As an experienced and passionate personal trainer with many years’ experience I have seen my fair share of good and bad trainers. I have seen trainers so professional and skilled that I am inspired to be better and I have seen trainers so bad I simply want to shake them while asking “Why are you giving the passionate trainers a bad name?”
Unfortunately, the bad trainers outnumber the good and I personally believe the large number of inexperienced trainers in the current work force is due to the fact that obtaining the certifications required to be a personal trainers is competency based and seems to more about money than creating highly professional trainers. Now this is not necessarily the fault of those enrolling and completing Personal Training courses and from personal experience I believe courses should be based on grades and a huge emphasis needs to be placed on educating those completing the courses that it is their responsibility for continued education, specialisation and becoming the best trainer they can be.
Now please don’t get me wrong I am not a “hater” of inexperienced trainers, as we all start somewhere, and the aim of this article isn’t to condemn them. This passage was written with the hope that inexperienced trainers will be humble and aware they need to continually learn and grow in the scientific and evolving world of Personal Training, so potential clients can choose trainers wisely, so existing clientele can make executive decisions to whether their trainer is providing value for money and also for and the fate and longevity of our industry maintaining a professional image.
So how are we able to tell the good from the bad? I am aware that this is extremely difficult at a glance and I sincerely hope this detailed list of warning signs will help inexperienced trainer focus on skills, mindset and mannerisms they need to improve and to prevent innocent gym-goers being ripped off or taken advantage of by unprofessional, incompetent and ineffective trainers who are uninterested in becoming better and who are simply in it for the money.
- You hardly, if ever see them train, and when you do its nothing special.
- They do not conduct initial or reoccurring health, nutrition, postural or body composition assessments/analysis.
- They don’t have multiple qualifications or certifications.
- They don’t have testimonials and cannot evince previous success.
- They don’t look fit and healthy – Their body shape, definition or composition doesn’t inspire you or give you something to aspire too.
- They never carry a notebook, record any results or have a plan before each session – The best trainers keep detailed statistics, results and pictures of all their clients.
- They don’t integrate training and nutrition – One without the other is pointless.
- They never attend specific courses/classes/seminars to further their skills, knowledge or abilities- Good trainers spend hours upon hours reading and attending courses to increase their skills.
- They struggle to be approachable, friendly and helpful to all gym-goers and other personal trainers.
- They keep information to themselves and cannot explain why you do things in particular way, what muscles are working or correct dangerous or inaccurate techniques.
- You can’t seem to get a good workout in 30 minutes.
- They simply don’t know how to help all the clients that see them – The sign of great trainers are the ones who can get results from any anyone.
- They aren’t willing to accommodate your needs and won’t go above and beyond to keep you well informed, training safely and reach your goals.
- They don’t genuinely care about their clients – if they do any of the above then I would be confident in saying they don’t truly care about you or your goals.