How to choose a personal trainer

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Judging trainers by their clients

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Posted by Steve

I don' t think it's fair to assess how effective a personal trainer is by observing them with their clients from across the gym floor. It may look like social hour to you and in some cases it is, but in my experience it's because the client WANTS it that way. I have and have had numerous clients who only wanted a little bit of a workout and were just as happy to gab away their time as opposed to working out. It's frustrating, but they are the people paying the freight. Sometimes you just have to cajole them into working out out in between gab sessions. For these people, just coming to the gym is a serious accomplishment. If it weren't for their appointment with me (or some other trainer) they wouldn't work out at all. They are usually the people that join your various gyms and pay their membership fees but never go because they are intimidated by all the machines, freeweights and intimidating looking people (which could either be butt-floss clad ladies or big powerlifting/BB types).

As to the people you see working out with a trainer for months without any visible progress, well, I gotta ask if you know what that individual's training goals are and how much effort they put in outside the gym (I.e. diet)? We've had plenty of clients where I work that use their workouts with a trainer as an excuse to go ahead an eat whatever they want the rest of the time. These folks seem to just hold their own bodyweight-wise, though they do get a bit stronger and gain some cardio-vascualar benefit. Is it fair to blame the trainer? No. We can only control so much.

What would you have us do? Stand over people with a whip and demand they exert every possible iota of energy into their workout? Call them failures for not constantly gaining muscle and/or getting more ripped? Uh-uh. *shaking my head* You can't do that with most paying clients, they won't put up with it - not out her in the real world. It's a fine line you have to walk in order to push each client as far as possible without making them dread their workouts. It's very individual thing, too.

There may be too much of a mentality to judge based on the focus of this group, but remember folks, not everyone out there wants to be big, muscular and/or cut. Don't judge others based on your narrow view of the world.

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