What A Personal Trainer Won’t Tell You But Probably Should

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By Natalie Martin

Hiring a personal trainer to help you reach your fitness goals can be a great idea. They are frequently used by celebrities and athletes, and thanks to reality inspired TV shows the popularity of personal trainers is only growing.

They can make workouts fun and interesting, while also ensuring that the exercise routines are safe and effective. The best personal trainers  will also be able to provide motivation, along with plenty of enthusiastic support.

Personal trainers can also be expensive, and even though you are paying them they might not tell you everything they probably should. While this probably won’t affect your workout results, it might mean that you’re not getting exactly what you should. Here are a few things you should know about a personal trainer before hiring one to guide you through your workouts.

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What Your Personal Trainer Should Tell You

  1. They believe “one size fits all”.

The term “personal trainer” implies that the person you hire will create a workout program designed specifically for you. A top-rated trainer understands that everyone is different, and will take the time to develop a complete program with your health and fitness goals in mind.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Personal trainers can get “stuck” on a favorite workout plan. They forget that what worked great for others, might not produce favorable results for you. If you feel like the exercise routines aren’t right for you it’s time to talk to your personal trainer. If they won’t listen, it is probably time to start looking for one that will.

  1. “Sabotage” is okay.

Chances are your personal trainer won’t tell you that they are quietly “sabotaging” your workouts. This doesn’t mean that they don’t want you to reach your fitness goals, only that you might need their services a little longer than you normally would.

It is important to remember that personal trainers only get paid when you need them, and once you’ve achieved your desired results they are usually left looking for their next client. In an attempt to stretch the job out as long as possible, some personal trainers will ensure that they are indispensable to the client.

If your personal trainer starts giving you candy and other treats on birthdays and holidays you might want to take a second to ask if they are trying to sabotage the progress you’ve made so far.

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  1. Their certification is useless.

An independent study conducted by Lehman College in the Bronx found that out of 247 personal trainers, 20 percent were not certified. While its easy to find out if a trainer is certified, most won’t tell you if their certification is worthless.

Becoming a certified trainer is relatively easy, and there are several agencies that offer courses. Unfortunately, not all the courses are the same. The American Council on Exercise in San Diego (ACE) certifies personal trainers, but doesn’t require them to perform any workouts before graduating from the program. This means that they might be certified and still not know how to perform a simple pushup.

Experience and an understanding of biomechanics are important when you are looking for a personal trainer. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, while also keeping your risk for injury low, the personal trainer must be qualified. Some personal trainers hold degrees from accredited colleges in nutrition and biomechanics, but their hourly rates are usually significantly higher. If you are trying to “get in shape on a budget” look for a personal trainer that was at least certified by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

  1. Injuries could be possible.

If your personal trainer is certified from an accredited university program this probably won’t be an issue. They will take the time to create a workout plan based on your health and current fitness level, and they will also be familiar with any early warning signs that there could be a problem. Most importantly, they will let you know if an injury is possible.

Since they know how to perform the exercises properly they will be able to guide you through the workout, which is also the most important part of their job.

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  1. This doesn’t have to be expensive.

Even though hiring a personal trainer can be effective, it is also expensive. It is not uncommon for a certified experienced trainer to charge upwards of $100 an hour, which makes it a luxury many people can’t afford. There are ways to lessen the cost, though many personal trainers probably won’t tell you.

One of the best ways to reduce the cost is to ask for a “group rate”. Inviting a few friends or family members to workout with you is a great way to save some money on training costs. You also get the benefit of their support and encouragement.

Some personal trainers are also willing to meet outside of the gym, and this can significantly lower their hourly rate. Most gyms do not encourage this, since they are losing out on their share of the trainer’s pay, but it might be a question worth asking.

  1. You really don’t need supplements.

An increasing number of personal trainers are selling supplements to their clients. While most of these supplements can help you reach a specific fitness goal, you probably don’t need it. This is what your personal trainer might not be telling you.

Most supplements on the market are considered “safe”, but even these can interact with prescribed medications. Before you add any supplement to your daily routine, it is imperative that you first speak with your primary health care provider. Even the best personal trainer isn’t trained to provide you with the information you need.

  1. Don’t sign without reading.

It’s not uncommon for people to sign a contract with a personal trainer without reading it. Some personal trainers even encourage this. Before you sign any contract or pay the initial fee, it is important that you understand exactly what you are getting. This especially applies to any personal trainer retained through a health club.

Taking the time to read the contract will ensure that your rights are protected, and that you get exactly what you are paying for.

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A Personal Trainer Can “Be Worth It”

Knowing what a personal trainer might not always tell you can make hiring one worth your money. Finding out their certification can help prevent injury, and ensure that the workout they created is right for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If the personal trainer won’t provide you with the answers you need, chances are they won’t be the right choice for you.



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