, clothes, and physical fitness.
The first impression is always the last impression. Even before you strike a conversation with the trainer and inquire about his ways of working or his credentials, the first thing that you are bound to (and you will) notice is his physical appearance.
Opting for the direction of a personal trainer indicates how passionate you are about your health, body, and fitness. It is obvious that you would expect a trainer who has a well-maintained body, looks fit and healthy, and also looks the part.
An unfit trainer would give rise to doubts not only about the trainer, but also about the health club and its authenticity.
He/she is not a certified personal trainer.
It is, again, natural human tendency to believe something that is shown on paper, than what is said verbally.
The gym and its trainers might be well-off and referred to you by many, but a quick look at the credentials of the trainer restores your faith in the institution, as well as in the people running it.
A trainer without any certification could be a hazardous bet on your health and fitness. Although it has become a lot easier to gain a degree or qualification in this field, you should watch out for trainers certified with valid and multiple accreditation.
The perfect trainer would be one who has a decent college degree in the field of fitness and health, has completed national certified courses in the same field, and has an in-depth knowledge about other related fields like nutrition, supplementation, physiotherapy, training and workout mechanisms, and sound knowledge about the human body.

The trainer doesn't answer your questions and doubts.

A client usually opts for the services of a personal trainer only because he himself is not be sure of his capabilities of achieving his targets.
The trainer is supposed to be like a guide and a mentor to his client. Any questions that the client has must be answered to by the trainer.
The client might have doubts about the way in which a certain exercise needs to be performed, or about the way his diet and nutrition must be managed. A trainer who fails to perform these fundamental tasks, and does not tend to the doubts and questions of his client, must immediately be fired from the job.
Part of what the client pays for when he hires a personal trainer is that he be guided efficiently at every step of the program. If the trainer does not provide value for the client's money, it is best that the client starts hunting for a new, more effective personal trainer.

The trainer thinks it is okay to skip periodic measurement sessions.

A girl, slightly on the heavier side, would join a gym to get leaner and in shape. A boy, slightly on the leaner side, would go to the gym to build up his muscle mass and get a sculpted body.
But, how would the clients, or the trainer for that matter, know if the workout regimen is bringing out the necessary changes? The answer is monthly or fortnightly measurements. Ideally, vital statistics must be measured every 35-40 days to keep a record of the changes and results.
If a trainer decides to skip this routine of keeping track of body measurements, the client should immediately decide to either talk it out with the trainer, or if the need arises, switch to another trainer.
Measurements are records that help in deciding which body part is being affected (or not) by the current exercise regime.
Measurements help calculate the amount of effort that needs to be maximized or minimized to achieve set goals. Just because this does not help in accelerating the process of transformation, doesn't mean it doesn't even aid the process.
The trainer assigns exactly the same routines to each of his/her gym members.
The gym is filled with people of all shapes and sizes. However, it is not just the physical appearance which differentiates one from the other.
Other intricate factors like the metabolism, body type, age, sex, energy levels, injuries, etc., contribute a lot to the individuality of a person and the type of exercises and workouts they are capable of. It is essential for a trainer to understand that the same regimen cannot bring out the desired results in different people.
A 30-minute cardio workout everyday might work wonders for a teenager and her body, but it might have adverse effects on a middle-aged lady. Similarly, a heavy-protein diet would prove beneficial for a boy trying to gain muscle mass, but would rebound profusely for an obese man trying to lose weight.
A personal trainer who devises exactly the same strategies, nutrition plans, and workout methodologies for each of his clients should strictly be stayed away from. A good personal trainer would understand the needs and capabilities of each client separately and chalk out individual strategies for each of them.
The trainer behaves in an inappropriate way with his/her clients.
Personal training does not mean getting over-friendly, or extra-physical. A bad personal trainer can be spotted from miles away if he or she gets more than comfortable with their client.
As soon as you notice hints of inappropriate behavior from you trainer, raise an alarm and make it crystal clear that such behavior will not be tolerated.
A 'professional' personal trainer would never exhibit excessive touching except when it is extremely necessary. Still, it is unethical practice for a trainer to touch a client without the client's full permission.
Even after the client permits, physical contact must be kept to the bare minimum. A personal trainer displaying acts of sexual advances or any other kind of physical or mental harassment must be immediately reported.
The trainer doesn't maintain a record of your nutrition and exercise habits.
There are two sides to every coin. Just as exercising and working out is important and drives you towards your aim of a fitter, healthier body; eating right plays an equally important role in doing so.
It is the personal trainer's job to educate the client about his nutritional needs, and basic body supplements that are required, along with the kind of exercises that need to be performed.
If the personal trainer chooses to overlook such minute, but highly crucial pointers, it is time you say bye-bye to him. A good personal trainer is fully aware of the fact that just exercising is never enough. A well-organized workout routine which gels with a perfectly devised nutritional plan is the key.
Organizing dietary sessions for the clients, educating clients about foods that should be ignored or consumed, and suggesting appropriate supplements wherever necessary, are a few signs of a good personal trainer.
The trainer keeps re-scheduling and canceling gym sessions.
It is not the client who is supposed to alter his/her timetable according to the personal trainer's needs. The personal trainer is paid to tend to the client and his needs, and should be flexible enough to integrate the client's schedule with his own. However, this doesn't mean that the client makes it a habit to not be regular or punctual for the sessions.
A bad personal trainer would frequently reschedule or cancel appointments with the client. This kind of behavior is unethical and unprofessional and should not be excused. Arriving late for sessions is another tell-tale sign of an unprofessional trainer. An exception, once in a while, can be excused, but, regular late should not be tolerated.
The trainer thinks it is okay to self-train while guiding a client's workout.
This is just so unacceptable. A trainer who utilizes a client's paid session for his own benefit by transforming it into his own workout session is just not acceptable.
The session is meant to guide and train the client, which would be a far possibility if the trainer's entire concentration and energy levels are focused on further sculpting his already sculpted body.
If the training session involves an outdoor run, or swimming, or trekking, it would obviously require the trainer to train with the client. However, the point of focus should be maintained at the client, his stamina, and his energy levels. The trainer should understand that the session is organized for the complete benefit of the client only, not his.
You fail to notice any significant results even after months of guidance under the trainer.
If you come across people who have been training under the guidance of a trainer, and have not achieved consistent or sustainable results, then it is probably not a good idea to opt for that trainer's services. People want quick and efficient results, and anything that is not result-oriented is struck off the list.
A client invests his time, money, and energy into a fitness plan and expects results. A personal trainer should be a continuous and integral part of your health and fitness plan, and should help you achieve faster, better, and improved results. If the trainer falls short of his capabilities to do so, then it is high time that the client switches trainers.

Top 5 Tips That Will Help You Find a Better Personal Trainer

1. Set up a trial appointment/trial workout session with the trainer before you hire him/her.
2. Ask the trainer about his/her certification, authentication, and qualification as a trainer.
3. Ask the trainer if he/she has any referrals to his/her credit.
4. Ask experts in the gym or health club about the past performances of the trainer.
5. Experience matters. The more experienced the trainer, the better it is for you.
It is your money. It is your time. It is your energy. It is your body! Don't be shy to check numbers and facts before you finalize on a personal trainer. It is this trainer who will work through everything with you to achieve the levels of fitness that you have anticipated.
Make sure you opt for someone who fits your bill perfectly. This will ensure that the returns of your physical, mental, and financial investments are nothing but the best!