Make sure the individual you have hired to train you is fully qualified.
Your body is important and valuable. Therefore the individual training your body needs to be qualified, certified and professional.
Negligent trainers are more than a dime a dozen. Being in shape or having a nice body is not what it takes to be a certified fitness professional. It takes science, psychology, anatomy, physiology, professionalism, time, money, education and passion. Just being in shape or having muscles won't measure up to the true certified fitness professional.
People ask me why do you spend thousands of dollars on your certifications?
Part of being a certified/licensed professional is continuing education and ensuring all documentation is up to date. You would be crazy to see a doctor whose medical license was revoked or out of date. You wouldn't hire a lawyer who never passed the bar nor go to a salon whose estheticians licenses were not current.
So why would a trainer be any different? Make sure you have seen the credentials of the trainer and please feel free to ask as many questions as possible prior to hiring them.
Do your research/homework! The more questions you ask, the easier it is to spot the negligent trainers.
What about those self-proclaimed all-in-one trainers that do workouts plus meals. If your trainer is prescribing you a meal plan, they better have a nutrition degree for that, because if they don't IT IS ILLEGAL! They can and should be sued for that.
Check with other clients. If your meal plans are all similar then you have another problem because what works for that client won't work for your body also.
EXAMPLE: I recently overheard a conversation between a client and the personal trainer. It went something like this:
Client - You said drinking muscle milk was bad, why no muscle milk?
Trainer - Well because milk as you have probably heard gives you big strong bones. You aren't trying to bulk up so therefore you shouldn't be drinking it.
Sounds like a legit answer?
A true certified professional would point out the scientific factors behind the reasoning.
First things first, unless the trainer has a nutrition degree/license it is AGAINST THE LAW to tell a client what they should or should not be eating.
Secondly, check the label:
Milk is important for the calcium which fortifies strong bones. Your bones are not increasing in size daily, so the idea that drinking milk would make you big & bulky is completely ridiculous.
EXAMPLE: A group of female clients were in a group being trained. The male trainer had the clients in an isometric quadruped hip abduction exercise.
Problem #1: The trainer refused to let the girls release the position until all the knees were at the same height.
------------> All the girls were different heights, physical fitness levels and weights. Therefore, there is no way to have every knee/leg at the same height for the same length of time. That's like lining up 10 different cars and demanding them to all accelerate to the same speed within the same time. All people are different with different abilities and a negligent trainer would not acknowledge this.
Problem #2: The trainer walked around from female to female correcting their form by grabbing the knee to lift higher.
------------> One of the very first rules of a certified professional is to describe an exercise, demo the exercise and describe again to eliminate as much confusion as possible. Naturally people learn/interpret in very different ways. Therefore, individual correction will be necessary. However, a true certified professional will not put their hands on a client without permission from the client. That means receiving permission EVERY time.
------------>Another major issue is during ANY isometric exercises, forcing the body; ESPECIALLY at the joint (like this trainer was doing) is a huge no-no. That is negligent behavior and unacceptable.
Clients, PLEASE be sure to check the credentials of your trainer. You hired them and have a right to know, ask questions and be treated appropriately. Chances are the cheaper the trainer, the less likely to be fully qualified. If it's too good to be true, it usually is.