personal trainer

9 Reasons to break up with your personal trainer

Once a luxury that only the rich and famous could afford, personal training has become commonplace in gyms, parks and even trainer’s own garages. The personal training industry has experienced strong growth over the last five years and, according to industry sources, continues to grow.

This means that, as consumers, we are spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing a personal trainer. However, it’s worthwhile doing some homework on finding the person bested suited to you.

Why should you hire a personal trainer?

There’s lots of reasons to get advice from a PT. Maybe you’re brand new to the gym and have no idea what you’re doing (seriously, that machine looks like something used for torture). Maybe you’re training for a specific sport or event (that 5km fun run is only 2 months away!).

Whatever your reason, a personal trainer can help to keep you accountable and help you to reach your goals. They can also make sure you’re training safely and effectively. Training with a great personal trainer will often give you better results than going it alone.

Finding your perfect match

Know what you’re actually looking for!

Start by analyzing your own requirements – would you prefer to train outdoors, in a gym or at home? Are you training for a specific sport or looking to complete an event such as a fun run? Do you like tough love or a softer approach? Knowing what your goals are will help guide you when choosing the right trainer for you.

personal trainer

Find a qualified trainer:

It’s crucial that your personal trainer is adequately qualified and holds public liability and professional indemnity insurance. Appropriate qualifications ensures the trainer has a good grounding in anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and exercise prescription.

We recommend finding a personal trainer who is university-qualified in exercise science. Why? Because they are have spent a minimum of three years studying the effects of exercise on the human body! An Accredited Exercise Scientist therefore has the expert skills and knowledge to deliver safe and effective exercise prescription for weight loss, improved performance and prevention of chronic conditions.

The minimum recommended qualification for a personal trainer is a Certificate IV in Personal Training and Fitness. If they’re involved with a specific sport, they might also hold coaching qualifications in that area, for example – triathlon coaching.

Reasons to break up with your personal trainer

If your personal trainer does any of the following, it’s probably time to run…

  • Cannot, or will not, provide evidence of their qualifications or insurance
  • Commits you to a long term “package” or training agreement before you’ve had a chance to establish whether you’re compatible
  • Is hesitant to refer you to other healthcare professionals within their network (e.g. exercise physiologist, physiotherapist, GP or dietitian)
  • Peddles dietary supplements, vitamins or weight loss concoctions, and insists on their purchase for “better results”
  • Prescribes exercise that is inappropriate for your level of fitness or insists you “train through pain”
  • Advises you in areas outside of the scope of their practice – for example, in depth dietary consultations and special diets. If you have dietary concerns, they should be referring you to an accredited practicing dietitian
  • Does not perform an adequate initial needs assessment and pre-screening
  • Does not monitor and track your progress, through either measurements and performance
  • Is critical about your shape, size or performance

A great personal trainer can stretch you beyond your perceived limits and make you feel like a rock star in the process. But remember, it pays to take some time to find someone who is a great fit for your needs!

If you want to find a university-qualified personal trainer near you, click here.

Good luck!

Liz Nelson - exercise scientist

Liz Nelson is an Accredited Exercise Scientist and freelance writer. Liz provides health related content to a wide range of clientele from fitness professionals to mental health and addiction specialists.