15 September

The Signs of a Bad Personal Trainer

Image of a warning sign reading This is a Bad Sign on the National Personal Training Institute website

The reality of the fitness industry is that without enforced Personal Training regulation, the consumer is at risk. Considering there are no minimum educational requirements; the number of bad trainers seem to outnumber the educated qualified trainers. Sadly, those who pay the price are the unsuspecting clients who waste their time, spend their money, and put their health at risk with these uneducated Personal Trainers.

It is hard for the consumer to always know how to pre-qualify a Personal Trainer prior to the first training session. Here are a few characteristics of a trainer you would not want to engage with for professional services:

#1 They do not offer any assessments.
The best Personal Trainers perform thorough and complete assessments when working with a new client. These assessments are done before doing anything else. This means doing movement screening and even basic performance tests. If you’re not put through a battery of assessments in your first session or consultation with a trainer, this is not for you.

#2 They cannot demonstrate previous success or experience.
The best Personal Trainers keep detailed statistics of their clients. Most trainers have collected compelling testimonials from previous clients. They may even be able to introduce you to a few, so you can chat directly about the experience. If they cannot show you previous success, assume they do not have the experience in working with clients you will need to reach your goals.

#3 They only have a “Certification” without formal education or hands on experience.
Most Personal Trainers have nothing more than a High School diploma and some online certification obtain over a weekend or two. Look for a Personal Trainer who has formal education in exercise science, nutrition, rehab and program design. Not to mention hands on training. These programs should be through a Licensed and Accredited Vocational School or College. This is important to ensure client safety by meeting certain educational standards.

#4 The Trainer isn’t healthy or fit.
Just like realtors who’ve never owned a home and a financial planner who is broke; out of shape trainers are everywhere. Just to be clear you do not have to look like a fitness model to be healthy and fit. However, if your trainer doesn’t have more muscle, less fat, and a better health profile than the average American, why would you listen and or pay them. My rule of thumb is if the trainer isn’t healthy and fit or practice the behaviors necessary to remain that way-they can’t be my coach.

#5 Trainers must know the difference between an outcome and a behavior.
“I need to lose 10 lbs.,” that’s an outcome goal. “I need to exercise 5 times per week,” that’s a behavior goal. If the Trainer doesn’t know the difference between the two they will not be able to give you attainable steps to reach your goal.

#6 Trainers must have a 3-month plan from the start.
Once your assessments are completed and before the first workout session, the best trainers will have at least at minimum a 3-mionth fitness plan based on your level, needs and goals. I visit gyms all the time. It’s a joke to see most trainers making up workouts as they go. There’s no plan. No big picture.

#7 Trainers must track progress and results.
Clients are paying for measurable results. The best trainers measure everything. They will monitor and record performance.

#8 They do not integrate training and nutrition
Exercise alone doesn’t work. Dietary intervention with a well-designed exercise program will lead to body composition change. The best trainers offer nutrition solutions as part of programming.

#9 They don’t care
Most trainers don’t care about being great at their jobs. They don’t care about helping clients reach their goals. Don’t waste your money.

The bottom line is choosing your Trainer wisely. Or call NPTI Florida (Orlando/Tampa) for a reference or assistance in selecting your Personal Trainer.