HOW TO SPOT A BAD PERSONAL TRAINER
By Noelle Walker at New Fitness
Today I want to talk about how to spot a bad personal trainer and bad personal trainers, specifically personal trainers I see at the gym. I feel like people don’t know what a bad personal trainer is or how to spot one so hopefully I can help you pick one out so you don’t end up with one
BAD FORM INSTRUCTION
This drives me nuts the most! I see bad form instruction nearly every single day I go to the gym. I see the personal trainer with their client showing them how to do an exercise and the form is completely wrong. For instance I witnessed a personal trainer showing their client how to do a One Arm Tricep Extension on a bench sometimes commonly referred as a Tricep Kickback. The clients back was rounded not flat and their elbow was flared out, not nice and close to their body as it should be. I understand if the trainer is new but they should just avoid showing exercises to clients that they don’t know how to do themselves. It’s just common sense.
This is also something I see on the regular. A personal trainer is with their client and the client is right in the middle of doing a certain exercise and the personal trainer sees a friend walk by and starts talking to them. I know that this may seem harmless, but it’s not. It can be downright dangerous. You should be at the very least observing your client if not closely monitoring them so they are doing the exercise properly. If they end up performing the exercise incorrectly they can potentially seriously hurt themselves. When a personal trainer is in a session with a client the only person they should paying attention to is the client. Period. No exceptions.
THEY TALK ABOUT THEMSELVES
Oooh the things I hear at the gym! Not only have I observed personal trainers with my eyes, I have with my ears as well and you should too! I hear personal trainers talk about how they got drunk on the weekend-super unprofessional and the house they are going to buy and their vacation they went on. But what I don’t hear is them talking to the client about them. I don’t hear them asking questions about what fitness related activities they have done when away from the trainer. I don’t hear them asking the client about their nutrition or simply asking them how the exercise feels and where they can feel it most. I don’t hear most gym personal trainers talking about fitness. Yes, the client will try and talk about other things but it’s the personal trainer’s job to always to steer it back to fitness and the client’s fitness goals. That’s what the personal trainer was hired to do. They were hired to help with a clients fitness goals and keep them accountable. They weren’t hired to be a bestie.
STANDING OR SITTING AROUND
This is probably the most common one I see. The trainer is just standing there, not doing anything while the client is performing his or her reps. They are not checking their form or giving any fitness tips or advice. They just have a blank stare or look on their face. All personal trainers should have a clipboard or an Ipad or tablet, something with their clients sets, reps, and rest included. There should be information about the client as well so they don’t forget. When as a personal trainer you work at a gym there are tons of clients you see in a day and there is no way you will remember every single detail about them and their program. This is why it is a must to have a sheet with their info and every single week you need to document what they have done that week(or in sessions) including a change in reps or sets, how they felt about the session, any soreness they had, etc. This is all done on a clipboard or tablet but I have yet to see any personal trainer have one of these at my gym. Make sure you have a personal trainer that actually cares about you and your progress.
These are some of the things I see bad personal trainers do in the gym. There are many other things that make a bad personal trainer but these are things you can spot easily in the gym. If you see anyone do any of these things, do not hire them! It doesn’t matter what your personal trainer looks like or how many certifications they have. What matters most is how they treat you and if they are excited about getting you the results you want. Comment if you have had a bad personal trainer in your eyes, and what they did. Good luck everybody!