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Muscle for life

Don’t Hire a Personal Trainer Until These Questions Are Answered

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Don’t Hire a Personal Trainer Until These Questions Are Answered

If you want to find a personal trainer that will actually help you reach your goals, then you want to read this article.

 

Most personal trainers are a waste of money.

End of story.

Their hearts can be in the right place, but the truth is that most just don’t have the drive or know-how to get people into great shape.

(And let’s be clear–getting people into great shape is the purpose, not simply running them through workouts for their own sake.)

Look around any gym and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Trainers charging people $50 to 75 per hour to watch them do the same type of silly, ineffective workout routines found in fitness magazines (usually with poor form to boot).

You’ll notice that not much changes with their clients, either.

There they are day after day, paying and sweating, with nothing to show for it.

You’ve probably also noticed that many trainers aren’t even in good shape themselves.

How can you honestly sell yourself as a fitness expert when you’re a skinny-fat weakling? Who could possibly believe you?

Compounding the disservice is the fact that most trainers don’t give their clients proper diet plans, which is basically the kiss of death.

When it comes to building muscle and losing fat, you just can’t out-exercise a bad diet.

And fortunately, eating correctly requires little more than following simple, flexible nutritional targets that allow you to eat foods you like while building muscle and losing fat.

But that’s another discussion for another article.

In this article, I want to focus on personal trainers and how to find one that can actually help you achieve your goals.

Let’s start with a question that is probably on your mind…

Why Do So Many Trainers Get Such Poor Results?

results personal trainer

The unfortunate truth is having a PT license doesn’t mean you can get the type of results that people will pay for.

It means you were able to memorize and regurgitate some basic information about nutrition, anatomy, and exercise. You can even do it all online, where answers are just a Google search away.

The upshot is someone who is a “certified professional” that has spent a lot of time with defective textbooks and little to no time at the coalface.

Trainers also have to struggle with a simple dilemma: justifying their expense.

That is, to keep the wolf from the door, they have to keep their clients convinced that they’re needed.

While some people are happy to pay a trainer just to force them to show up every day, most want to feel like they’re getting more for their money.

And the easiest way to create that perception is to regularly change up workout routines and talk about “sophisticated” diet and workout principles.

The problem is the more you wander from the fundamentals, the less progress you make.

For example…

The bottom line is that when all is said and done, a large percentage of personal training clients waste thousands of dollars to make mediocre (or worse) gains and then quit out of disappointment.

I’ve worked with thousands of people and seen it more times than I could hope to count.

It’s not all gloom and doom, though.

There absolutely are great trainers out there who are in awesome shape themselves, who know how to quickly and effectively get results in others, and who truly care about their clients and delivering on their promises.

If you’re one of them, I applaud you, because you’re carrying the weight of the entire profession on your shoulders.

So, if that’s the lay of the land, how do you go about finding a good trainer to work with?

The following questions will help.

Use this workout and flexible dieting program to lose up to 10 pounds of fat and build muscle in just 30 days…without starving yourself or living in the gym.

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Trainer

hire personal trainer

Don’t hire a trainer based on on first impressions alone.

Just because he (or she) has the type of physique that you want doesn’t mean that he has a system that can get you there, too.

Just because he sounds knowledgeable doesn’t mean he has the right knowledge.

And just because he has a gaggle of clients doesn’t mean they’re getting their money’s worth.

Think of your first meeting with a trainer like a first date.

You know…the adult game of stranger danger.

Your goal is to discover, as quickly as possible, if this person is worth your time and money or if you should keep your toys to yourself.

You do this by asking the right questions…

1. How Quickly Will I See Results?

personal trainer results

You know those crazy transformations you see all over social media and the Internet?

The ones where guys and gals go from beanpole or blubber-belly to statuesque fitness model in just a few months?

They’re bullshit.

What you’re actually seeing is often the result of…

Extensive training history that allowed for rapid re-gain of muscle.

