Is Your Personal Trainer An Imposture? 3 Way’s to Find Out!
Health and wellness interest is growing and as such the industry is has had a flood of personal trainers, nutritionists and other health experts. How do you know if the person you invest your time and money with is legit and can actually help you? Here is a bare minimum guide your personal trainer should follow, and if they don’t run!
Did they take the time to do an in-depth assessment with you?
If your trainer has a plan for you before they know how your body functions then you
know you’re on a cookie cutter program and are likely doing the exact same program as
another client they have.
An assessment should include;
Functional Movement Analysis – Your ability to move properly in day to day life and
common movements are going to protect you against injury and will determine what exercises you should be doing in the gym.
Body Composition Scan – Regardless of what the goal is, body composition tells us a lot about our current health levels. Having some objective data besides a weight scale is important not only to track progress but also to know how close you are to optimal health
Goal Setting – This seems obvious but if your trainer isn’t going into detail about why you’re actually in to see them and is just assuming based on a brief conversation, it’s time to immediately pack up and move on.
Periodization Based on Goals
This doesn’t mean just changing exercises, it means changing the overall stimulus of the
program. Your trainer should have a specific focus in mind for each phase so that you
don’t plateau. If you go from doing 10 reps of flat dumbbell press with 30 seconds of rest to 10
reps of barbell press with 30 seconds of rest, the amount of results you experience will continue
to decline until you eventually stop progressing. Even worse, you could actually start to lose
progress as your ability to recover from that specific protocol decreases.
At a bare minimum, your trainer should understand how to build 3 types of program for
you and change between them regularly: Strength, hypertrophy and metabolic phases. This will ensure
you have your bases covered in terms of basic biomechanical function.
Regular Follow-up Regarding Progress
Evaluating a client’s results is an incredibly important tool to understand if the program is
working as intended or not. A great coach may not nail every program on the first day but they
should be able to problem solve and adjust along the way based on how effective the program is.
Follow-ups should be like a mini Health Assessment, taking into account the baselines set in previous appointments so there are objective measures to compare with. In addition, as you get close to or achieve your original goals, your trainer should be helping you to find the next milestones to reach so that you stay motivated to maintain a healthy lifestyle!
If your trainer isn’t doing these 3 basic things for you, they’re likely not as invested in you as you are in them!