Some trainers are amazing and will change your life while some aren’t and can even cause harm. I have a very fit friend who is deeply committed to working out. She is beautiful and healthy and she was working with a new trainer who was demanding of her, both in her fitness and in her eating. He was prescribing a diet plan (NOT in a trainer’s scope of practice) and one day when she came in he poked her arm and told her that he figured she wasn’t following the program because she “looked like a Twinkie“. She fired him and got someone that was more respectful, taking her own unique needs and goals into mind. I have another friend who is just getting started with a fitness routine so she hired a trainer. On her first day, her trainer told her she was “skinny-fat”. This is not the right way to gain rapport with new clients, it is judgmental and degrading. A male friend of mine was seeing a personal trainer and she told him that when he loses some weight, “the girls will come running!”.
What do these friends have in common? Trainers who should be FIRED. Trainers should never call their clients names or poke fun at their bodies. A trainer should be there to support, not to put people down. Training should inspire people to push harder, not guilt them into it.
Please know that most trainers are absolutely qualified, kind, and provide excellent guidance. Working with certain trainers has changed my whole fitness routine, for the better! I enjoy working with someone I can learn a lot from – both in form, new fitness ideas, as well as exercise science. I receive newsletters from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) though whom I hold my own fitness certifications and love the articles they present – information on physiology, movement and kinesiology as well as working with clients who are overweight or obese, elderly, pregnant, new to the gym or have specific needs such as diabetes or arthritis. People go to trainers for help getting more fit so look for one that will support you and make you feel awesome. Read on to find out if you should fire your personal trainer or if you have a keeper:
Should You Fire Your Personal Trainer? Yes, If:
- They say negative things about your body or hurt your feelings
- They are working out of their scope (prescribing diets or helping you with rehab if they aren’t properly certified)
- You ever feel uncomfortable around them (for any reason)
- Their workouts leave you unbearably sore -OR-they’re not challenging you (after you have discussed either of these scenarios with them)
- Your trainer is late on the regular, talking to other folks, not paying attention or on their phone during your sessions
- They keep you on their agenda, not your own
How to know you’ve got a keeper
- You look forward to meeting with your trainer
- You feel respected by your trainer and you respect them
- They refer out when needed
- You are challenged and continue progressing and improving
- You are treated as an individual and your goals have been taken into consideration
- Your trainer pays close attention to you when you’re working together
What do you think? Do you agree? Should you fire your personal trainer? Have you had good or bad experiences with a trainer of your own? Let me know in the comments!
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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