I found this really amusing, but also a pretty good guide to knowing if your trainer knows his or her stuff or not.
Industrial Strength Show Podcast Episode #29: 10 Ways to Spot a Bad Personal Trainer
The only one of those I sort-of do is tell people how long my day is. But not to complain - just conversational. My one late-night client knows I also work early, early that morning. So does he. We're both hopping out of bed for work at the same time. I'm not complaining - working long hours at something I love to to is a privilege not a burden.
The rest? I'm good. Progressive programming, regressions and progressions, writing things down (I do carry a clipboard, no khakis, though), I count reps but I watch form constantly, I don't check my phone (except for emergencies), and so on.
I do love the line about how your client's session with you is their first of the day. That's something to remember, even if I do put in my best already. It's a good way to view it - whether they love to train or hate to train or wherever in between, it's their first session of the day with you. It's got to good, you have to be sharp, you have to be on target. You might put in 10-12 sessions a day but they each put in one.
I've seen some of the bad.
I actually had a very good trainer who didn't write down what I did - but he knew my 1-rep max for everything. Plus, he knew I went home and wrote everything down and posted it online. He used my notes as his notes. I was okay with that. But someone needs to be writing it down - at least one of you.
I've seen trainers on their phones during sessions. I've seen rep-counters. I've seen "push through the pain" as if "pain" was a sign of mental weakness and not the body signaling a problem.
I enjoyed the podcast a lot. If you only have one trainer, how do you know he or she is good? Well, now you have some criteria.
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