Unfortunately, there are far too many under-qualified trainers that just want your money. They are either instructing you to do exercises that may not work for your fitness level, they are updating their Facebook statuses during your sessions or they are eating donuts while yelling at you to do more push ups on the beach (true story!!)

If a trainer doesn't care about his own health and fitness, what makes you think he cares about yours? The cheat sheet below will help you determine whether or not your trainer is fit to make you fit:

1. You leave your training sessions feeling "crushed" leading you to believe that your trainer is using a "one size fits all" approach. 

Your trainer should be providing custom fit programming for each of his clients. If you believed in a "one size fits all" workout, your Taebo DVDs wouldn't be collecting dust in your den. 

2. Your personal trainer uses popular training fads to increase her marketability despite never actually using these methods herself. 

If your trainer suggests you do a set of 15 Shake Weight reps while simultaneously squeezing a Thigh Master, chances are she also got her personal training license from a Cracker Jack box. Instead, she should be teaching you tried and true techniques that can easily be replicated outside of your sessions.

3. Your personal trainer has a spare tire and love handles. 

This phrase should not be something a trainer EVER says, "do as I say, not as I do." If you have a career in the health and fitness industry, you should be in respectable shape. No ifs, ands, or big butts.  

4. Your trainer has a certification, but no experience in the field. 

A trainer should have experience under her belt before she expects you to start paying for her expertise. Hiring a trainer before this step is like hiring a driver that just got her license. Not only should your trainer have experience in the field, she should have a constant hunger to learn more about the fitness world. She should be up to date on the latest fitness information as well as be a frequent attendee at health and fitness seminars. 


In the market for a personal trainer? Here is a list of questions you should ask before you commit to one:

1. How long have you been a trainer working with clients? 

2. What is your current certification? 

3. I have an injury on my (fill in the blank). How would you recommend I proceed? 

Last (but certainly not least):

Do you know who Mark Rippetoe, Dan John, Louie Simmons, or Todd Durkin are? *

*If they answer no to this one, run away as fast as you can! Happy hunting!

**image by Christopher Koppes, Flickr


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