top of page

Avoiding Common Pitfalls and Flat-out, Bad Trainers

Personal training and the fitness industry have evolved from their infant years. Recently, the fitness industry has seen an explosion in growth. There are currently 2,000 companies, including nonprofits, within the United States of America that operate nearly 30,000 fitness centers with a combined annual revenue of approximately $22 billion. This explosion has helped lead to the evolution of personal training and fitness, which has resulted in both positive and negative qualities. Both fields are meant to inspire individuals through directed exercise and workouts to attain levels of fitness and health that they never thought imaginable. However, the majority of trainers and facilities fall short in helping their clients achieve their goals. Within the fitness industry, personal trainers and fitness facilities should continuously be developing or attempting to educate themselves on training. This philosophy will guarantee that the fitness industry remains in a constant state of turnover amongst personal trainers, training styles, facilities and training research. However, this high degree of turnover opens the doors to horrific training apparatus’s (i.e. the shake weight), terrible personal trainers and unsafe gyms and facilities. One misleading common practice that fitness companies engage in is phony research. Companies are skewing numbers in their favor from supposed independent studies to achieve higher revenue for their products. Another negative aspect is in regard to personal trainers. Trainers are passing certifications, which do not properly educate them on the variables of training and entering the field in record numbers. There were 261,100 personal trainers in 2008. The estimation of the number of personal trainers in 2018 is 337,900 [2]. Personal trainers are not the only part of the fitness industry that is growing exponentially. Gyms are multiplying as well and they are overloading their facilities with state-of-the-art machines. These machines may keep members happy but they frequently yield nothing toward weight loss. Second, concerning personal trainers, this high demand opens the flood gates to an over saturation of trainers claiming to be properly educated. I have had personal experiences with hundreds of phony personal trainers within the fitness industry. Personal trainers and individuals who engage in fitness as a hobby believe knowing exercises, whether machine based or not, is enough to become a personal trainer. WRONG! Personal trainers must have a basic understanding of human anatomy, exercises, movements, nutrition and numerous exercise variables (i.e. reps, sets, rest time, etc). There are a few training certification programs within the marketplace that properly educate personal trainers. These courses go over how to train for specific goals; how to properly incorporate variables and proper exercise technique. However, there are more inefficient courses than efficient ones. It is necessary for the client to filter out the phony trainers and facilities. Here are a few things to look for when choosing a trainer or a fitness facility. First, look for a facility that employs personal trainers and workers who are in shape. Employees do not have to be figure models or professional athletes, but they should be in decent shape. If you walk into a gym and their personal trainers are overweight, then walk out. Personal trainers who do not live the lifestyle have no business telling you to workout. More trainers need to realize that their bodies are their best form of advertisement, they are a walking billboard for their program. Trainers are in place to inspire and direct their clients to reach their goals. This inspiration is negated when the person being trained is in better shape than the person directing the training. Second, look for a gym that is functional with more up to date training styles. When a gym is machined based, it becomes advantageous to find another facility. Simply put, machines are not the best form of exercise. As humans, our movements are not supported by equipment. All of our actions are constantly in unbalanced situations that are supported by our stabilizer muscles. Therefore, training should incorporate balanced and unbalanced movements. Programs should work to develop each participant’s core first and foremost. Third, look for a helpful facility. The majority of gyms do not help the general clientele. In fact, gyms often completely neglect the client. Personal trainers and other facility employees will allow members to perform exercises incorrectly while walking around the gym aimlessly. The only members being helped are those who pay for it at costs of around $75-$100 per hour. Fourth, look for a facility that does not empty your wallet. If you are paying over $150 per month for three days per week (i.e. cross fit), regardless if it is group classes, then you are being ripped off. These facilities are merely collecting your income and will only provide limited results. Instead, look for a facility and personal trainer that gets you results immediately and continually. You will quickly know what type of facility you have by asking questions. If they know the answers, or are willing to give suggestions or tips, then they truly care about your results. Is that not why you are there?

bottom of page