As you are probably painfully aware, getting fit and healthy is not an easy task. It takes weeks, months even, of hard work before you see any noticeable results. Furthermore, just to add insult to injury, your progress can be undone dramatically in a fraction of that time. Whereas it can take upwards of a month to burn 2 pounds of fat, a few unhealthy meals here and there, couple with a lack of exercise can pile these pounds right back on in a matter of days, with a little extra on top. Whether you want to get fit, burn fat, or just improve your health, one of the best investments that you can make is in yourself, by hiring a personal trainer. A good PT can be worth their weight in gold. Sadly, not all PTs are all they make themselves out to be, and some, well, they absolutely suck in all honesty. The last thing we want is for you to become lumbered with an incompetent personal trainer, so here’s a look at 8 signs you need a new PT.
They’re out of shape – Okay, there’s no official rule that states that a personal trainer has to be ripped to shreds and in fantastic shape in order to do their job. Many of the benefits of personal trainers actually come from the PT’s knowledge. You could be 50 pounds overweight and still be the most knowledgeable and mentally competent PT in the business, so don’t always judge a book by its cover. With that said, an out of shape PT should really be a red flag. How can a PT be expected to get you fit and healthy when they seemingly can’t even get themselves fit and healthy? Why should they care about you when they don’t even care about themselves? Ideally, PTs should be practicing what they’re preaching because surely it works? If your PT is out of shape, rarely works out, and seems to pay little attention to their own diet and lifestyle, it might be time to look for a new one.
They lead an unhealthy lifestyle – Now, we aren’t saying that your personal trainer needs to drink cups of fermented kale and green tea each day, and eat nothing but steamed vegetables, wholegrains, and superfoods, because they don’t. PTs are human beings like everybody else, and they too like to enjoy life from time to time, treat themselves, and have the occasional blowout now and then. If however, you know that your personal trainer is out partying every weekend, binge drinking, eating junk, and trying to balance an unhealthy party lifestyle with being a personal trainer, again, it’s time to let them go. The occasional night out is fine, but if it is a regular occurrence, it’s not fair on you or their other clients. If a PT has spent Friday and Saturday night binge drinking, partying, and Sunday hungover eating junk, when they turn up for your 8AM one to one PT session, do you really think they’re going to be fresh, on the ball, and ready to give you 100% commitment? No, of course they won’t. if your PT is more concerned with spending their weekends partying, rather than bettering themselves with their career, and checking in on their clients, look for a PT that actually cares about you and the results you want.
They’re more concerned with building their social media – In the fitness industry, social media is a plague. It is a cesspool of negativity, bad advice, vanity, and peer pressure, and if we had our way we’d eradicate all traces of it. Okay, that was a bit extreme, as social media can be a very useful resource for somebody trying to get fit and healthy and educate themselves, but there are a lot of cons to avoid. Some PTs are so concerned with building their online presence and growing their social media pages that, rather than spending their sessions engaging with their clients, encouraging them, working with them, and showing them how to train, they’re instead glued to their phones, recording the session, shouting “encouragement” to their clients on camera, in a bid to show their followers how amazing they are at their job. Having an online presence is beneficial for all businesses, and whilst we can forgive the occasional video or progress pic here and there, if you find that your PT is more concerned with their phone and social media than you, you probably will want to consider finding another one.
You aren’t making progress – At the end of the day, the reason why people hire personal trainers is to help them better themselves and reach their own fitness goals and objectives. If you hired a personal trainer because you want to lose weight, yet you find that you aren’t dropping any weight after numerous weeks, could your PT be to blame? Now, this is tricky because a PT can only give offer and coaching. They can’t live your life for you, they can’t be there 24/7, and they can’t force you to stick to your diet and to exercise and follow your training routine. If, hand on heart, you can honestly say that you’ve done exactly what your PT told you to do, and you’ve followed their advice and instructions down to a T, but you’ve barely lost any weight, something they’re getting you to do/eat is not working.
You can’t reach them outside of your sessions – Whereas a personal trainer obviously has other clients, as well as their right to privacy and the right to live their own life, a good PT should be reachable outside of the gym. If you’ve a question about your diet, about the routine they’ve prescribed you, or anything else related to why you hired them, you should be able to ask a question and get an answer. If you find that you’re sending text messages, making phone calls, and sending emails to your PT, which are all going unanswered, this again is not a good sign. A PT should be available during working hours to answer any questions or queries that you have. If you make a call that goes unanswered, they should at least return it at their earliest convenience. If your PT can’t be reached when you need them, find a PT that can. It’s the act of going above and beyond what is expected of a PT that sets them apart from those who are in the industry for all of the wrong reasons.
They don’t request updates or measure progress – A good PT will take your weight, measurements, and progress pictures at the start of your fitness journey, as well as throughout. A good PT should request updates from you on a weekly basis, in the form of weight, measurement, and possibly even progress pics or videos. Your PT should want you to succeed, and requesting updates and measuring your progress is a great way of doing that. If they’ve found that you’ve not lost weight as quickly as you should, or you’ve not lost as much, despite sticking to the routine, they can use this as a way of switching things up. If your PT doesn’t request updates and progress pics and measurements, how are they to know whether you’re making any progress at all? The answer is that they won’t. If a PT doesn’t request updates, this gives the impression that they don’t care.
They never criticize you – First off, just to be clear, we aren’t saying that PTs have to be hard-asses that are incredibly hostile, aggressive, and critical of your every move, because they don’t. If your PT is friendly, positive, and approachable, working with them will be a great deal more pleasant. With that said, be wary if your PT is overly nice, and refuses to criticize you, even if you have screwed up. The last thing you want is for a PT to prescribe a healthy eating regime for you to follow, you to ignore it, eat junk, gain weight, and then have your PT tell you ‘never mind, we’ll try again next week’. Sometimes we need a little tough love, and we need a little criticism, as long as it is constructive.
They can’t provide previous successes – At the end of the day, you could be the world’s most overqualified personal trainer, with diplomas, degrees, certifications, qualifications, and everything else besides coming out of your ears, but if you can’t provide results, you won’t get anywhere fast. When you speak to your PT, ideally you’ll want previous success stories from previous and/or existing clients. You’ll want to read testimonials from previous clients who, with the help of the PT, were able to turn their lives around and smash their health and fitness goals. If a PT is unable to provide these types of results, this is another warning sign.