Saturday, 23 November 2013

Personal Trainers: Good, Bad, and Downright Dangerous

There are an enormous number of people out there professing to be "experts" on training and nutrition.  It's hard to know who to listen to.  Here are a few tips I've discovered when looking for a trainer:

1. Look for someone with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to learn new techniques and try different ideas.  If they are constantly reading up on new techniques and research, they are a lot less likely to just be using the same program for every person who comes to them, and a lot more likely to be willing and able to work within a person's strengths and preferences.

2. Run far away if you see a very restrictive low-calorie diet plan.  Personal Trainers are NOT nutritionists.  They have some basic knowledge, but should not be doing any more than making general recommendations.  I highly recommend searching out a Registered Dietician in your area for sound nutritional advice.  You can search for Registered Dieticians in Canada at

3. A good trainer will correct sloppy form and have recommendations to avoid injury whilst exercising. 

4. Find someone who has time for you.  If a trainer is fantastic, but they don't have time to answer a few quick questions when you're struggling, it's pointless to have one.

5. Anytime someone is constantly trying to sell you on a particular product or gimmick and is unwilling to make a general recommendation and let you choose your own product is probably a sales rep for that company.  This does not necessarily mean it's a bad product, but it doesn't mean it's a good or valuable product, either.  I find this to be a breech of trust between client and trainer.

Really, you want a trainer who has passion for what they are doing.  You can definitely tell if it is "just a job", or if a trainer is truly passionate about helping others.  And, to be honest, a bad trainer can be a lot worse than no trainer.

Good luck!

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