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 Things Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You

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Number of posts : 122
Age : 34
Registration date : 2008-05-15

PostSubject: Things Your Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You   Mon Jan 05, 2009 7:57 pm

Most people seem to trust their trainers 100% when it comes to advice on how to get into shape, yet isn’t the information only as good as the source it comes from. Some trainers may have a Masters in exercise physiology, some may have no formal background in fitness. While a degree is one thing, experience and the ability to get results is another. Much like a nutritionist who went to school to learn about nutrition, yet may also tell you to follow the food pyramid, eat 10 servings of grains all day and eating 6x a day is the best way to speed up your metabolism (which we already know is not true from the posts about the science of meal frequency Part I and Part II). Trainers are also in the business of training, so there is incentive to keeping people around month after month. So here are some things that you may not be getting from your trainer….but need to know.

* 85%+ of Your Results Comes from What you Eat - I can’t stress how HUGE this is. Whether weight loss or gaining muscle, diet and what you eat is the biggest part of the equation. I don’t care how advanced and special your workouts are, if your nutrition stinks then you get little to no results. A basic workout with dialed in nutrition will give phenomenal results. So while trainers convince you about needing to workout with them, ask them about nutrition as that is what really matters.
* Your Core is Not the Big Problem - It drives me crazy to see trainers in the gym doing all these balancing exercises on wobble boards, bosu balls and other ridiculous pieces of equipment. While you can use them as some secondary piece of equipment to work on something specific, to make it the focus of the workout is useless. Lifting weights and doing full compound movements is where 99.9% of people need to stay and focus with. Trainers are getting suckered into all this additional nonsense because the equipment industry is promoting it as ongoing education (because they want to sell more silly balance things). If you want a strong core, lift something over your head and hold it up there….but looking around the gym it seems people have too big a core anyways and just need to go focus on mastering full body movements and diet.
* Abs are Made in the Kitchen - Again another thing that drives me nuts, seeing trainers doing just an “ab” workout. Really? Unless you are already ripped and want to improve the definition on your abs, you again don’t need this as a focus of your workout. Do some planks at the end and that will be enough stimulation, but without proper focus on diet/nutrition you will never see those abs in the first place. We all have a six pack, we just have something covering it up.
* 90% of the Equipment in the Gym is Hype - If a trainer is taking you from machine to machine and spending no time on free weight or compound movements, go find another trainer. Isolation machines are pretty much useless in the overall scheme if your goal is to use exercise as a hormonal response to grown muscle and burn fat. If you goal is to just kill time for an hour 5x a week and never make any progress, then feel free to use the machines.
* If You are Not Getting Results in 30 Days, Hire Another Trainer - Remember that you are paying for RESULTS. Consider a trainer as part of your company named You Inc. If your employee isn’t doing their job, why do you keep them around? Fire your trainer and go find another one if need be. Heck find a new trainer every month and see what each has to offer. All in all you don’t need a trainer month after month (unless you really need that motivation and have that kind of money to spend freely). A trainer should teach you how to do the right exercises and nutrition. You can check back in with them to see what kind of progress you are making and to change things up as needed, but you really don’t need them month after month to count reps. Most trainers that make a living on long term clients may not be getting them any results….and those are not the trainers you want to stick with. Don’t get suckered into any long term contracts, go month to month and base it on whether you are getting the results you are looking for.
* You Don’t Need a 1-Hour Training Sessions - If your trainer can’t push you enough in 20-30 min, he/she doesn’t know what they are doing. Workouts should be about 30min and you can do any other cardio on your own without paying a trainer to talk to you on the treadmill.
* It takes a Spare Weekend and $400 to Become a “Professional” Trainer - Heck nowadays with the internet it’s probably more like $200 and a day on a computer. Don’t let the certification fool you into thinking they are an expert.
* Big Clubs have Big Turnover and Pay their trainers very little - So while you may go to a big chain club, you may be getting a trainer that is happy making $15/hr. Just remember that as some of the top trainers I know of are independent, own their own studios or work out of small gyms…not the big corporate ones.
* Trainers are being educated more on how to sell you - Like any good business, a gym wants to make money. So they train their salesmen (in the form of trainers) to get you to buy big 6-12mo contracts up front….and then they (the gym) couldn’t care less if you show up for them. Also there are plenty of fitness marketers out there telling trainers how to sell, how to trick you and how to make a ton of money. Now there is nothing wrong with running a business, making money and providing a valuable product. Just don’t get suckered into anything long term… you are paying for results, so make sure your trainer knows what they are doing before you decide on staying with them long term. Any good trainer will probably even tell you that is the best course of action. Don’t fall for some sales line of “well paying for 6 months up front will keep you motivated”….as that is BS….getting results month after month is the best motivation and good trainers know that.

and now (drum roll please) to finish off, I give you the top 10 warning signs on when you need to fire your personal trainer (and find a new one).

1. Your routines change up so much you never allow for any progression of weight for exercises
2. Your trainer likes to use alot of “toys” that he/she bought as the latest and greatest piece of equipment….and there is a new toy every month (shows where they are getting their education from)
3. Your trainer starts you off with any abdominal exercises (nothing like weakening your prime spinal stabilizers before going into compound movements, can you say injury?)
4. You trainer answers their cell phone during your session
5. Your trainer reads fitness magazines as their education (fitness magazines are marketed for people who don’t know how to get real results, if your trainer is one of them….then run away)
6. Your trainer does not explain how you should be eating (where most all the results come from remember?)
7. Your trainer keeps you on isolation machines (if there is not any focus on compound full body movements, you are not getting the education you need about good exercise)
8. You spend more time talking to him/her than working out (if you have enough time to talk for minutes in between sets, you aren’t working out hard enough)
9. You can’t get a good workout done in 30min (too much chatting going on? Or is your trainer just killing time with useless stuff to bill your more?)
10. and lastly….my personal recent favorite sign….your trainer has a bio in the gym saying he has 15 years of “weight training” experience….and he is 25. (seriously true story…..I about fell over when I saw that one personally….wow….or as I said in response “Well I have played with a calculator since I was 5 but you don’t see me saying I’ve been an accountant for 30+ years”)

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