About personal training (PT or not PT)?

Before I get into the matter I just want to explain something to you, and that is how the fitness industry works and how much trends and fads play a role in misinforming the public about what personal training really entitles.

Companies develop products or come up with new diet plans, so they create their own media to sell these products. For example, health and fitness magazines pay good money to some personal trainers or fitness companies to endorse their products. Nowadays with social media it is much easier to reach the average person and spread that pseudo science. But wait a minute! You know all this….. So, why do we keep falling for it? The answer is a quick fix, and how we can solve it is beyond today’s post.

In today’s post I am not talking about classes or boot camp – I am talking about personal training. This is the one-on-one, face-to-face training where people pay extra money for the education and support a quality personal trainer provides.  I am going to highlight some points that will allow you to identify the good ones from the quacks.

Number one:
Is your personal trainer teaching you basic barbell movements (squat, press and deadlift)? Those movements are hard to teach, and if taught incorrectly can lead to injury. They also require a structured process to safely teach them. Most people judge their PT sessions by how fatigued they are afterwards or how much they sweat, and not by how much they learn. Some personal trainers know this and take advantage of it, giving clients workouts that tire them quickly. In these sessions you are exercising but you are not learning or training; these three movements are essential to achieve your fitness goals. Your trainer should be able to inform you about that, and to correct and fix any inconsistencies and give you cues for performance.

Number two:
Is your pt programming for you? By that I mean do they have a program that is structured to allow you to achieve your goals session after session, and are they teaching you to program for yourself so you don’t rely on them for life? 

Number three:
Is your trainer making you aware of the journey ahead? Are they teaching you that getting better and being able to excel is a slow but fulfilling process? For you to be able to perform at a quality level you should be able to master the fundamentals (among other things)? Or are they patronising you all the time? Remember that you should crawl before you walk. You are in the gym to build your strength, your fitness, and not to test yourself constantly. That may mean not letting you do whatever makes you happy – sorry, but that includes grinding out horrible reps just so you can say you did it.

And finally, number four:
Is your trainer teaching how to use the equipment you need to perform your workouts on your own safely?

Now, after you read this I’m hoping you make informed decisions and have a clear understanding, that you know the difference between paying for knowledge and paying just to be cheered on. Be patient and enjoy the journey. A good trainer will provide you with vital information that they acquired by investing money and time in their own education. They will teach you your way around the gym, and most importantly, they will keep you safe. Ask yourself this question – would you perform a medical procedure on yourself or would you rather go to the doctor to see the one who knows their craft?