With ‘fitness’ ever expanding and growing in the world, there seems to be more personal trainers than ever, some with great advanced degrees but some with a certificate completed within a few months. It’s not to say with such short qualifications they are bad trainers, but one should enforce a bit more caution to be taken when choosing and hiring a personal trainer.
There are plenty of people who have no training qualifications and know a lot more than most people and some trainers in fact, through their own research and own interest and passion. Thus, experience is a good thing to go by, the very least the trainer should do some form of exercise and show a bit of passion in the field.
The problem comes in when people are in it just to make some extra money quickly and easily, preying on the uninformed individuals [Unsure about Nutrition? Download a simple nutritional EBook]. Their own agenda is more important than someone else’s health and life.
Unfortunately this really can be a serious matter as it not only deals with the person’s physique and appearance but also with their mental and psychological state which can really do damage to ones attitude and mind.
There are extreme cases where trainers really have no clue what they are doing and their clients even end up in hospital due to following a terrible diet or an excessive training plan, or even worse, being forced to use substances such as diuretics (incorrectly since they lack the proper knowledge) before a competition and end up dealing with serious consequences which can have a tremendous negative effect on their life.
In some cases the person may need a few months just to recover and get back into a steady swing of things.
To help you understand what a good trainer should do, here are a few basic points which they should be following when dealing with you, the client.
Pay Close attention
When they are training you or consulting with you, they should be 100% focused on you for that full time. Small chit chat here and there with other members is inevitable and fine, but any more than that is not on.
They should be watching and monitoring what you are doing to ensure everything is completed and done correctly, as well as providing help when needed.
They should also not be on their phone for long periods when they are training you.
Pay special attention to your form
Far too often, while the client is performing an exercise, the trainer is looking off into the distance or on their phone, and the person’s form is just horrendous. One of their main concerns should be to enforce correct form and posture through every exercise.
No crazy extreme techniques
Sometimes people put all their trust in their trainer and follow whatever they say without question. With the internet around, there should be no excuse for this kind of thing as one can easily do some research of their own to get a basic idea of what is good and what’s not.
Anyhow, there are cases of trainers who advocate absolute extreme plans where they have their client (particularly females) follow a very strict and extremely low calorie diet, or introduce excessive cardio into their training plan.
If you find yourself always tired and lethargic, and constantly very hungry, you may be being subject to such tactics.
One of the only times experiencing these kinds of feelings can MAYBE be justified, is the last 1 or 2 weeks before a bodybuilding/fitness competition as this time is usually pretty tough.
Construct a customised plan
When you first go to a trainer, he/she should assess your current physique and needs and what your goals are. From this a training programme and diet plan should be made specifically for you and for what you want to achieve. They should NOT just give you some generic plan to follow.
Nowadays if a person looks a certain way it’s so easy for them to sell their own programmes and meal plans with the motivation that you to can look like them. The programme that they sell you can most likely be found on the internet if you look hard enough and will most likely not get you the effects that you are looking for.
Improvise and innovate
If a trainer is passionate, he/she will always be on the lookout for new and different exercises and training routines to keep things interesting to avoid just doing the same thing over and over as that can get boring for most people.
Be Helpful and humble
You can never know everything so one should not act like it. Everyone has something to teach you and there are hundreds of different training methods all good and suited to different needs and people so an open minded should be kept along with the love for trying different things.
With all that being said, you as a client can also play your part and ensure a few things:
Give them 100%
Just because you’re paying them does not mean you can slack and half heart the sessions. Most great trainers are passionate about helping people in terms of fitness and give their all when training people, so do not go to them and complain and be difficult when they give you exercises to do.
Give it your all and they will probably do the same.
Arrive on time
Make sure to arrive on time or let them know should you be delayed or not make a session. You would think this is common knowledge; if you know someone is waiting for you and you realise you are not going to make it, you should immediately let them know, unfortunately its far too common that people don’t bother to let the other person know, and leave them waiting there, wasting their valuable time.