4 things i hate to see personal trainers doing

i have been frequenting the same chain of fitness centers for the past four years. there are plenty of derogatory comments i could make about various aspects of this establishment, but the fact is, i stick with them because of the convenience. it’s close to my house, open 24 hours/365 days a year. there is one negative about this place that has spanned every location i’ve used, and disturbs me greatly: unbelievably bad personal trainers.

now, i am obviously not a certified personal trainer. so i feel this post might come across as a bit uppity, since i haven’t gone through the schooling and testing that the crowd i’m criticizing has. being a 4-5 day a weeker at the gym, plus having been personally trained by some really wonderful professionals, however, is the experience i’m drawing on for the below complaints:

1. putting people on weight lifting machines. this is a problem for a couple of reasons. first, i’m pretty sure folks don’t need a personal trainer to use these self-explanatory, one-dimensional tools. there’s usually a set of instructions ON the machine. additionally, most of the machines aren’t great to begin with, because they isolate muscle groups unnaturally and don’t serve the user as well as a free weight or bodyweight exercise might. this offense is unimaginative at best and detrimental to the client’s progress. thumbs down.

2. talking, texting, LOOKING at his/her cell phone while training a client. no lie, if i were paying for a personal trainer (at this gym, they charge quite a bit too), and he was texting while training me? i would walk out and demand my money back. hopefully that one is fairly self-explanatory.

3. not pushing the client. i see the trainers meandering around the weight room, chatting with the client, sort of paying attention while an exercise is performed, etc. there is no cardio benefit to lazily doing a few pull-ups and then sauntering over to another activity. inefficient and maddening.

4. talking to other gym-goers. the other day, i was working out (not with a trainer) NEXT to a man being “trained.” in the middle of this poor guy’s session, his trainer came up to ME and started trying to give me tips on my form. whether i needed them or not aside (i didn’t), that is unbelievably rude to the person paying for your time and attention, sir. if i wanted your half-assed coaching, i would pay an exorbitant amount of money to get it.

overall, these people seem disinterested and extremely unmotivated to do a job that i personally feel requires a lot of passion. go work at starbucks, people, you’re not inspiring anyone around you to get in shape/lose weight/get healthier. that is a REAL problem.

are the trainers good at your gym? what personal training pet peeves do you have? 

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2 thoughts on “4 things i hate to see personal trainers doing

  1. I have seen the same problems with the trainers at the gym I used to go to…. I always feel like they spend more time talking, than actually putting the client to work. It’s like “Oh, here do a minute plank” and then let’s sit down and talk about what you did yesterday for the next ten minutes, while you maybe do a few more sit-ups in-between.

    I think that there are good trainers out there, like you said, but they come few and far between. Maybe it’d be better if full schooling was required for all trainers – that way there’d be some sort of measure that the person is truly dedicated to pursuing this as a career – however, obviously school costs lots of money so who knows.

    I just feel bad for some people paying for personal training, and who honestly don’t know that they could get better!!

    • yes! sometimes i just want to take these people aside and say, “look – you could honestly find better guidance on the internet … don’t waste your money!”

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