Having been a personal trainer myself for years, I can tell you I’ve met some very knowledgable individuals and some very…not so knowledgable individuals, to put it politely. Trainers always want to tout their various credentials and degrees. While they may look nice on paper, that’s only half the equation. A trainers worth should be measured by their ability to get results. Frankly, even some of the nationally recognized certifications are painfully easy to ascertain. Don’t be fooled by seeing a bunch of credentials after a trainer’s name and assuming they are legit.
As I said before, I’ve been around a lot of phony trainers out there who are simply trying to make a buck and keep you coming back again and again. These type of people typically have several traits in common that are very obvious to the trained eye. Check them out below and decide whether your own trainer is a fake or for real.
- Focuses heavily on balance boards, bosu balls, and other uncommon equipment. This guy or girl is trying to give the impression that you cannot get your workout without them. While it is nice to work these exercises in once in a while, studies show that the best progress is made through the use of weights/cables/bands and/or doing full body compound lifts. The crazy exercises involving the equipment above should supplement that, not replace it.
- Doing hundreds of crunches or core work will burn your stomach fat. Number 1 reason it’s time to ditch your trainer. Nothing could be further from the truth. You cannot spot tone your body, only a well-designed cardio plan will help burn fat and let your 6 pack show through. Often times this trainer will dedicate a full 30 minutes to strictly core work; this is entirely too much and a waste of time.
- Never mentions diet. No less than 75% of your results come from what you are eating. Whether you want to build muscle or lose fat, your diet is vital. The trainer who simply ignores this, or just glosses over it with you, doesn’t have a firm grasp on this very elementary information. No matter how hard you may be working with your trainer, if you aren’t eating right your gains will be minimal at best.
- Uses almost every machine in the gym. Again, this trainer wants to make it seem like you cannot live without them. They probably lack the knowledge about which exercises they can do that aren’t right in front of them, i.e. machines. The best exercises for building muscle are done with the use of free weights and cables. If you are just doing machines, you really don’t need that trainer in the first place.
- You haven’t seen results in the first month. Forget whatever excuses your trainer is giving you. If you are working hard with your trainer, eating right, and doing a little cardio on your own time, there is no reason you shouldn’t be seeing results. If you aren’t seeing results, first make sure it’s not because of your own bad habits or laziness. If it’s not, it’s time to fire the trainer and find another. Be especially wary of individuals who make you commit to months of training at a time.
- Be wary of trainers working at big clubs. Places like 24 hour fitness, Lifetime fitness, Fitness Together, etc. pay their trainers very little. Turnover is especially high in these places. The best trainers aren’t the ones who are content making $15/hr working at a corporate gym. The best ones are almost always independent or working out of a small gym. Benefit yourself and help the small business owner out at the same time; win-win.
- Your trainer is more of a salesman than a trainer. This goes hand-in-hand with the above point. Many of the corporate gyms focus more heavily on sales skills than they do on health and fitness skills. Be careful of the trainer who is making one pitch after another. He/she often tells you why you need to buy this, or that, or invest in this supplement (often times, one his gym conveniently sells). Good trainers do not need to sell themselves. Their ability to produce changes in clients is all they need to sell.
- Doesn’t have, or refuses to give you references. ALWAYS check references. If you ask for a list of references to call and the answer is anything but “YES”, ditch the trainer. There is no acceptable reason for not having a list of references available to new clients. You are putting a great deal of money into this trainer, you deserve to know what he or she is capable of. No references is a huge warning flag.
The cost of a trainer at almost all places is $40+/hr. If you are paying these fees, you deserve to see results in return. Many trainers goal is to hang on to clients as long as possible with little care given to helping their clients see results. When the client gets fed up, the trainer has already moved on to 10 other people. Don’t let yourself get sucked into this game. Hold trainers accountable and demand results.
That being said, whether a trainer is a fake or for real, Share It Fitness believes the personal training field is broken. Paying a trainer $40, $50, $60+ an hour to work you out is ridiculous in our opinion. Should trainers really be getting paid the same rates as doctors and lawyers? We don’t think so. Most people get a trainer because they simply don’t know what to do to get results. We fully recognize the benefit of a trainer designing a specific workout for you, but is it really worth paying someone hundreds of dollars a month to stand over you and count? Do you plan on paying someone to do this forever? There will come a time you are going to have to learn to workout on your own.
At Share It Fitness, we offer you a personal trainer by the MONTH, not the HOUR like most places. For less than half the price of one hour at a corporate gym you will have a trainer with you everyday of that month. By building completely customized workouts, making themselves available day and night to answer questions, and sending you the best information and exercises available, you will realize you don’t need to pay hundreds of dollars to see success. We simply guide you along your journey and show you that the ability to get results lies within yourself.