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Tuesday Tips: 5 Signs It’s Time to Switch Personal Trainers

Hey there! Today I’m launching a new weekly series called Tuesday Tips. After the popularity of 7 Tips for Waking Up Early for Exercise, I decided that once a week I’ll share some health, fitness, or food tips that have helped me along my wellness journey.

This week’s tips are from Eric, who has lots of advice on personal training and what to avoid when choosing a trainer.

Eric is a 26-year-old entrepreneur, and has been a personal trainer for the last 9 years. Born and raised in Brooklyn New York, Eric has always had a passion for fitness. After discovering one common complaint from his clients, he invented the DEAD X Deadlift Shinguard and formed BADKALLUS LLC, a fitness accessory company, in 2012.


5 Signs It’s Time to Switch Personal Trainers

I have been a personal trainer and managed other trainers for the last decade and have worked for many gyms. I have seen, done and heard some really interesting things about personal trainers that I feel every prospective and current client should know.

1. You feel uncomfortable asking them a question.

I heard this from many clients, that they felt intimidated to ask their previous trainer questions. And if they did the trainer would get upset and make them do more pushups or something. Why would you pay someone for their knowledge and expertise, if they are not willing to share it?

You should feel comfortable with your trainer, combfortable enough that you would want to hang out with them. Not literally, but if your trainer is not someone you would hang out with or even get along with, dump them. You should hate your personal trainer for making you work hard, not hate him because he is an a**hole.

2. You got sold by sales tactics.

I am not proud of saying I have done these types of tactics, but for the places I worked for, you had to. I have worked in many gyms and it’s all sales (unfortunately). The client is rarely looked at as a person, but more as a paycheck. If you start to inquire about training, and all of a sudden you about to purchase $2k worth of sessions…run. You are the customer. Don’t spend it unless you have it or want to spend it. If he won’t let you go until you at least buy a single session…run.

At one of my crummier personal training jobs, I once HAD to sell sessions to a guy who was a single parent and couldn’t afford training, but I wore him down until he bought a few sessions which he NEVER even used!!! These places aim to get your money in the hopes that you will never use the sessions.

I personally love soft sales and find it builds a more trusting relationship. A good trainer knows that they CAN help you and have the skills to help you reach your goals. They should know that even if you walk away now, that you most likely will come back later. They should tell you that it is okay if you don’t buy now and that they will always be there when you’re ready.


3. They look great, but don’t know much.

What do you think when you see someone in glasses? “Gee, they must be smart.” Not true. Just because they look buff or sexy, doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about. A buff guy vs. a scrawny guy: the scrawny guy may have multiple degrees in the field, while the other just watched pumping iron with Arnold.

Many personal trainers must take certifications, multiple even, in order to train. Some even have degrees in the field. I have both a degree and an accredited certification. Unfortunately, many don’t have either or have an online certification. Ask you trainer what certifications they have and look for ones that have an NCCA accreditation. If they get upset if you ask…run.

4. Your routine never changes.

Have you been with your trainer for a while and still aren’t seeing results? Do they keep you on the same routine EVERY time you work with them? Run!

After your initial fitness evaluation, a good personal trainer will create a workout specifically for YOU, not a computer printout. A workout routine should slightly change every three weeks. This way you continually progress towards your goal. Every three months they should reevaluate you and see if they need to change your goals, thus creating a new workout routine.


5. You have been fighting though injuries.

A trainer worth his salt won’t make you work through injuries, unless specified by your doctor. They will spend time with you on what the difference between soreness and pain is. Any serious injures can be worked around not through.

Got knee pain? After a visit to your doctor for the okay, a painful knee can be worked out to strengthen the muscles around it. Also, not everyone can do certain exercises. Your routine should be geared around your limitations and working on strengthening weaknesses. Can’t do a full squat with weights? That’s fine. Getting up and down from a seated position is still a considered a squat.

When choosing a personal trainer, many people think that they are stuck with what they have. It is not true. You are paying for a service, and if it’s not what you want, look elsewhere. Do not worry about upsetting the trainer… after all, it’s business, and if they take it really hard and get upset with you…RUN!


I’m wondering…


What’s your best or worst experience with a trainer? Have you ever had to switch trainers for a certain reason? Do you value personal trainers or do you prefer to do it on your own?

About youmefit

I am a college student that is trying to stay physically fit and eat healthy. We all know how hard this is, so I am trying to post some tips, and get some discussions started so we can all learn from each other.

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