Posted on June 21, 2021 by Kate Halsall

Here at motive8 North, our team of trainers provide a professional, reliable service that help you get the results you deserve…but not all personal trainers are created equally! Having spent over 10 years training clients, and almost 20 years training in a range of gyms, I’ve put together a short list of some things that your PT should (probably) not be doing…

1. Being too ‘touchy touchy’

Before social distancing was a thing in the gym, there are a few occasions when a bit of contact is potentially appropriate…for example spotting a back squat, maybe a bit of support doing a chin up, very occasionally a bit of manual repositioning…but your trainer should warn you beforehand (as in “I’m going to move your elbow into the position I’d like to see it in”) and it should NEVER feel like they’re invading your personal space.

When I see trainers lying all over their clients getting right involved in a deep stretching session, it makes me feel queasy. At no point during a PT session should you feel uneasy or vulnerable and your personal space should be respected at all times (even after social distancing!).

2. Being on their phone

During the hour you’re with your trainer, their focus should be on you and you only…NOT on their Instagram stories. If they’re frequently Whatsapping their mates during your session or faffing around with Snapchat filters, get them sacked.

3. Too much cardio

Use of cardio machines during a PT session is absolutely necessary at times, but if your ready to get some work done, and all your trainer wants to do is have you walk on the treadmill while you have a chinwag for an hour, find someone new.

4. Make you vomit

This is a pet hate of mine…some trainers seem to think making their clients vomit is a badge of honour. BEING SICK IS NOT A SIGN OF A GOOD WORKOUT. In my opinion, it’s the opposite.

Anyone can write a vom-inducing workout, but a good trainer will put some thought into their session plans and ensure each workout is at an appropriate intensity for the client.

5. Test your 1RM every week

If getting stronger is a goal of yours, then you might sometimes test your strength with a 1 rep max attempt….but trying every week will leave you injured and probably weaker.

So if your trainer is getting you to max out or (almost) fail your lifts regularly, I’d question their techniques.

6. Encourage/make you use more weight than you’re comfortable with

Lifting weights in the gym should be challenging, but at no point should you have any doubt in your mind that you can finish a set. If your trainer is making you use weights that make you nervous or that cause you to sacrifice good form, they’re probably not the one for you.

7. Free-styling the session (i.e not having a plan)

A good personal training session will be planned out beforehand…exercises, equipment, reps, weight, timings etc should all be taken into account. Of course sessions change due to how clients feel on the day, but there will be a structure to follow and, most importantly a clear plan for progression.

If your trainer isn’t making notes of what you do during your session, how do they know if you’re progressing?! If you’re jumping from machine to machine with no rhyme or reason to your sessions, that should be a red flag.

Is there anything else you’d ask to the list?!

If you’ve ever had a bad experience with a personal trainer, let us show you how it should be done! Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.