Did my personal trainer rip me off with a bad program?

Did my personal trainer rip me off with a bad program?

Whether you’re a beginner just starting out on your fitness journey or a seasoned fitness enthusiast like us, it’s undeniable that the time, energy, and resources we invest in our pursuit of fitness are incredibly valuable. From live personal trainers to online zoom classes, there are now many programs that can now help us be on the right path towards our goals. Now, personal trainers are great and all but not all of them have their clients’ best interests at heart. There’s always a bad seed. So, the question remains: how do you tell if you are stuck with a good or bad trainer? Well, you’re in luck because in this blog, we share with you the different ways for you to tell if your PT really cares about your fitness and health, or if he/she is just doing it for the money. 

18 Signs Of A Bad Trainer

When it comes to your fitness and well-being, you should never settle for less. Even when you hire a personal trainer, you need to do homework and know at least something about the person you will be spending your fitness time with. Here are some of the signs of a bad trainer to make your hunt a tad easier. 

1. Uncertified

Some gyms hire uncertified trainers but limit their responsibilities. However, when it comes to personal trainer, they need to be certified because there are many risk factor invloved in training a client because the industry has now become a global profession. Authenticated certifications such as the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), American College of Sports Medicine(ACSM), National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), American Council on Exercise (ACE), and I are one of the better certifications currently. When searching for a trainer, it’s crucial to prioritize their genuine expertise and eagerness to aid you in achieving your objectives. For instance, a trainer should motivate you with the past success experiences of clients or the trainer himself. That way, one may form a bond faster and work with enthusiasm. 

2. Uses Body Shaming To Motivate Clients

One thing a trainer definitely shouldn’t do is try to shame them into working out. Trust me. It’s not worth it. A good personal trainer is all about helping their clients positively achieve their goals. They don’t need to resort to criticizing someone’s body to get results. That kind of negativity can really mess with a person’s head. And let’s be real, going to the gym can be pretty intimidating, especially if you need to get used to it. So it’s essential to find a personal trainer who makes you feel comfortable and supported, not one who will make you feel like crap.

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3. Only Promotes One Training Style

Every trainer has their preferred set of work, but sometimes, they make mistakes too. A good trainer will learn from those slip-ups and be open to trying new things. You want to find someone willing to switch things up to help you meet your goals. They should have tons of knowledge about what kind of workout will work best for you. And mixing exercises or even workout routines gives those muscles and stuff a chance to rest and recover before getting back into it. Plus, if you do get hurt, doing something different (that won’t hurt that same part of your body) can help you heal up and stay fit at the same time.

4. Focuses Only on Weight Loss

Research indicates that the key to losing weight lies mainly in our dietary choices. This is why the 80/20 rule has gained popularity, as it suggests that 80% of weight loss comes from what we eat and 20% from exercise. Nonetheless, exercise and consistent physical activity are equally essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. While a trainer who solely focuses on weight loss may help you achieve your desired body type. It is important to acknowledge that a good trainer will prioritize your overall health, which can be attained through regular exercise and a balanced diet. Therefore, both exercise and diet are equally vital for our health and physical fitness.

5. Doesn’t Educate Clients

It is not right when you hire a personal trainer and they only give you enough info to keep you coming back for more sessions. Their intention seems solely focused on making a quick profit, but this approach is inappropriate. A good trainer should take the time to explain everything to you. You should know why you’re doing each exercise and how it’s helping you. That way, you can be a more active participant in your own fitness. It doesn’t matter if you’re working out online or in person. A trainer should always be willing to educate you on what you’re doing and why.

6. Maintaining A Structured Routine

Having a well-designed workout plan is crucial if you want to enhance your physical fitness and feel more energized. However, not all plans are created equal. Some trainers may aim to exhaust you without considering the exercises that are best suited for your needs. Bad trainers may not keep track of your progress or modify your plan according to your fitness level or personal circumstances, which can result in physical harm. Therefore, if you are working with a trainer, ensure that they have developed a program that is customized to your specific requirements. Additionally, make sure that they are paying attention to your form, recovery, and dietary needs.