“Muscle memory” is very real, which means it takes far less time to regain muscle than it takes to gain it the first time around.

Anabolic steroids and fat loss drugs.

Many people are surprised to learn just how rampant drug use is in this space.

Gear is everywhere, from fitness models and competitors to personal trainers to “gurus” and even everyday gymgoers.

Many people are also surprised how powerful the right cocktail of drugs actually is.

When used properly (not necessarily safely, mind you, but effectively), steroids and cutting drugs can enable someone to do in 3 months what would normally take a year or longer.

A good example of this is the bodybuilder Boston Lloyd’s transformation:

boston before boston after

As you can see, he gained about 30 pounds of muscle and got absolutely shredded.

Here’s the kicker, though: he did it in just under a year. (And admitted to using a lot of drugs to make it happen.)

Now, that isn’t to say that all impressive transformations are frauds.

Anyone can dramatically transform their body naturally…but it takes time.

For instance, research shows that the most natural muscle growth you can hope for in your first year of weightlifting is about 20 to 25 pounds if you’re a man and about half that if you’re a woman.

Those are “best case scenario” numbers, too, that presuppose several things:

Now, the reason I’m telling you all of this is simple:

You should ask your would-be trainer what type of results you can expect if you work with him…and listen carefully.

Generally speaking, here’s the type of answer you want to hear:

  • You can lose 1 to 2 pounds of fat per week if you’re cutting.

Unless you’re very overweight, you’re not going to be able to lose more than this without taking extreme (unhealthy) measures.

  • You can gain 0.5 to 1 pound of muscle per week if you’re bulking.

Even when you do everything right, muscle building takes time.

There is no way to naturally gain 20+ pounds of muscle in a month or two.

Keep in mind, though, that muscle growth is slower when you do this than when you bulk.

I explain why here.

A discussion of bulking and cutting also begs the question of where you should start.

Should you cut? Bulk? Why?

Well, those are also good questions to ask a trainer, and the answers you want to hear are along these lines:

  • You should focus on losing fat (cut) if you’re a guy over 15% body fat or a girl over 25%.

If your body fat percentage is too high, you’re going to build less muscle and gain fat even faster.

You can read more about this here.

  • If you’re lean (a guy at 10 to 12% body fat or a girl at 18 to 20%), you can focus on building muscle (bulk).

The “sweet spot” for bulking is between 10 and 15/16% for guys and 20 and 25/26% for girls.

Again, you can read more about this here.

So, the bottom line is this:

If a trainer says he can deliver results that sound too good to be true…they are.

You’re looking for respectable, conservative estimates, not eye-popping figures that only steroids could deliver.

2. What Type of Diet Do You Recommend?

personal trainer diet bad

Most trainers are going to answer this in one of two ways:

  1. You should just focus on “eating clean” and you’ll be fine.
  2. You should follow a fad diet such as Paleo, gluten-free, or low-carb.

And if you’re really unlucky, he’ll want to toss you into the deep, dark depths of dietary hell…

Here’s the rub:

“Clean” eating and fad dieting guarantee little in the way of fat loss or muscle gain.

The truth is you can be the healthiest or most Paleolithic or carb-o-phobic eater in the world and still be weak and skinny fat.

Why?

Because, when it comes to body composition (how much muscle and body fat you have), how much you eat is more important than what.

Claiming that one food is “better” than another for losing or gaining weight misses the forest for the trees.

Foods don’t have any special properties that make them better or worse for weight loss or weight gain.

What they do have, however, are varying amounts of potential energy, as measured in calories, and various macronutrient profiles.

These two factors are what make certain foods more conducive to weight loss or gain than others.

Generally speaking, foods that are “good” for weight loss are those that are relatively low in calories but high in volume (and thus satiating).

Examples of such foods are lean meats, whole grains, many fruits and vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.

These types of foods also provide an abundance of micronutrients, which is especially important when your calories are lower than normal.

Foods conducive to weight gain are the opposite: high in calories and lower in volume and satiety.

