If you’re a fitness professional, in a similar industry or have just been working with great coaches for a while, I am sure you have noticed some not so great coaches/trainers throughout the years.

I have worked at 4 different sport and fitness facilities and have worked out at dozens of gyms over the past 6 years and usually, without fail, I tend to see at least one or two trainers doing some absolutely ridiculous (and dangerous) stuff with their clients.

So…. I’m going to break down 5 CLEAR signs to realize that your trainer is an IDIOT!

They Do Not Have Multiple Certifications/Degrees – Not that you need to have dozens of certifications to prove your worth as a coach/trainer, but having a couple well regarded, respected and actually useful certs. will not only help you and your clients but also show you care about self improvement. If your trainer has no degree in the field and only has a cheap Groupon trainer certification that they bought on Black Friday, I would rethink those 24 sessions you just bought….

They Are Not Healthy OR Fit – Now, I am not saying every trainer needs to be some ripped up person with this amazing physique. Please note though that being in great shape does NOT mean that person knows what they are doing or could actually help other people. However, they should at least give the appearance that they CARE about their own health and wellbeing. Taking care of your own body is just one piece of the whole puzzle. If you have a trainer who is constantly eating crap food/drinks and barely works out themselves then what do you expect them to teach you!? If your trainer is in too bad of shape to even properly perform the exercises they want YOU to do….run!

They Don’t Know The Difference Between A Goal and A Behavior – If someone were to tell me “I want to lose 10 lbs by June” that would be a goal of theirs. If someone told me “I need to workout at least 4 times per week” that wouldn’t be a goal but a behavioral change. That person needs to work on those behaviors themselves, the coach can help to a degree but mainly works on the goals and we will also reward the client for creating/having successful behaviors. After all, changing your behaviors for the better will get you to your goals FASTER!

They Do Not Have A Plan – Every good coach should have a plan with their clients. Whether that involves their workout, nutrition or both. If your trainer is just making up every single workout on the spot, how exactly do you expect to make consistent progress? Doing a completely different workout every single session does not mean your trainer is very knowledgeable about different types of exercises, it just means they are unprepared and/or lazy pieces of poop…..yeah I said poop.

They Don’t Help You Outside Of Your Sessions – Every coach who actually cares about their client will take the extra effort to not only help them stay on track at the gym, but outside as well. I myself will email/text clients about other issues they have outside of the gym like injuries, diet, schedule, work stress, at home workouts, meal preparation, anything! You name it! Now I’m not exactly taking hours out of my day to help clients via email/text but a few messages back and forth a week is totally manageable and welcomed! I once knew a trainer that told me he ignored most of his clients emails because he was not being paid to answer them, clearly that guy did not give a flying (frisbee) about his clients success.

Some other important factors involve proper movement assessments as well measurements, body comp and other physical assessments to gage your clients progress throughout your time together.

Another factor I did not mention is the dreaded “made up exercises” your trainer comes with on the spot. No one WANTS to do a single armed overhead press standing on one foot with your other hand on your nose while on a bosu ball….no one SHOULD be doing this anyway!

Each client will be different of course and will have different goals and assessments based on what they would like to accomplish. However, I believe the above 5 factors should apply to every strength coach and each of their clients!

Written By: Frank Hoyle – Head Strength Coach – Director of Nutrition & Education @ CSF

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