We’ve all seen crappy personal trainers in the gym before, it’s as widespread as gym bros participating in international bench day for the sixth day in a row.
They let their clients do a bunch of horrible exercises with horrific form while they’re texting, chatting with other members, and just overall being bad at their jobs.
The whole time they’re barely counting reps and taking your money while they do it.
You would think with this widespread abuse of their job description people would know how to find a good personal trainer compared to a bad one.
In this article, I’m gonna go over my top 10 tips on how to find a good personal trainer, and we’re starting right now!
#1 They Use Appropriate Exercises For Your Skill Level
First up on our list today is using appropriate exercises for your individual skill level.
I’ve seen this a lot before; personal trainers that take clients through a bunch of random exercises that they can’t do with good form just to make them sweat, make them tired and make them sore.
And sometimes they even try to make them throw up!
They think that’s the idea of what a good personal trainer is, but in reality, it’s not.
If you have a personal trainer and you’re trying to get in the best shape possible, you’re trying to build more muscle, they should be doing things that are adequate for your skill level.
Things that you can do correctly with good form and things that promise good results without making you throw up and make you super sore to the point where you don’t want to workout ever again.
#2 They Promote Progressive Overload
Next up on our list today is they promote progressive overload.
For those who don’t know, progressive overload is simply doing more work than you did last time, and the easiest way I could explain that is by doing more weight or more reps.
To add more sets, all you have to do to make that happen is to increase the time you’re in the gym.
That’s not progressive overload, progressive overload is doing more weight and more reps over time.
If you’re doing 150 pounds for 10 reps on the Incline Bench Press now and six months from now you’re doing 200 for a set of 10, I know you got stronger and you built more muscle as well!
Bad trainers are gonna take you through a bunch of random exercises, they’re not going to track anything, there’s not gonna be any overload whatsoever.
They’re just going to do whatever the hell they want day after day and over time; you’re not gonna get stronger and you’re not going to build more muscle.
You’re just going to be tired, you’re gonna be very very sore, and you’re going to be spinning your wheels.
If they’re not tracking what you do, and they’re not increasing the load/reps you’re doing, then they’re probably not a good personal trainer to be hiring.
#3 Watching Your Technique & Correcting Issues
A good personal trainer is going to watch your technique and correct issues instead of talking on the phone.
I see this all the fucking time, they’re on their phone, they’re talking to members and they’re not paying attention to the actual client when they’re working with them.
If you have a personal trainer that knows what they’re talking about, that is trying to get you the best results possible, they’re gonna watch every single set and rep you do.
They’re gonna make sure that you’re doing everything properly and they’re gonna make adjustments to your technique as you go along.
I still do this with clients now
that has been working out with me for a very long time.
Sometimes they’re not mentally prepared to train for the day.
Their technique isn’t on point so I have to adjust them as they go.
If you have a personal trainer that’s just talking on their phone and they tell you, “go do 10 reps of this and tell me when you’re done.” Don’t trust those people!
You want people that are gonna check your technique, correct it, and make sure you’re doing it properly and safely.
#4 Tracking Your Progress
A good personal trainer is going to track your progress and take notes.
This is something that I’m sure a lot of you guys have seen. A personal trainer that’s not taking notes and they’re just going through a bunch of random exercises each session.
This is something that a lot of people don’t do in general when they’re going to the gym, they don’t track their progress.
A good trainer is going to track your progress, they’re going to track how you’re feeling every day, and they’re going to track your water, food, and sleep to some degree.
A bad trainer is just going to tell you to do a bunch of random exercises, never write anything down and of course, not care how you’re feeling throughout the process.
I actually made it a point to have an individual training notebook for each and every single client I worked with.
If I couldn’t keep up with each clients progress in a training notebook, I wasn’t doing my job correctly as far as I’m concerned.
#5 They Don’t Promise Quick Results
A good trainer isn’t going to promise quick results that aren’t actually possible.
Great trainers are actually honest and will give you a plan that’s sustainable and healthy for long-term progress.
Plus the main goal isn’t to keep you as a client forever, they actually teach you how to train and program for yourself.
This way you can learn enough to not be too dependent on them forever.
If I ever trained a client and they didn’t learn anything because I just count sets and reps and don’t explain the process to them I failed them.
On the flip side, some people don’t care about learning and just want results.
With these people, I explain to them that they must continue training and making progress for life, otherwise they’re gonna lose all the progress they made.
This is a hard pill to swallow for some people but bad trainers will lie and tell them they just need to do a crash diet, do two hours of cardio per day and do super high rep deadlifts with bad form.
I’ve seen it before so don’t think I’m exaggerating!
#6 They Focus More On Technique Than Intensity
Good trainers will always focus on technique and proper movement execution rather than the weight on the bar.
You see guys doing dumbbell bench press, regular bench press, squats, deadlifts, you know they’re doing a lot of good exercises.
Unfortunately, they’re focusing more on just adding weight target than their technique.