These foods include the obvious like caloric beverages, snack foods, fast food, candy, and other sugar-laden goodies, but quite a few “healthy” foods fall into this category as well, such as:

  • Oils
  • Nuts
  • Fatty meat
  • Butter
  • Low-fiber fruits
  • Whole fat dairy products
  • Avocado

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t lose weight eating foods conducive to weight gain. It can just make the experience more trying.

A rather extreme example of this is a simple experiment carried out by Professor Mark Haub from Kansas University.

Mr. Haub lost 27 pounds in 2 months on a diet of protein shakes, Twinkies, Doritos, Oreos, and Little Debbie snacks, and you could do exactly the same if you wanted to (not that you should, though).

Think of it this way:

You can only “afford” so many calories every day, whether dieting to lose fat or gain muscle, and you have to watch how you “spend” them.

When you want to lose weight, you want to spend the majority of your calories on foods that allow you to hit your daily calorie and macronutrient targets without struggling with hunger and cravings.

When you want to gain weight, however, you have quite a few more calories to spend every day. And that means you can “afford” to eat a much wider variety of foods.

That said, I don’t recommend you join the hordes of radical “IIFYMers” that are on a quest to get shredded eating as much processed junk food as possible.

Remember that our bodies need more than just protein, carbs, and fat to function properly.

They also need an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that we can only get from relatively unprocessed foods like fruits and vegetables.

Here’s a good rule of thumb (and the type of answer you want to hear in response to this section’s question):

If you eat enough protein and get the majority (~80%) of your calories from relatively unprocessed, nutrient-dense foods, you can fill the remaining 20% with indulgences.

Check out this article if you want to learn more about creating healthy meal plans with this style of dieting.

3. What Type of Workouts Would You Have Me Do?

personal trainer workout

If you’re like most people, you’re looking for a trainer for one simple reason:

You want to lose some fat and gain some muscle.

You might think of it in different terms–“shifting fat,” “toning,” “turning fat into muscle,” and so forth–but it all boils down to increasing muscle mass and reducing fat mass.

And that applies equally to men and women.

This is no surprise to most guys, but if you’re a woman that’s afraid to do anything that involves “gaining,” I understand.

Unfortunately, the mainstream channels of fitness advice have brainwashed women into believing the endgame is weighing as little as possible.

This is why so many women fall prey to starvation diets, “detox” cleanses, grueling cardio routines, and other non-optimum methods of losing weight.

The reality, though, is your weight doesn’t matter nearly as much as your body composition.

“Weight” isn’t a good metric for assessing the gap between your current physique and your goal. It’s hard to guess what your ideal weight will be.

Much better metrics are body fat percentage and total lean mass.

Let me show you want I mean. Check out the following pictures.

female fitness transformation

Can you guess her weight in each of these pictures?

Well, if you guessed “the same,” you win the Internet.

That’s the power of losing fat and adding muscle, not just “losing weight.”

And just to put this transformation in perspective, it required losing about 15 pounds of fat and “replacing” it with about 15 pounds of muscle.

So, with all that in mind, what workouts do you think you should be doing?

Ones that help you build muscle and lose fat as quickly as possible, right?

And what kinds of workouts are those?

They emphasize heavy, compound weightlifting.

Many people think that weightlifting–and heavy weightlifting in particular–is for gaining size, not losing fat, but they’re wrong.

In fact, the opposite is true–this style of training can not only help you lose fat faster but preserve (or even build) muscle as well.

Many people also think that low-weight, high-rep training is optimal for muscle gain or at least equally effective as high-weight, low-rep training.

This too is wrong, and I break down why here.

They are relatively short (45 to 65 minutes).

There’s no need to spend a couple of hours in the gym every day.

This isn’t just hugely impractical–it can even be counter-productive and hinder your progress.

They are programmed intelligently.

There are many workable ways to program workout routines, but there are certain non-negotiable principles that must be observed.