Read more: Best Arms Exercises For Women Over 40

7. Doesn’t Pay Attention During Training

Have you ever had a fitness instructor who seems distracted and not fully present? It’s so frustrating when they’re not giving you their full attention during a workout. Although everyone has their own stuff going on, but when you’re working with clients, it’s important to be present and focused on the job. It is important for a trainer to provide thorough guidance and instruction to ensure optimal results during exercise. If you find yourself unsure of proper technique or lacking in specific feedback, your trainer may not be fulfilling their professional duties. It is reasonable to expect a trainer to prioritize their expertise and attentiveness, considering you are investing in their services.

8. Ignores the Importance of Nutrition

Have you ever had a personal trainer who only cared about making you sweat and didn’t seem too interested in nutrition? That’s a big red flag. A good trainer should understand how important nutrition is for your fitness journey and may even be certified in nutrition programs. But watch out – if a trainer starts giving you nutrition advice to treat a medical condition, that’s crossing a line. Only dieticians with a four-year degree can legally give that kind of advice. It’s important to stick with professionals who stay within their boundaries.

9. Doesn’t Practice What They Preach

It’s not uncommon to find personal trainers who lack physical fitness and only focus on theory. Others may be unreliable and fail to show up on time. While these are not the worst traits, there are certainly better trainers who dedicate themselves fully. A great personal trainer should serve as a positive role model in all aspects. It’s important to note that everyone’s body is unique, so not appearing physically fit does not necessarily indicate a poor trainer. However, if your trainer does not prioritize their own fitness, diet, and overall health, it’s wise to consider this a major warning sign.

10. Supplements Should Not Come First

Have you ever had a trainer suggest or try to sell you supplements? It’s honestly a big red flag. Supplements are optional for getting fit and healthy, and unless your trainer is also a doctor, they shouldn’t be giving you supplement recommendations. The thing is, supplements are a huge industry, and a lot of the hype around them comes from the people who make and sell them. So if your trainer is pushing them on you, it’s probably just for the money. Stick to good old-fashioned exercise and healthy eating, and you’ll be just fine!

Trainers need to have knowledge about medical supplements as they are important. There have been cases involving these supplements that are well-known. One example is the Capati v Crunch Fitness INTL case. A lawsuit filed on June 28, 1999, alleged that a 37-year-old fashion designer died after working out with a personal trainer from the Crunch Fitness health club chain in New York, NY. The lawsuit sought $320 million in damages due to the death.

According to reports, the individual who passed away was advised by their personal trainer to consume a range of dietary and nutritional supplements, some of which included ephedrine, a natural stimulant that is commonly used for weight management. It is advisable for individuals who take medication for hypertension to avoid ephedrine, as it has been associated with several fatalities. With that being said, if a trainer is well certified as well as knowledgeable, that should not be an issue.

11. Negative pusher

For some individuals, the aggressive approach to exercise and training is unbearable. It seems that pretending to be angry or using violent language is seen as a way to enhance the workout experience. This behavior, known as the “angry trainer” syndrome, is a major reason why people shy away from exercise and personal training as a whole. It also portrays personal trainers as unintelligent individuals who only know how to help by yelling and making their clients feel terrible. Coaching is about communication, not shouting. A great personal trainer is one who is firm but maintains a positive and friendly attitude during training sessions. This doesn’t mean that they should coddle you through each exercise, but they also shouldn’t make you feel anxious before or during your session.

12. Do Your Own Research

When it comes to the fitness industry, the internet has made it easy to access websites and read reviews on Just Dial, Google Reviews, and other platforms. Although not all reviews are accurate, they can provide a general idea of how well a company performs and what type of trainers they offer, especially if many reviews are available. To get a better understanding of whether a company is right for you, make sure to check the “About Us” section on their webpage to see what types of trainers they offer. 

13. Keeping It Professional

It’s important to have a trainer who doesn’t spend the whole session socializing, as this can be distracting and defeat the purpose of the training. A professional trainer should know how to maintain boundaries, and it’s also important for the trainee to do the same.

14. Ignores Assessment

A bad trainer will jump right into assigning exercises without considering your physical abilities. Similar to a doctor who examines our body before any prescription, a competent trainer should conduct an initial assessment to understand your body’s capabilities before starting any workout. It’s important to take note of the questions they ask during this assessment. They should inquire about your injury and medical history, training experience, and fitness goals. 

