Six (More) Signs of a Lazy Trainer
I recently divulged my six signs of a lazy trainer. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately at a local gym that isn’t my own, and observing some poor habits by other peers in my field. Here are six more ways to tell if your trainer is kinda lame:
Lazy trainers make cell phone calls and text during your workout. I’ll take an urgent call, but while I’m working with a client I encourage clients to leave their phones behind. A great trainer is laser-focused on watching your form and jumping in with a little assistance when your muscles fail. Training requires discipline, and if she’s texting or talking to other clients on the phone, she’s more worried about her social life than your safety.
Lazy trainers re-arrange their client’s workouts around their own convenience. Can you imagine if Michael Phelps‘ coach asked him to rearrange his swimming practice around the coach’s personal social calendar? If anything, training is most definitely a service profession, and the lazy trainer forgets that the client is also a customer. I ask my trainers to put the client’s hour ahead of their own desire to work a regular schedule. If your trainer keeps shifting your appointment on you, gently remind him/her how important it is for you to have consistency in your training and ask for a set schedule.
Lazy trainers don’t demonstrate exercises and won’t lift a finger to assist your set. Today I heard the following actual conversation between a trainer and his client:
TRAINER (sneezing) “Hey, good to see you!”
CLIENT: “Same here. Are you okay?”
TRAINER: “Aww, well I’ve got a real bad sinus infection, and I’ve just been nursing it with lots of Vitamin C,” [drinks from container] “I didn’t get much sleep last night either—up all night with the neighbor’s cats. I guess you’ll be lifting all the weights today, ha ha ha.”
A great trainer will work much like a training partner, helping to maneuver weight plates, dumbbells, and set machine resistances for you. If your trainer is pointing and telling you what to lift, maybe you should suggest he do the Hillary instead of training you. A sick trainer should be home in bed!
Lazy trainers stand while stretching clients so they don’t have to bend, lift, or manipulate their own body around yours. Standing enables him/her to move you around without having to bend, kneel, squat, or lift his/her own body. If you notice your trainer doing this, tell him/her that you’d feel more comfortable on a padded floormat and ask to move.
Lazy trainers don’t keep records or notes during a session. A qualified fitness professional won’t waste your time trying to jog his memory or play around with weight levels. It takes less than a few seconds to jot down a few numbers in a chart; these numbers will save you both time. If your trainer doesn’t document your workouts, ask him/her: “How do I know when I’ve made progress?” or make mental notes of your session and see if it matches the trainer’s version.
Lazy trainers talk too much. Let’s be clear: training isn’t therapy, and a great trainer will not engage you in conversation while you’re performing an exercise, because he/she knows that you need every ounce of focus and concentration to perform the movement correctly. If your trainer is a little too much Dr. Laura and too little Dr. Squat, maybe it’s time for this line:
“I don’t remember a psych degree on your resume,” [chuckle]. “Let’s get back to it, shall we?”