It has become quite apparent to me after bouncing around from gym to gym that most people are absolutely clueless when they go to the gym. People either walk aimlessly on a treadmill, watch someone else lift and mimic their training program, or just wander around for an hour never accomplishing much of a workout at all. Sound familiar?
An even bigger problem in my eyes is that many of the trainers that are supposed to be the fitness professionals in these gyms do not know what they are doing either. It takes nearly everything I have to not slap them on the hand and ask them where in the hell they learned how to train. Just the other day, I saw a trainer working with a guy, who looked as if it was his first appointment. First off, there was no assessment of any fashion. Second, there was no warm-up of any fashion. So what does the trainer do so un-intelligently do, she gives him a bar and has him start doing loaded overhead squats; not to be outdone, she followed up by having him do pull-ups, which he could not even manage 1/2 rep, yet she made him struggle through a set of 8 reps! It was a painful site to see, and it angers me to no end because I know this guy had a terrible experience, and what’s worse is that he’ll likely quit going the gym completely or bad mouth the personal training industry.
Does any of this sound familiar? Have you seen this happen? My point is not to scare you away from using a personal trainer; my point is to make you aware. When you go seek a personal trainer, you need to go in armed with questions and expectations of what good training is all about. First off, a bachelor’s degree and a certification is not what it takes to be a good personal trainer. You need to look deeper, and I’m going to provide you with a list of questions to arm you in your quest of finding the right trainer. Think of me as doing my best OSHA impersonation for you.
1) Do you do a functional movement screen prior to the training program? This is an assessment tool that allows for a good trainer to understand the limitations and imbalances that are present in your body.
2) Is there a nutrition program included in the training program? No, simply a journal is not good enough. There should be a very clear, concise, nutrition program that educated you on how to eat right, not how to diet right.
3) What is the plan with my training program? How are we going to get from point A to point B?
4) How long are the training sessions, and what’s included in the training sessions?
5) How often do you re-assess progress?
6) What’s your track record with success with clients? Can I see the before and after pictures? May I speak to these clients and ask them about their experience?
If you have any questions about your quest to find good, quality training, please feel free to ask. I would be more than happy to help. That being said, read below:
With the nice summer months quickly approaching, please do not become complacent with your health and fitness. I see it every year; people work out diligently and eat healthy for a period of time only to look good for a month of the summer, after which time the booze and eating out begins to show itself again right where it always does. It’s like what I tell the athletes I work with, the best off-season program is a good in-season program (not an original thought). This applies to everyone. Don’t just work hard seasonally to get into shape only to have to do it all over again. What a cruel, self-sabotaging trick to play on yourself.
– Coach Street