For example, there’s currently a lot of debate about how frequently you should train a muscle group.

Some people think it’s black and white:

If you’re not training major muscle groups 2 to 3 times per week, they say, you’re not going to get very far, they say.

This type of simplistic one-liner is good for snaps but misses a vital realty:

How frequently you can and should train each muscle group depends on the intensity (weight used in terms of % of 1RM) and volume (total number of reps performed) of your individual workouts.

You see, the higher the volume and intensity of your individual workouts, the less frequently you can do them.

So sure, you can squat or bench press three times per week…but you can’t do 10 heavy sets per workout.

This is why popular strength programs look so austere compared to the nonsense you find in most bodybuilding magazines.

This brings us to the next point:

A well-designed workout program not only emphasizes heavy, compound weightlifting for each major muscle group; it puts you in a “sweet spot” in terms of total weekly volume as well.

How you reach that volume in terms of number of workouts–one, two, three, etc.–is of secondary importance.

What is that sweet spot, though?

Well, there aren’t any studies that give a definitive, one-size-fits-all answer as to how hard and how much you can train to maximize your results, and there many never be.

Optimal volume is modified by intensity, as you know, but there are many other factors that come into play as well including diet, training experience, sleep hygiene, genetics, and more.

That said, there is enough clinical and anecdotal evidence available to derive some sensible guidelines.

Let’s first look at a large and extensive review of weightlifting studies conducted by scientists at Goteborg University.

Their research found that, when using weights in the 60 to 85% of 1RM range, optimal volume appears to be in the range of 30 to 60 reps per major muscle group per workout when 2 to 3 workouts were performed each week.

Thus, a total weekly volume of somewhere between 60 and 180 reps per major muscle group.

As you can guess, the heavier the training, the fewer reps you can and should do every week.

If you were training exclusively in the 80 to 85% of 1RM range, like you do on my Bigger Leaner Stronger program, you’d want to be around 60 to 80 total reps per major muscle group per week.

If you were doing a low-weight, high-volume type of program, however, you’d want your weekly volume for each major muscle group to be closer to 180 reps.

And if you were doing something in between, like my Thinner Leaner Stronger program for women, your total weekly reps would be somewhere in between as well.

These findings also agree with another large review conducted by researchers at Arizona State University, which found that when lighter weights are used, more sets per week is optimal. As the weights get heavier, however, total sets must come down.

So, when you ask what types of workouts the trainer would have you do, you want to hear something along the following lines:

  • A focus on heavy, compound weightlifting.
  • More free weights than machines.
  • Relatively short workouts of about an hour.
  • Moderate weekly volume of 60 to 120 heavy reps per week per major muscle group (as modified by intensity, and regardless of frequency).

4. What Should I Do For Cardio?

personal trainer cardio

Years ago, I asked a trainer how to get below 10% body fat.

“Do a shitload of cardio” was his reply, and a shitload of cardio I did.

I walked, swam, biked, and ran…and still struggled to break into the “single-digit club.”

Well, I’ve since learned why.

First, I didn’t understand how to diet properly, which we’ve already discussed.

Second, I didn’t realize how little cardio impacts fat loss.

Simply doing cardio guarantees little in the way of weight loss (even when you do quite a bit).

In fact, research shows that you can just wind up fatter as a result, mainly by negating its already meager weight loss benefits by unconsciously eating too much and/or reducing other forms of physical activity.

Hence the throngs of overweight people in your gym crowding the treadmills, wondering why they’re still not losing weight.

This is why I suggest that you ask your prospective trainer for his cardio recommendations.

And the type of answer you want is a question: what are your goals?

When managed properly, cardio can improve your health, help you lose fat faster, and even help you build muscle.

But when it’s taken too far, it can do the opposite: impair health, make weight loss more of an ordeal, and negatively impact body composition.

For example…

While it’s sensationalistic to say doing too much cardio can kill you, it’s not completely untrue.

The reality is if your goal is to look and feel great, more cardio (and exercise in general) is not always better.

