Four Signs of a Bad Personal Trainer

Bad personal trainers aren't just a pain-they can cause you pain. A bad personal trainer actually can leave you vulnerable to injury and even turn you off of exercise forever. Knowing the top four signs of a bad personal trainer arms you with the knowledge you need to protect yourself.

  1. He or she does not listen to you. It is your personal trainer's job to push you farther than you thought possible. A good personal trainer's expertise will guide her in knowing how far to push you safely. Some discomfort is appropriate. But if your pain is beyond what feels right, a good personal trainer will hear you. If you believe that you are exercising to the point of pain and injury, or that a move is too advanced for you, your personal trainer should take you seriously and make appropriate modifications to the routine. The purpose of a personal trainer is personal, individualized coaching, after all.
  2. Not paying attention to your form. If your personal trainer appears bored or distracted while you perform sets, you may have a problem. When beginning a new regime, trying a complicated maneuver or just helping you stay on track, your trainer should be assisting you. A personal trainer is educated in the exact body positioning and breathing for each particular move. He or she should watch you steadily to ensure you are performing the moves correctly. Form is so much more important than any one exercise or aimless repetition. Without a good personal trainer's eye and guidance, you could be wasting your time altogether, getting nowhere and even risking injury from incorrect posture.
  3. Leaving you high and dry. Your last reps in any set are, or should be, the hardest. If your trainer is busy chatting, texting or somewhere else instead of instructing, she may miss the cues your body will give just before it needs help. She should offer focus and minimal assistance just in case something is too difficult or you get into trouble with a weight.
  4. No certifications. Any professional personal trainer will have to be certified to provide proper expertise. Sadly, this doesn't stop some exercise buffs and charlatans from claiming they are professional personal trainers. The most important of the four signs of a bad personal trainer is proof of certification and an open willingness to share the documentation with you. This displays her intent to provide the most up-to-date and diverse knowledge base. Ensuring certification will not guarantee that you have the best personal trainer. But it should help you narrow the field of play.

If you remember these four signs of a bad personal trainer when searching for exercise help, you'll be starting off on the right foot.

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