I believe there is tremendous value in having professionals teach people how to exercise properly. What bothers me though is the extremely low barrier to entry in the personal training field – some certifications can be obtained simply by completing a weekend course.
Even if your trainer has all qualifications in the world, there are still reasons why you should consider replacing them.
- Your trainer is consistently late
Seriously, I could’ve stopped right here. Paying for a 1 hour session and getting 50 minutes is not acceptable. Even if they’re offering to extend your session, why would you want to ruin your schedule because someone can’t organise their own time?
- Your trainer ignores your pain
Ok, this is simply dangerous. I personally knew a lady who had informed her trainer about an acute back pain she was having before the session; the trainer said it must have been soreness from her previous work-out and proceeded to train her as per usual. It turned out the lady had an injury that was made much worse by that training session. She ended up in hospital and out of the gym for weeks.
- Your trainer gives the same routine to everyone
This one is a bit difficult to spot, unless you are at the gym a lot on your own. It is great if your PT has his / her training philosophy, but training every client in exactly the same fashion just screams that they are lazy.
- Your trainer answers phone calls/text messages during your session
If they are using fitness apps or timers to coach you that’s one thing, but texting or being on social media while you work out is a huge red flag. Again, you’re paying this trainer to focus on you, not anyone else.
- Your trainer barely watches you while you exercise
Your form can make or break an exercise, and if your trainer isn’t watching yours, they might as well not be there.
- Your trainer always pushes you to your limits
Doesn’t matter how dedicated you are to get in shape, if you throw up during every session it’s not ok. I understand, a bunch of clients’ transformation photos is a great marketing tool. However, some trainers get so obsessed with their clients’ results they start forgetting they are human beings, not machines. Find a trainer who is going to listen to you and put your body’s needs first.
- Your trainer is being inappropriate
Few professional relationships throw people into such physical intimacy as one-on-one fitness training. There’s no formal rule concerning conduct between a client and a personal trainer, but if something your trainer does or says feels inappropriate – just trust your gut feeling.
- Your trainer doesn’t practice what he / she preaches
I have seen so many overweight / out-of-shape PT’s in Dubai – it’s not even funny. Do I believe every personal trainer should have a six-pack? No. Should they live the healthiest lifestyle possible and set a good example? Yes, definitely. If your trainer tells you how they go out partying every weekend and / or enjoy fast food on a regular basis, how do they plan to motivate you? There is no ideal body shape for personal trainers, but their physiques should resemble the desired physique of their clients. You wouldn’t take swimming lessons from someone who is scared of water, right?