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Wow!! This is just wrong!!

This happened right here in Phoenix. I know where this gym is at. The thing that upsets me the most is that these people are giving the profession a really bad name!! I don't like to call myself a personal trainer at all because it associates me with morons like this. Anyway, here is the link. You can either watch the video (it was from the local ABC news) or read the transcription of the news story. It is really upseting. However, at the same time I am happy that the reporter exposed these people so that others know what to look for (more on that later)....

Well, what did you think? Pretty nuts!!

A few days ago I posted the names of some guys in other states that I thought were good at what they do. But what if you don't live in those states? How would you go about chosing a personal trainer, should you want one? I am going to lay out a few questions for everyone that they can print out and take with them to the gym to interview their trainer. That's right....INTERVIEW! Don't just go in and say "I want to get a trainer." The chances of you getting stuck with the total newbie with no experience are about 9 out of 10. Go in and say, "I want a trainer. I would like to meet with the top three guys that you have and talk to them about what I am looking for." From there, ask the following 4 questions:

1) Do you have a degree in this field?

Just because they don't have a degree does not me that they are no good. It is simply a good place to start just to get to know a little bit about the persons background. If they say no, don't rule them out just yet.

2) What are your professional certifications?

Knowing the type of certification the trainer holds is important. I have seen really smart guys without certifications, who are great trainers. But, for the most part you are going to want to work with someone that is certified, as it ensures you that the person has put in at least some time educating themselves on the topic of exercise. Don't just take any certification. There are only three certifying bodies that I deem acceptable:


I don't care what anyone else says. If it isn't one of those three than it is garbage. I know that is harsh but these are the best in terms of advancing the knowledge of trainers and applying science and research. If they don't have one (or all) of those three, chances are I wouldn't want to work with them.

3) Do you do any type of assessment?

This is a critical question. The saying goes "if you aren't assessing you're only guessing." It's true. How can you know about where a person is trying to go if you don't know where they are already at? The crappiest trainers do no assessment at all. The second level of crappy trainers do performance assessments only (ie, how much can you bench, how much can you squat, etc.). I don't like that because if you don't know about how the person moves, how can you accurately (and safely)test their performance. Which brings me to what the better trainers do, which is a movement assessment. Some sort of movement assessment to analyze how the person moves and the quality of movement they are producing is crucial. That is the main part of my assessment. I want to find out how efficiently the individual produce movement. From there, I have an idea of where we need to go in order to really get this person to their goal in the safest way possible.

4) Do you have any programs that I can take a look at?

This is very important. Bad trainers don't write anything down. They just wing it everytime. Trainers that are just above bad, write workouts. They don't write programs. The best trainers write programs. They take the results from your initial testing, the information about your goals and they write out something concrete. A map. Something that tells you were you are starting at, where you are going to end at, and how you are going to get there. If you are interviewing a trainer and they can't produce a few programs for you and explain them and how they work and what the goals of different phases of training were, then walk away! That person does not deserve the amount of money you are about to pay for their crappy service.

Looking for a trainer can be a tough task. Take your time to really find someone that is knowledgeable and understands your goals and can explain how they can help you achieve those goals. You want to find someone that is honest and has your best interests at heart. Not someone who just needs you to purchase a 12 pack of sessions so that they can reach their monthy bonus.

When it comes to spending your money, you always want to get the best you can.....nice cars, nice clothes, shoes, nice apartment, etc.....Your body is no different. If trainer "x" charges $45/session, there is probably a good reason that he charges that. Look for someone that is going to give you the quality care you deserve.

Until Monday....Have a healthy weekend.