woman doing exercise

Personal Trainer Red Flags

Why personal trainer red flags? A client relayed a very upsetting experience she recently had with a personal trainer to me this week. While this experience was truly egregious, unfortunately, some of the behaviors this trainer engaged in are not uncommon. And, even more unfortunately, many folks feel discouraged and embarrassed after experiences like this and give up on their fitness goals. So I wanted to share with you some things I view as red flags from my perspective as a nutrition coach, fitness instructor, and someone studying to become a personal trainer.

Red Flag 1:Your trainer continuously tries to upsell you

While your trainer’s pay does depend on their ability to sell sessions, their time spent with you should be focused on you and your workout. They should respect your boundaries and your time and avoid pushing you to buy more.

Red Flag 2: Your trainer gives the same workouts to everyone

Everyone has different needs. Everyone has different goals. You pay for individual attention from your trainer. Therefore, your trainer should not be giving all their clients the same program. It’s laziness.

Red Flag 3: Your trainer pushes you too hard

Two integral parts of being a trainer are meeting a client where they’re at and recognizing when to increase or decrease workout difficulty. If you are telling your trainer you’re in pain or the workout doesn’t feel right, they should respond to that promptly and appropriately.

Red Flag 4: Your trainer strays outside their scope

Your trainer should not be offering nutrition advice unless they are properly trained in nutrition. Likewise, they should not offer medical advice. Doing so demonstrates irresponsibility and carelessness with your well-being.

Red Flag 5: Your trainer does not obtain consent

Your trainer should not ever touch you without your explicit consent. Ever. Additionally, if you tell your trainer you do not want to discuss eating habits, that should be sufficient for them not to bring it up. It’s about boundaries and respect.

Red Flag 6: Your trainer spends most of your session looking at their phone

Last time I checked you were paying them to watch you, right? If they’re absorbed in their IG feed, they won’t notice when your form is off or you’re at risk of injury.

Red Flag 7: Your trainer doesn’t cheer you on

Your trainer should be a source of encouragement and motivation. They should be telling you when you’re doing well and celebrating that with you. If they only focus on what you need to improve, that’s discouraging.

These are some of the personal trainer red flags I think you should look out for. Are there any you would add?

woman wearing black bra and white tank top raising both hands on top

How to get motivated

“I just can’t get motivated.” “I want to start but can’t get going.” I hear things like this a lot from my clients and I agree that it can be very hard to get motivated to do what you need to do to reach your goals.

Many people think that motivation strikes like lightening. But that’s not the case. Motivation doesn’t just appear out of the ether…most of the time, anyway. Most often, action must precede motivation. In other words, we need to so something to get motivation going. And, once we do, it can snowball from there.

Exercise illustrates this point very well. Have you ever noticed that getting to the gym is the hardest part? And once you’re there, you just get to work and typically feel good? Exercise might seem like the last thing you want to do, but by taking that action of getting yourself to the gym, you’ve got the motivation flowing to start and finish your workout.

So what can you do to get the motivation flowing for your wellness goals?

Start small and just do something. If your goal is working out, commit to pushing yourself just to warm up. And, after that, if you feel like you can keep going, go for it. If not, that’s OK! Try again another time. if your goal is cooking balanced meals at home, start searching for yummy recipes online. If you want to be more active or walk more, start by just putting your sneakers on. Give yourself the nudge to take a step to start.

There will be days when that motivation just doesn’t show up and that’s OK. But just waiting for it to show up on its own decreasing the chances of it happening.

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