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What Are They Teaching Personal Trainers These Days ?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Folks, this is a WARNING to all of my Spark buddies who are thinking of hiring a personal trainer.

This morning, I decided to hit the gym early to get in a short workout on the elliptical. While I was there, a personal trainer and her client hopped on the treadmill in front of me. I've got to say this... I was APPALLED by what I saw !! Now, I'm a fully certified personal trainer myself. I'm also a fully certified group exercise instructor. I was trained by very reputable organizations. So, I was shocked by what I saw.

At first, I thought the PT was just having their client do a 5-10 minute warm up on the treadmill. Well, not exactly. Yes, the young woman did a short brisk walk. THEN, the personal trainer gave her a set of 10 pound hand weights AND had her do bicep curls as well as shoulder presses while she was walking on the treadmill !! If that wasn't bad enough, then this personal trainer (a college aged young woman) preceded to INCREASE the incline on the treadmill. I saw her as she pushed the buttons to increase the incline. Then the client put down the weights for a short time. I thought, okay, no more weights while walking on the incline. NOPE... the PT gave the hand weights back to the client who then was told to do more bicep curls and shoulder presses while walking on the incline.

Maybe it's me, but this personal trainer didn't seem to think anything was wrong with that !!!

It got worse. Another thing this trainer did was to keep increasing the speed of the treadmill. They were pushing the buttons, not the client. A personal trainer NEVER touches the buttons to increase speed. The client pushes the buttons to where they feel their maximum limit is. The PT doesn't make that decision. A PT is their to encourage their client to push a bit harder, not do the pushing for them.

Which is why I am warning all my Spark Buddies that IF they see a personal trainer advising a client to do strength training exercises while on a treadmill, STAY AWAY from that trainer !! No well trained (reputable) personal trainer would have their clients using hand weights while on a treadmill. We all know how dangerous it is to use hand weights while walking. It places too much stress on a person's joints. The only safe way to combine cardio and strength is with a good circuit training workout or class.

I was really shocked and quite honestly, I'm going to talk to the head of the trainers to tell them what I saw. What that PT did was not safe and was downright dangerous to the client.

Here's what "gets" me, I know that the trainers are all supposed to be certified via NASM. You have to be to work at this gym. That's who certified me. They are a very reputable organization. I know for a fact they do NOT teach their students to use hand weights on treadmills ! Which makes me wonder where this trainer learned fitness. They can't keep teaching their clients that it's okay to do shoulder presses while walking on an inclined treadmill.

It's trainers like this woman who makes the rest of us look bad. That's why it's important for a person interested in working with a personal trainer to get a referral. Find out as much as you can, watch the trainer and see how they interact with other clients. Because some of them really don't know what they are doing.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Good for you! Who did that PT think she was--Jillian Michaels??
    2933 days ago
  • no profile photo KO0000
    That sounds like a good way to end up blacking out and getting injured. It's this sort of thing that scares me off from working with a trainer :-0

    2948 days ago
    Go get 'er, girlfriend! You never know when you might be saving someone's life! You're right, though, you know. Around here personal trainers kind of rank right up there with lawyers. Sounds like this one ought to be fired.
    2948 days ago
    Thanks for this information as I was seriously thinking about getting one myself but thanks for talking me out of it.
    2949 days ago
    I imagine some trainers get a lot of pressure from their clients. Clients want to lose weight/get in shape as fast as possible, and a lot of lay people just don't realize the importance of doing things one step at a time. They'll think they're not getting their money's worth by just jogging on the treadmill.
    But even if that were the case here, it's the trainer's job to fix unrealistic expectations, not indulge them.
    2950 days ago
    Hey folks !! Yes, I ratted out the personal trainer. I talked to the manager of the gym as well as the head of the trainers/instructors. Who also happens to be my boss. he's a good guy, who knows his stuff. I told him frankly that I didn't feel it was my place to criticize the methods of the trainers, unless I happened to see them do something that was really detrimental to their client.

    Seriously, WHO thinks it's a good idea to have their client doing shoulder presses while walking up an incline ??? I kept thinking what happens if that woman loses her balance ? Can you saw lawsuit ? And she would have had a really good case if she'd had an accident.

    Doing strength exercises on a treadmill, elliptical, stationary bike, etc... just isn't productive.

    So, yeah, I felt much better after I tattled.

    2950 days ago
    I'm not surprised. I've had some negative experiences with trainers, too.

    Just wished we lived closer so you could be my trainer!
    2950 days ago
    I sure hope that your management is on the ball when you report this. It is a major law suit waiting to happen. The liability here would be enormous if a clent were to be injured doing something like this.

    I hope you manage to get this nipped in the bud...

    2950 days ago
  • KRAEG3
    Well said Arch. Some of those PT have no clue. They could really injure someone badly. Not good for business either. Good warning for the spark buddies. emoticon
    2950 days ago
    I absolutely support you in considering reporting this PT. As the 'industry' has expanded, more and more people who should not be certified are slipping thru the filters and ending up in positions of trust and responsibility. If it was only a case of a person paying money but getting bad advice, that might be one thing; presumably s/he will learn sooner or later and drop the 'bad' advisor. But in this case, real damage, physical damage, can be done, and that makes it even more crucial that PTs genuinely know their stuff. Thinks me.
    2951 days ago
    OMG!! Please, please make sure you tell the management what you saw!

    Appalling, enraging, frustrating, unbelievable! That poor client.

    There are trainers out there who don't care much about a quality, progressive program with their clients ultimate success as the goal. A lot of trainers out there just want to kick someone's a$$ so that they get a rep as a hard-core, butt-kicking trainer. These people are in it for the wrong reasons - they are all about ego and stupidity.
    2951 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/21/2011 2:24:21 PM
    Glad to hear you'll be speaking to the head of the trainers about it, that's definitely a bad sign that someone was taught that.
    2951 days ago
    That is shocking to me and downright scary.

    That is dangerous in so many ways. I hope someone says something to this PT before somebody ends up with a serious injury.

    And kudos to you for speaking up about it.
    2951 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/21/2011 1:14:11 PM
    I agree some trainer are very scary, I too have see many things done out of context and I even when to their boss to say something and was given a bunch of excuses. Do your homework and watch a training session. emoticon
    2951 days ago
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