They think because they went up 50 pounds on their squat in a week and a half that that’s good.
But in reality, their form isn’t on point!
Everything looks like it’s gonna break down, their back is rounding over, everything looks bad, they’re not getting to depth, etc.
So to get a good personal trainer you want to look for somebody that’s gonna focus on your technique first and then add load overtime.
If the technique isn’t there then they shouldn’t be adding weight, they shouldn’t be adding reps, the technique should be drilled every time you’re in the gym.
Otherwise, you’re gonna waste your time, your money and you’re gonna get injured eventually.
#7 They Use Strength & Hypertrophy Training To Drive Progress
The best trainers in the world focus more on strength training and building muscle instead of just doing cardio.
No matter what your goal is, building a foundation of muscle and strength will serve you well in all aspects of life.
A lot of trainers just have their clients for through cardio circuits, saying it’ll build muscle and lose fat, etc.
This just isn’t true but they pass it off like it is. To build muscle you have to do more work then you did last time with muscle building movements.
Running around and doing sprints is a good way to burn calories but that’s basically all it’ll ever do.
If you want a good personal trainer, you need to make sure that they’re actually focusing on strength training and muscle building.
If they just run you through circuits of cardio stuff and you aren’t doing some kind of strength training along with that cardio, odds are that personal trainer doesn’t really know a lot about what they’re talking about.
They’re just trying to get you tired and they’re trying to make you feel like because you’re sore you’re making progress which is not the case.
#8 They Don’t Body Shame You & Make Fun Of Your Fitness Level
If your trainer doesn’t body shame you and make you feel like crap for your fitness level, you’ve got a good one!
Bad trainers are going to use your physique to try and motivate you.
Saying things like, “you’re always going to be obese at this pace,” isn’t a good way to motivate people. And it’s also disrespectful and makes people want to give up.
Especially if it’s in a crowded gym and you’re already feeling self conscious, these kinds of comments will make most people feel horrible about themselves.
Instead, a great trainer is going to motivate you, inspire you and build your confidence.
Whenever I train a client and they can’t do something at their current skill level, I switch it to something they can do.
That way, they keep making progress and build confidence in what they’re doing over time.
Plus, after awhile we can go back to that previous exercise, crush it and start making progress on that as well!
An amazing personal trainer is gonna pick you up instead of putting you down.
So don’t settle for a trainer that’s had abs his whole life and doesn’t know what you have to go through everyday.
Get somebody that’s empathetic and wants to make you better in a positive and healthy way!
Physically, mentally, and of course emotionally.
#9 They Promote Whole Foods Over Supplements
The fitness industry is full of scam artists trying to make a quick buck.
They’re trying to sell supplements and make money off of your insecurities.
Trainers that want the best for you are going to promote whole foods with healthy fats, carbs, proteins, and micronutrients. Instead of just promoting supplements like a lot of trainers.
I don’t know if you guys realize this but the majority of supplements out there can be completely disregarded. As long as you’re getting in a healthy diet; you’re eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, that kind of stuff.
You’re gonna be able to hit most of your micronutrient goals without getting supplements to supplement it.
You don’t need protein shakes if you’re getting enough protein, you don’t need a bunch of vitamins and minerals for every little thing, and there aren’t really any muscle building supplements.
Unless you do steroids which isn’t really a supplement but we can call it “special sports supplements” if we want to.
But if they’re trying to peddle something and saying you’re gonna build more muscle on this or you’re gonna lose more fat if you take this fat burner, they’re selling you bullshit.
It’s not how it works, the only things that work are diet, exercise, and being active.
If your diet and nutrition aren’t in line, you’re gonna have a lot of nutrients deficiencies in your body, you’re not gonna perform as well, and you’re gonna feel like crap.
Also, your body’s not gonna look the way you want it to.
If you’re exercising and you’re only doing one day per week, you’re not really training very hard and you’re just kind of going through the motions you’re not gonna make much progress.
A good trainer will know all of this and try to get you to train more often, eat nutritious meals and be more active.
They aren’t gonna sell you a bunch of supplements that don’t work. They’re going to make you change your habits and create a healthy lifestyle.
#10 They Don’t Use Cookie Cutter Programs
The best trainers out there are going to set up an individualized training program for your goals and body structure.
If you have a trainer running you though the same cookie-cutter workouts with every single person, and they’re not adjusting it based on what your body structure needs, then that’s not a personal trainer you want to be hiring.
You want someone that’s gonna set up your training in a way that is going to help you achieve your goals and you’re gonna be able to do them without pain.
We all know that the compound lifts, the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press; those kind of exercises are usually gonna be the best when it comes to building muscle and getting stronger.
For some people and their body structures, these aren’t gonna work.
Sometimes exercises just hurt no matter what.
A good trainer is going to take you through the best exercises for your body to give you the best results.
And that’s it!
I hope you guys enjoyed!
If you’ve worked with a trainer in the past, let me know about your experiences with them and what made you want to continue training with them or fire them.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have an awesome day!
Until next time,