Saturday, April 5, 2008

All Trainers Are Not Created Equal, Part Two

Currently, I work with a gentleman who is probably one of the most educated people I know when it comes to muscle anatomy and kinesiology. He really knows how to work and isolate all muscle groups.

I was really thrilled to have a chance to observe him train with a few clients. Here is what I observed. (The names have been changed to protect the innocent.)

The first client (whom I will call "Client Number One") was working on his bench press and holding his breath between reps. I couldn't believe this trainer did not make the obvious correction to teach proper breathing.

The "Second Client" I observed was performing a lat pulldown. A proper lat pulldown should have you with a slight backward lean in order better isolate the latissimus dorsi. This particular client, however, was sitting perfectly straight and using more arm and shoulder than anything else.

The "Last Client" also was working on the bench press. The trainer was spotting the client with one hand while carrying on a conversation on his cell phone.

This trainer absolutely knows better in all three cases.

So here is another tip on picking a trainer: before you agree to have someone train you, spend a little time observing.

Ask yourself a few questions:
  • Does the trainer demonstrate proper technique?
  • Does this trainer stay attentive through the training session?
  • Does the trainer give cues and guidance while the exercises are taking place?

When the training session is completed, you also may ask the client if s/he is still getting results with this trainer. Has s/he hit any plateaus and what did the trainer do to overcome them? Has s/he gotten bored with the routine? Remember, how trainers deal with current clients is the same way these trainers will deal with you.

Do not hesitate to ask questions of both the trainers and their clients and try to observe your trainer at work when possible. You are working hard and spending good money to become a healthier you. You deserve the best the fitness industry has to offer.

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