15. Self Obsessed

During a personal training session, it is possible that the trainer may become too focused on themselves and neglect to listen to their client’s questions or statements. It is important to remember that the trainer is working for you and the session should solely focus on your growth. Regardless of whether the trainer discusses positive or negative issues, it should never be at the expense of the client’s progress. The client should always be the priority during a personal training session, and it is important to avoid any distractions that may take away from this.

16. Unsatisfied Results

If you are not getting results from your personal trainer and you’re not feeling any physical or mental benefits from your sessions, it might be time to find a new trainer. At the end of the day, we all want to see results, right? It doesn’t matter how great your trainer’s personality is if you’re not seeing progress. So, if you’ve been working with them for a while and you’re not getting closer to your goals, it’s time to move on.

17. Spot Reduction Is Not Real

The idea of spot reduction, which involves targeting specific areas to reduce fat quickly, is often promoted. However, this approach is based on the belief that focusing on muscle work in problem areas will lead to fat burning in that spot – and this is not necessarily accurate. Moreover, there is limited scientific evidence to support this claim. A research by experts on six weeks of training of abdominal exercise claimed that “Six weeks of abdominal exercise training alone was not sufficient to reduce abdominal subcutaneous fat and other measures of body composition.”

If a trainer promotes the idea of spot reduction, it may be best to find a new trainer. A reputable trainer should prioritize an overall fitness plan that targets all parts of the body. In addition, trainers who believe in achieving quick results must be more accurate. It takes hard work and dedication to achieve successful results, and finding a good trainer is essential to achieving those results.

18. The Lower-Ab Myth

Lastly, we have the speculation that everyone is on nowadays. Just like the section where we talked about “Spot Reduction”, Muscles cannot be isolated as they tend to work in groups. Even a basic action like standing up from a chair puts muscles into action from the neck to the ankles. Although there are effective ways of building a six-pack, there is no such thing as lower abs. The contraction of all abdominal muscles is necessary, rather than just focusing on specific areas.

So make sure your trainer is well-researched and articulate in his preaching. With that being said, we hope this blog post helped you figure out what makes a good trainer and what to watch out for with a bad one.

Should You Hire An Online Personal Trainer?

The outbreak of COVID has led to an increase in the popularity of online personal training, as more people are willing to try virtual workouts. Even as gyms have reopened and fitness equipment has become more accessible, many people have found success in incorporating online training into their daily routines. What initially started as a trend during the pandemic has now become a favored method of training for many. Online personal training is similar to having a personal trainer with you at all times, as you receive customized programs to your goals, detailed instructions for every exercise, and feedback on your form, just like in-person training. Without further ado, let us see the benefits of online training in today’s digitalized world.

1.Better time management

Hiring an online personal coach allows you to train according to your schedule and preferences. Your coach will design a workout program for you in advance, which you can easily fit into your busy routine. This is in contrast to a traditional coach who may have limited availability, leaving you with limited options that may not align with your schedule or preferences.

2. Consistent Guidance

Getting a personal trainer in person can be quite costly, especially if you require frequent workout sessions with them. This is because while they are working with you, they cannot work with anyone else simultaneously. However, if you choose to work with an online coach. They can offer more cost-effective guidance since you won’t be training with them one-on-one in the gym. Additionally, they are available via chat to help with your habits and nutrition, and finding a coach that fits your personality can lead to a life-changing experience.

3. Cost-Efficient

Hiring a personal trainer for in-person sessions can be pricey, particularly if you train with them multiple times weekly. This is because they can’t work with anyone else during your session. However, with an online coach, you can receive more affordable guidance since you’re not working with them face-to-face. Additionally, online coaches can provide assistance through chat and help with your eating habits, making it a life-changing experience if you find a coach who matches your personality.


The information provided above could assist you in recognizing the negative qualities of a personal trainer. With that being said, it’s important to note that recognizing the negative qualities of a personal trainer can be helpful for both your future workouts and your fitness career. It’s essential to maintain a strong mindset, as trainers are crucial. Still, it’s equally important to remember that you are just as important.

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