That’s why my general cardio recommendation is this:

You should do as much cardio as it takes to achieve your goals and no more, and it shouldn’t be so much that it significantly impairs your physical performance, recovery, or health.

For most people (myself included), that amounts to 1 to 2 hours of high-intensity interval training per week with maybe another hour or two of walking as well.

5. What Supplements Should I Take?

person trainer supplements recommendation

I’ve noticed that, for whatever reason, trainers tend to fall on opposite ends of the spectrum with supplementation.

They either gush about supplements and have a litany of suggestions or reject them as a waste of money to be avoided altogether.

Well, the truth is this:

Supplements don’t build great physiques. Dedication to proper training and nutrition does.

Unfortunately, the workout supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, ridiculous hype, misleading advertising and endorsements, products full of junk ingredients, underdosing key ingredients, and many other shenanigans.

Most supplement companies produce cheap, junk products and try to dazzle you with ridiculous marketing claims, high-profile (and very expensive) endorsements, pseudo-scientific babble, fancy-sounding proprietary blends, and flashy packaging.

So, while workout supplements don’t play a vital role in building muscle and losing fat, and many are a complete waste of money…the right ones can help.

There are safe, natural substances that have been scientifically proven to deliver benefits such as increased strength, muscle endurance and growth, fat loss, and more.

As a part of my work, it’s been my job to know what these substances are, and find products with them that I can use myself and recommend to others.

Finding high-quality, effective, and fairly priced products has always been a struggle, though.

That’s why I took matters into my own hands and decided to create my own supplements. And not just another line of “me too” supplements–the exact formulations I myself have always wanted and wished others would create.

I won’t go into a whole spiel here though. If you want to learn more about my supplement line, check this out.

Now, the type of answer that you want to get to this section’s question is familiar: what are your goals?

And the final option of taking no supplements whatsoever is also completely acceptable. They don’t make or break your efforts.

If you want to dive into the details and learn more about the many types of supplements out there, check out this article.

The Bottom Line on Personal Trainers

finding a personal trainer

I hope you don’t feel I’ve been too harsh on trainers in this article.

I’m not one for trying to gain attention through bullying or muckraking.

I would, however, like to see more people find their way to honest, knowledgeable trainers that get results. In this way, the entire profession can be elevated in time.

So, if you’re currently looking for a trainer or plan on starting your search soon, I hope this article will help you land in good hands.

Good luck!

 

What’s your take on personal trainers? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Thanks for stopping by and checking out my article! I hope you enjoyed it.

    Feel free to comment below if you have any questions. I do my best to check and reply to every comment left on my blog, so don’t be shy!

    Oh and if you like what I have to say, you should sign up for my free weekly newsletter! You’ll get awesome, science-based health and fitness tips, delicious “guilt-free” recipes, articles to keep you motivated, and much more!

    You can sign up here:

    http://www.muscleforlife.com/signup/

    Your information is safe with me too. I don’t share, sell, or rent my lists. Pinky swear!

    • Hala

      Love your articles Mike. This article is very true. I always wondered why the personal trainers are not in shape and I’ve watched people join the boot camp classes a year a ago and they look the same. I took the food sensitivity offered by my gym and stopped eating all the foods that are not good for me. but I am still struggling to lose weight. I am going to be 50 in June and work out 4-5 times a week. I weight train for 1/2 hour and do cardio for 25 minutes. Body fat is stuck and 30. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. Any advice is appreciated. thank you

  • Tom W

    Hi Mike! I like the articles and would like to help contribute when I can. I notice typos from time to time, how can I best notify you or Jeremy about them as I read them? For example, in this article, Question #4, “The more cardio you do, the more you stress your body. If taken too FAIR, you can wind up in a state wherein your body can’t adequately recover from your workouts.”

    Anyway, I don’t want to be annoying and post a comment in each article as it would be distracting. Feel free to private message me (is it possible on this format?) if you’d like to take the discussion offline, or even delete this comment after the discussion is taken elsewhere.

