Is Your Trainer Worth The Money?

Several weeks ago my son was invited to a birthday party at a gym that just opened in my area. Though I must admit that I usually dread preschool birthday parties, I could not wait for this one. People are absolutely crazy for this gym, and I was dying to find out what all the brouhaha was about.

The gym
is impressive. In fact, it is heaven for those addicted to exercise: it has a cafe, a salon, indoor and outdoor pools, a rock climbing wall, basketball courts, yoga and Pilates studios, cardio, and strength training equipment. It also has a very cool vibe.

I can't lie. If I had the money, I'd join this beautiful club in a heartbeat.

However, I did find that this swanky club, with its rich shiny floors and beautiful people, is not a
perfect utopia.

Why? I witnessed some pretty shoddy personal training.

My son has a teeny, tiny 4-year-old bladder. Just as the birthday cake was being served, he proclaimed that he had to go to the potty "really badly." If you are a mom of a recently potty trained child, you know what this means: you must drop everything and sprint to the nearest bathroom to avoid an embarrassing episode of wee wee down the pant legs.

So we did.

In the process, we passed a trainer working with a man in his mid-fifties. The man was throwing his upper body into a rotator cuff exercise. His trainer was chatting with his colleague.

After we'd peed, we returned the way we came. Now the man was performing step ups on a raised platform. His alignment was faulty. His trainer was staring at the ground, seemingly bored to tears.

I have no idea why this man is employing such an inattentive trainer. I suppose he probably doesn't realize how bad his trainer is.

Are you employing an equally unimpressive trainer? How would you know? Here are some things you can do to ensure that you hire the best trainer for your needs:
  1. Watch your club trainers in action. Are they attentive to their clients? Are they correcting their clients' form? Are they engaged? If they appear bored or interested in chatting with their colleagues as opposed to working with their clients, stay away.
  2. Don't assume that the word "certified" means that your trainer is up to the task of training you. Find out what school certified her. Look it up. Does the school require 10 hours of study or 800? Feel free to ask her about her certification. If it was rigorous and challenging, she will be more than happy to share what she learned.
  3. Network with your fellow gym mates. Ask people who they employ and what they like or dislike about their sessions.
  4. If you are interested in hiring a trainer who has a specialty like yoga or Pilates, find out about the method he is certified in. It will help you understand if his approach is right for you.
  5. Feel free to hire a trainer for one session. Tell her that you want to hire the right trainer given your interests and values. Trainers understand that their workouts aren't necesarily the perfect fit for everyone. They will not be offended by such honesty.
Now get out to the gym and find someone to inspire, motivate, and free your mind and spirit. Find someone who challenges you and makes exercise fun. Find someone you look forward to seeing.

You are worth it, and so is your health.

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