How to Pick a Trainer

When I was a full time club manager at a gym, one of my jobs was to close sales. I had to get prospects in, do a 1-1 trial session with them, go through the different machines, talk about their medical history, previous exercise history, and about their goals.

I used to get clients tell me they’ve had bad experiences with a personal trainer in the past. At that time, I just thought maybe they just didn’t get their teaching style, or maybe their trainer was too ‘bootcamp/commando’ for their liking. Hey, everyone’s different, and everyone gets motivated in their own way, so really, no one was to blame.

Or so I thought.

I was at my local gym this morning doing a workout, and I saw a personal trainer walking by looking like he’d rather be anywhere else. I didn’t think anything of it, I thought maybe it was just his turn to tidy up the gym (you’d be surprised at the amount of people who leave weights lying around for somebody else to pick up after).

And then I see a lady shortly after. It wasn’t until she caught up with him, that I realised she was in a training session with him. He said something to her and pointed at a seated row machine, leaned back and watched as she took her seat and rowed. Her technique was very poor. I could see she was a beginner, but her trainer just stood there, leaning against another machine, hands in his pockets, and he just watched her, no readjustment, no feedback, no motivational words.

Since when did personal training become so impersonal? If she just wanted exercises, she could have bought a women’s health magazine and copied the exercises provided; and it would have cost a fraction of the price.

I used to get asked for help from friends to find a trainer for them; “anyone you’d recommend?” they’d say.

I would always just tell them to observe. See how they train their current clients. See how involved they get, see how they’re willing to adapt to their clients, and most importantly, see how comfortable the client was with their trainer.

At the end of the day, the trainer should be there 100% to guide you towards your goals. If they’re half ass-ing it, they obviously don’t care, and it’s time to break up with them.

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