  • mario

    I’ve always seen trainers as baby sitters in the gym. Just give me a program and fuck off 😀 Unless it’s someone’s first few weeks then I don’t see the use personally.
    With BLS and flexible dieting who needs them? I have never been motivated by someone looking over my shoulder making sure I do what I have to.

    • Haha I know what you mean. For some it’s just the accountability factor. Knowing the trainer is there or expecting them keeps them coming back and doing what they gotta do.

      If you’re motivated and disciplined, it’s true. Proper training and dieting is all you need. 🙂

  • Sean

    This should be required reading for personal trainers and people thinking about paying for one. Too many PTs have no idea what they’re doing and too many people unwittingly fall for it, and so the cycle goes…

  • Darren

    I am a PT and totally agree with this post! My job in the gym is to un-complicate clients training. I stop the Hollywood routine bullshit and bring my clients back to earth with the exercises that work. I wish I had a pound for every time I guess Mike has been told BLS is a bit basic. BLS worked on me and its working on my clients. The statement I use on my clients is do you want me to get you to hang upside down with a kettle bell between your teeth or help you build muscle and lower body fat. The answer is always the same!

    • Chris

      If there was at least one trainer like you in each gym, perhaps there’d be less gym fails… My gym doesn’t have any decent trainers who focus on heavy lifting… except for one… who half reps his heavy weights! I feel odd being the only person doing less than 10 reps per set and taking time to rest… sitting at the incline bench watching some weirdo in front of me doing cable rows by rowing his body back and forth like his riding a wild donkey… Oh, and the female trainers at my gym… never seen them do anything… I think they were just hired to be eye candy.

      Stay true to being a trainer of virtue!

      • That’s for sure!

        Sorry to hear about the half-repper. They’re everywhere.

        At least your gym has one person doing it right. 🙂

        A lot of interesting things happen in the gym haha.

        Will do!

    • Happy to hear you’re doing it right and actually helping people, Darren, Keep doing what you’re doing. 🙂

  • Christopher Matthews

    My experience with a PT was mixed, he was knowledgeable about some things but not in others. He had a lot of good tips on form, which is nice to have someone critique and help you adjust. The training routine wasn’t what I wanted though, it focused on high reps at severely low weights, which were less than I would do in my regular routines. I got hurt and injured a lot during that time, tweaked my wrist, my shoulder would crack and be in pain, and I just lost motivation to keep going with that type of a routine. While I did get some good tips, ultimately it wasn’t worth the cost. I would also try and talk to the PT about things I read about certain exercises and different ideas for routine and mostly the answer I would get was “Well I don’t know about that”. So it is frustrating because I like to research and try and understand the science behind the movements. That’s probably why I have an affinity for BLS, because it offers me the explanations backed by research.

    • Yep, it’s tough to find a personal trainer that is well educated all-around. Sorry to hear about the time and money wasted with him and the injuries you had to deal with.

      Glad you appreciated BLS the studies that back it up. 🙂

      Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • TSully

    Michael, good article, thanks. I’m a PT for about two and a half years now and one thing I’ve noticed is the lack of support for the typical PT. Once a PT is “certified” there appears to be few resources for anything further. Certification provides book knowledge but offers no practical application experience to say nothing about mentorship under a more educated and experienced trainer. As my background is an USAF career, I was used to regular annual training and mentors all the way. I find that aspect lacking in the PT arena. Also, my NASM cert had very little on the psychology that goes with helping people reach a fitness goal. I find the most difficult mind game is a client’s self doubt or low esteem and/or their bad diet habits that are really hard to break and change. Plus, every PT is up against society’s penchant for the quick fix or magic formula. I applied for a couple positions at local gyms and was discouraged to learn that the head trainers or trainer managers were not interested in coaching or mentoring a new PT. (this does not include the corporate big-box gyms that push fees and supplements and hire anybody) I understand there are workshops and CEUs to be had but not one workshop ever comes to Spokane and most PT budgets don’t allow for travel to the big cities. And as you mentioned, there is a ton of information on the internet but it’s damn near impossible to separate the legit from the BS. What say you?
    ts

    • Thanks brother. I’m glad you liked the article.

