You’ve taken a big step and started working with a personal trainer. You booked your first session, you told everyone how hot you’re going to be in a few weeks time and you bought a load of expensive spandex.
How do you know if you’ve made a good investment and hired a decent personal trainer? If you hear your trainer say any of these things, run and find a new one:
1. “Yes, it’s a good idea to do a juice cleanse and then come for a session.”
Your trainer shouldn’t be encouraging you to start a drastic diet that won’t fuel you properly for your workouts. Personal trainers want you to get the most out of your sessions, so they should make sure you’re fully fueled and hydrated before you start.
2. ‘”You can rest a few minutes between reps because you’re tired.”
Being exhausted and feeling a little bit tired are two different things. If you’re not feeling motivated, it’s your trainer’s job to get you going and working hard. If you’re falling asleep on your feet, maybe postpone your session and get some much-needed sleep!
3. “Do everything as fast as you can; it doesn’t matter if your form is all over the place.”
One of the key reasons to get a personal trainer is to make sure that your form and technique are perfect so that you avoid injury and target the body parts that you want to target. Start with technique and speed will come (if that's what you're after).
4. “If this move is too hard, you can stop.”
If you don’t push yourself, your progress will plateau and you won’t reach your goals. A good trainer will keep stepping things up to keep your body guessing and improving, but won't let you injure yourself or make you so uncomfortable you feel like you can't go on.
5. “I can help you lose 10 pounds in a week.”
Not OK. Getting fit and reaching goals is all about steady progress, commitment and hard work, not quick fixes.
6. “You have a cold? You should still come in.”
It’s true that exercise can make you feel better, but stay away from the gym if you're not well. You’ll only make yourself feel worse, have a frustrating session and spread your germs around.
7. “These [super-expensive, name-brand shoes] are perfect for running and lifting.”
Having the right gear, especially trainers, can help avoid injury and good performance, but I would recommend taking the advice of a salesperson over your trainer. Any running store will be able to test your gait on a treadmill and provide you with the right sort of shoe for your body. What you wear on the rest of your body is up to you as long as you are free to move, comfortable and supported.
8. “You deserve that extra-large, stuffed-crust pizza with double pepperoni after your session!”
Part of a personal trainer’s job is to give you nutrition advice that will complement your training. Make sure you ask questions and eat right to establish a balanced lifestyle that will help you to reach your goals.
9. “One hour each week with me will make all the difference.”
Unless you’re one of those lucky people who can afford to employ a personal trainer six times each week, chances are you’re going to have to motivate yourself for a vast majority of the time. If you’re not seeing the results that you want, take a hard look at what you’re doing outside of your training sessions.
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