6 Things Your Personal Trainer Wishes You Didn't Do

They may seem superhuman at times, but personal trainers are people, too. And although they love sharing their workout wisdom and helping people reach their goals, there are a few things that might get under their skin when they're training a client.

As a personal trainer myself, I've had a lot of conversations with other trainers about what irks them. While some clients' personalities may rub a trainer the wrong way, a good trainer will never let that get in the way of a good professional session. However, there are some client no-no's that are more than just personality quirks—they're detrimental to both a trainer's and client's success in the gym.
 

1, Withholding Health Information


Are you on any medications? Did your recent bone scan reveal thinning bones? Did you injure your knee or have back surgery five years ago? Even if your health care provider has cleared you to exercise, your trainer needs to know these important health facts to keep you safe. Medications can affect your heart rate; doing certain moves when you have osteoporosis can make your condition worse; and prior injuries or surgeries can also affect your workout prescription. Even if your trainer hasn't asked, it's up to you to fess up and tell-all when it comes to your health. Don't worry: Like health care providers, trainers must abide by codes of conduct and keep your health status confidential.
 

2. Complaining


No one likes a complainer and, if you're a personal trainer, you really dislike complainers. You see, to a personal trainer, complaining doesn't make sense. If you're paying someone to work you out and push you, then you have to expect to be worked out pretty hard. And why would you want to complain and impede your progress? In fact, complaining takes up precious time that a trainer can use for explaining proper form for an exercise or for general dietary advice. You wouldn't want to miss that important information, would you?
 

3. Making Excuses


Many people are busy and have trouble fitting in exercise. But once you commit to working out with a trainer, refrain from making excuses for missing a workout or overeating. Be honest as to why you missed a workout or what drove you to overeat. If a trainer doesn't know the full scope of your situation, then how can he or she help you? And, for most of us, let's be honest—excuses are what has kept us from reaching our full potential. It's really in your best interest to fess up as to why you did or didn't do something. It's all part of the learning process.
 

4. Lying


This point is closely related to "making excuses" except instead of saying that your dog ate your workout plan, you fib that you skipped a third glass of wine after dinner or you really did squeeze in that circuit workout—when you didn't. Personal trainers get it. No one wants to look bad or let down their trainer, but it's essential to tell the truth.

A good trainer is constantly modifying your workout plan to fit you. And if you're not telling the truth about your workout or eating plan, then a trainer isn't going to be able to adapt your fitness plan accordingly. And at the end of the day, you're paying a trainer to help you reach your goals, so by lying, you're the one you have to face at the end of the day.
 

5. Talking Too Much (Or Not Enough)


A trainer can only design your workout based on the information you give them. If you're as closed off as a clam in chilly waters, then it's darn near impossible for a trainer to help you set goals that really matter to you. On the flip side, if you're a total chatty Cathy or gossipy Glen, then you really need to make sure that your conversations with your personal trainer stay on track and are about fitness, your goals and your health. A session with a personal trainer doesn't come cheap, and you need to make sure your time is being spent discussing your weight loss—not the neighbors down the street.

And, for the record, trainers can get frustrated when they have to keep redirecting you to the task at hand (read: working out).
 

6. Not Following Your Plan


Personal trainers create a workout plan for you for a reason. It may seem random, but they have a method to their cardio and strength routines. Trainers are not expecting you to do more than your plan calls for—or less. If you work out more than called for or eat less, it can really mess with your results. And, if you do too little, then you can't expect full results. Simply put, if you believed in a trainer enough to purchase their services, then believe in them enough to follow their advice!
 

7. Wearing Overly Baggy Clothes


This may seem like an odd point to make, but it's an important one. To properly correct form when lifting weights, a personal trainer must see the angles of your body. In a lunge, they need to make sure that your knee isn't going over your toes, and, if you're doing a triceps extension, they need to know that your chin is level. However, if you have on big, baggy sweatpants or a hooded sweatshirt, then they won't be able to tell if your form is as it should be. I know that you want to be comfortable at the gym, but for your safety, a personal trainer really appreciates when you have clothes that show your full form. Spandex isn't necessary, but a big oversize T-shirt isn't helping you—or your trainer!

To get the most out of your personal training sessions, fix these faux pas and you will be on the right path to reaching your goals—and get on your trainer's good side in the process!
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Member Comments

TOMATOCAFEGAL
If they listen and care, then they can help you. Not all care...just there for the $$$ Report
Very interesting Report
HOTPINKCAMARO49
Great article! Report
THANKS Report
thanks for sharing Report
Have to let them know so they know how they can help me get healthier Report
Good things to keep in mind. Report
Thanks for the tips Report
Information good to know. Report
Oh WOW...good to know... Report
I'm perfectly willing to explain my health issues (bange up knee, major abdominal surgery), but the PT has to be willing to actually take them into account when putting together a program. I've had encountered trainers who wouldn't, e.g. the guy who wanted me to warm up on an ellipitical trainer even after I told him elliptical trainers are hard on my knees, and that I'd rather use a stationary cycle or treadmill. Report
who knew..not me Report
Now I have to worry of how much I am talking with my trainer. Give me a break!!! Report
Man! And I thought it would be great to be a personal trainer 😀😀😀 Report
Complaining? Pushing hard? My trainer pushed me so hard even though I have told me I was in pain that I needed a an operation to fix my shoulder that got damaged as a result. I had to stay in bed for 6 months because I couldn't even walk get dressed or bathe on my own. It has taken me 12 months to recover and I have gained over 60 pounds. Trainers should listen to our complaints because there might be some truth to them. Pushing hard is again very tricky. They push you but they don't actually know how much you can take and there is a fine line between lifting heavy and damaging yourself. Report


 

About The Author

Jennipher Walters
Jennipher Walters
Jenn is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomeGirls.com, FitBottomedMamas.com and FitBottomedEats.com. A certified personal trainer, health coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and is the author of The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (Random House, 2014).

See all of Jenn's articles.