There are a lot of personal trainers out there.
And quite frankly a lot of them suck.
I know, I used to suck too, but I experienced a reality check when I first began personal training, which brought me back to earth ha (read about that here). Over the years, working at a few different gyms with loads of trainers, I’ve learned what exactly a bad personal trainer is. With the saturation of personal trainers in the market, it can be quite difficult to figure out who is best and who to avoid.
1. The Hard-Seller
A fair amount of personal training is sales-based. *sigh* I know.
BUT if a trainer is confident in their product and isn’t super pushy and desperate, there’s no need for the personal trainer to swindle you into a sale.
I know it’s great for a PT to get a new client but some are making people uncomfortable or lying to them about the reality of their health goals i.e. making people feel like they’re inadequate or fat, so they can make a sale. Buyer Beware! You do not want to train with a trainer who is going to force you into a sale or situation with a pushy sales technique. The chances are this trainer views their clients as just dollar signs instead of people.
2. The Cheap Trainer
Personal training is not cheap (find out why/how here). Be very wary of a trainer that offers really cheap sessions or loads of free sessions. They’re disrespecting the craft for other trainers out there, and chances are they are a shit trainer. What kind of trainer charges 30-40 dollars for a session anyway?. It’s just plain rude. I know it’s very enticing to hire someone based on price point, but usually, what is cheap ends up having a pretty cheap value as well. But who knows… Maybe they are cheap because they just started out.
Related: Why Your Trainer is So Expensive
3. The “train how I train” trainer
This is just bad.
A lot of trainers start training because they’ve learned that they are really good at working out and training themselves, however this does NOT equate to being able to train other people. Working with other people’s injuries, personalities, preferences, etc is a vital part of personal training, it’s personal. What works for you does not work for someone else. Trainers need to adapt styles and methods based on each individual client.
4. The Trainer that Has One Size Fits All Attitude
Once upon a time, I worked with a trainer who had her clients go on the same diet that she was on, and was so strict with their dieting that her client ended up crying because she was told to bring prepped food to a dinner with friends, instead of eating the restaurant food. FYI this client was NOT training for a bikini competition.
Like I said previously what works for you will not necessarily work for others. Trainers need to adapt to each client’s individual style, attitude, personal and life history. Hence a good trainer is expensive! We have to memorize if a client likes this, doesn’t like that, isn’t good at this exercise, or has this injury.
5. The Trainer Who Makes You Feel Like Crap
Clients can come with baggage, especially if they have been dealing with insecurities and health issues for a while. Part of being a successful trainer is building that rapport with your client. I have had a few clients come in to see me that have complained about a trainer belittling them or making them feel bad, sometimes it’s usually men. Hence why a lot of women feel more comfortable with a female trainer. If your trainer is an insecure, belittling prick: RUN. FAST.
Anything I missed? Let me know in the comments.
Catch up on ALL of my Personal Training posts:
- Fifteen Thing’s I’ve Learned About Personal Training
- The One Thing I Will Never Do As a Personal Trainer
- Ten Things About Fitness That Make Personal Trainers Cringe
- The Gigantic Mistake You’re Making When Choosing a Personal Trainer
- Three Major Ways to Make Money Personal Training