Without knocking anyone out there and keeping things positive… here is a short list of things your Personal Trainer should do during your sessions:
3. Be able to give you a “WHY?”
It is ok to ask your trainer why you are doing a certain exercise. He or she should be able to provide a brief explanation if you are mid-workout, linking the reason back to your established goals (which hopefully were established upon your initial consult or at some earlier point in time). Of course, your trainer wants to keep you moving, so if the answer requires more than 30-60 seconds, he or she may say, “I’ll go into details later, but I would like you to do this now and then you’ll understand once I explain.” This is an acceptable response and if the details are later discussed, great. If you get some skirting-around then perhaps there is no rhyme or reason to your programming, and that definitely requires further examination. If you have established goals and have a plan of action, then there may or may not be a need for much talking; however, it is not a bad thing to keep your goals clear.
2. Provide balance
A good trainer must be able to balance challenging you with paying attention to any limitations, injuries or conditions you may have. A trainer has to know when to push and when to pull back. Sometimes your trainer is going to push you to complete a few more reps even after you say, “I can’t do this,” and yet, you actually do complete the task at hand once your trainer says, “Come on. You got this. I am spotting you, ” … HMM, in this case, the Trainer was right and coached you through it.
1. Show you undivided attention
This one should be a no-brainer, but I am amazed at how often clients tell me how much they appreciate having my undivided attention for the entire session. At no point in time, should a trainer be using a cell phone during your workout. No calls, no emails, no texting, no social media. Absolutely not. This is unacceptable and should be brought up if it occurs on your dime. You are paying the trainer for the session and that time belongs to you. Emergencies should be the only exception here.
Of course, the list of criteria that a Trainer should possess is much longer; these are just the bare minimum, but most critical.