Is your New Year’s resolution to get in shape? Then you need to hear this: I’m going to help you spot a lousy personal trainer. If you notice any of these signs, lace up your sneakers and run away! This comes from Newsweek.com.
- Sign #1: Unprofessional business practices. If your trainer doesn’t explain their cancellation policies, can’t provide references, or doesn’t have liability insurance, walk away. Most importantly, you should ask where your trainer got their certification. Here are the leading fitness certification organizations: the American Council on Exercise, the American College of Sports Medicine and National Strength and Conditioning Association.
- Sign #2: They’re clingy. If you ask how many sessions it should take before you can work out on your own – and the trainer gives you a vague answer, or tells you about the clients they’ve been seeing weekly for a year or more – watch out! A good trainer makes you an independent exerciser by teaching you how to use equipment safely. A bad trainer keeps you confused so you keep them on the payroll. Just so you know. After four months, you should be able to set up and operate equipment on your own, use proper technique and monitor your exercise intensity.
- Beware if the trainer tries to sell you vitamins or protein powder, recommends unusual products, or tells you that you can’t eat meat. Trainers are taught basic nutrition and weight-management techniques, but they shouldn’t be pushing an agenda about diet or supplements. So, unless your trainer happens to be a Registered Dietician or an M.D. – which is highly unlikely – say no to supplements, and find another gym.
- Sign #4: They push you too hard. Yes, you need to exercise past your comfort zone in order to build stamina and muscles, but it IS possible to overdo workouts. So if you feel your trainer is being too tough, speak up. You should feel stretched to your physical limit – but you shouldn’t feel like you’re going to faint or throw up.