      You’re totally right on the lack of support and also on the lack of information on the psychological barriers that people run into.

      The good news is you really don’t need to know ALL THAT MUCH to help the average person get fit. It’s the basics, really–energy balance, macros, micros, meal planning, exercise selection, progressive overload, frequency, recovery, etc.

      It’s finding people worth listening to that is hardest. I talk about this here:

      http://www.muscleforlife.com/fitness-guru/

  • Lean and mean

    Hey Michael, g

  • Lean and mean

    Hey Michael, great article.

    I’d love to re-train to become a PT. Any advice that you could give me in terms of qualifications that I need and that would help me to become a brilliant PT would be greatly appreciated. I’m half way through your book Thinner, Leaner, Stronger and I’m loving it. Keep up the amazing work!

    • Thanks! The more respected training certifications right now are NASM, NSCA and ACSM.

      Hope that helps!

      Glad you’re enjoying the book. 🙂 Will do!

      Talk soon.

      • Michelle

        Thanks so much. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. Speak soon

  • less-a-moron

    Another great article. They ways bring me back to the center of solid training methodology and away from the hype. Cheers!

  • I had a trainer tell me once that diet is 90% of the equation although he didn’t offer anything beyond that factoid. I’ve had good and not so good trainers in the past. I’ve found I’m my own best trainer. Your book helped of course. 😉

    • The diet is definitely key! You need to know more than just that fact to get results, though. Haha.

      Yep, no one knows you better than you do! Glad the book helped. 🙂

      Definitely keep me posted on your progress and write anytime if you have any questions or run into any difficulties. I’m always happy to help.

  • Ron Nigel Yorrick Jr.

    The other common mistake is forgetting about muscle imbalances and movement dysfunctions that people may have. If a client walks into a gym, has very little experience lifting weight, stretching or little understanding of how the body works, and little understanding of movement patterns, it is unwise to launch into a weight building programs without addressing those issues. A trainer has to be adept at slowly progressing a client in exercises that improve their range of motion. I see a lot of “big” guys in the gym with jacked up posture, uncoordinated movement and horrible form. Sure they are big and shredded, but they set themselves up for loads of injury. Trainers have to think about proper phases in a person’s training plan. As personal trainer myself, I know from firsthand experience.

  • Scott Holcomb

    everyday I look at the trainers at my gym and think why would anyone pay these out of shape guys to train them.
    This morning Im watching a trainer have a mom of 3 swing a sledge hammer at a tractor tire. This is gross negligence on the trainers part in my opinion.

    • Yep, it’s pretty amazing.

      You can definitely burn a few cals with the sledge hammer, but if your goal is to build muscle and lose fat, there are much more effective ways to do it…

  • Shane Sorrento

    Who needs to spend upwards of 100 or more a month for a personal trainer when I got BLS and BBLS in my pocket!

  • Haha Mike, great job! Very nicely presented with just the right amount of humor in it. This article is going to make dozens of personal trainers out there shiver in fear. I really feel like the fitness industry is filled with self-proclaimed fitness gurus out there who think they have what it takes to transform their clients just because they have a certificate.

    What’s your experience with personal trainers, Mike? Have you ever hired one before and if so – what were your impressions?

    Cheers

    • Thanks man! 🙂

      Yeah I’ve worked with quite a few trainers over the years and unfortunately not one of them was any good.

      Magazine workouts, bad supp and diet advice, too much cardio, etc. etc.

  • Eric Sean

    You are very right, having a mere certification does not mean that you can train people and make their body change how they wish to. The techniques vary person to person but it is quite tough to figure out which coach or personal trainer is good for you. You can hire us and see the difference.

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