Something I have been wanting to talk about for a lil bit in this space but was a bit worried I would be coming off as a know-it-all or too-proud or like I’m something special….
..I’m not and not trying to appear as such, but as someone who has done personal training (PT) in the past and trains clients today, I can positively say that some things I see some trainers doing are straight up irritating.
Sometimes it’s not their fault and I have to give them a bit of a break because they think they are providing something good. Other times, it’s just because being a PT is just a job to them and, I’m sorry,
well not really actually, when working with people and when you are trying to help them better their health, you need to care.
So here are a few things that I see all the time and are things you need to avoid if you want someone who actually will care about their time spent with you. Plus, PT’s are $$$$ so spend your money wisely.
Having clients do their cardio warmups during your session.
Unless it’s their first session and they need help working the machines OR you are showing them some new way of doing cardio they are not used to (something like HIIT for example), don’t waste your client’s time by them staring at them on the treadmill. I’m pretty sure they know how to safely walk.
*Other potential exception is for elderly, injuries or disabilities*
If your trainer does this tell them you will do your cardio before your session so that you can spend your hour doing exercises that you want to learn about. They won’t (shouldn’t!) be offended because that is their job.
Not paying attention to clients
This one really irritates me. I have seen some trainers full on walk away from their clients when they are in the middle of a set. NO. You are glued to their side throughout the session. That is your job! If you need to grab something, get it before they start or while the are resting.
I also love when trainers look like they are lost in space while training. Their clients could be doing something completely wrong and they don’t even notice…
Which brings me to another annoyance…
Trainers who allow for CRAPTASTIC form to continue.
Isn’t it your job to correct their form? I know you are under time restraints BUT allowing for improper form to continue just so you can complete your workout in a timely fashion is 100% a no-no. Not only does this put your client up for potential injury under your watch (you are trying to prevent that remember?), but your letting them think they are doing it okay can be a problem later down the road…
Them telling others to do it ‘their’ way
Them loading more weight and still having form issues–> injury to come
No progression because we all know form is integral for results to occur.
Be patient. Take your time. Teach!
Socializing too much.
Sometimes its the client who is just very chatty, but you need to keep them on track. Talking and talking away leads to lack of work being done and obviously less potential benefits. If their workout sucked because you allowed too much “Chatty Cathy-ing” to go on, thats on you not them.
Need I say more? Unless they are coming from more of a background than CanFit, be over-cautious about nutrition ‘tips’ they provide. Some beauties I have overheard more than once…
~Make sure you have your protein shake right after your workout but don’t eat anything for at least an hour…
~Describing what bad carbs are…. (lil tidbit, white doesn’t mean bad. GASP. Also, why we saying food is bad?)
~Need to eat every 2-3 hours to keep that metabolism firing…(my rant here)
Being a nutrition student and someone who listens to a podcast or two about the latest in nutrition research, it makes me cringe when I hear myths continue to be taught to clients. I know I know that often times it’s because the trainer believes them too, but I wish some would keep more up to date on their nutrition science before spreading lies to open ears.
Still on nutrition…
Taking your clients right to the good ol’ smoothie bar post workout.
Wow more money from your pocket to the gym…
Please know that post workout doesn’t automatically mean you need to run to get in your protein shake.
If you like shakes, than do you, but they are not required. Always remember that supplements SUPPLEMENT your diet. Do you need whey post workout? No. Can you eat normal food? Yes. See here for more.
Sticking to the same things.
Unless there is a particular goal in mind that requires some sort of structure and restraint on exercise variety or training style OR they are 100% new, SWITCH IT UP! I often see trainers sticking to the bare bone basics. Lets do a shoulder press, now lets do a leg press…
If your client understands the basics, teach them new things to fire up their interest. What about showing them new equipment to use like kettle bells or playing around with a sled or battle ropes if your gym has them?
The point of your sessions is to 1. teach, but you should also be challenging them both physically and mentally. Make them look forward to coming to your sessions.
Finally, I wanted to end off on the most common stereotype about trainers because that means I can’t rant too much about it…
Cookie Cutter Plans.
This kind of falls into the ‘you don’t care about your clients’ category because, well, clearly you don’t if you plan on giving them some plan that has been given 0% thought about their needs and goals.
How is that going to help them?
Sure, if they are brand new they might see some benefits (hello newbie gains, aka growth simply because it’s a new stimulus) but if a client already has some experience and wants something new OR has special challenges OR is rehabbing, giving them pre-planned workouts just ain’t gunna cut it.
So now that my ranting for the night has been met, please don’t take this as me being overly judgmental. I’m not trying to be. I believe that PT’s should be people who care about the well being of their clients and if they truly care, they would agree that all of the above things shouldn’t happen because that is putting their client at risk, not teaching them anything OR even worse, teaching them the wrong things.
I wish that all PT’s loved their job the way many do, including myself, but that is unfortunately not the case. I wrote this to try and help you see when someone is there for you vs. someone just wanting an easy pay check.
Bad experiences with a PT?