I have seen a lot of trainers I have seen some good trainers and some bad trainers. I will give a list to help you pick the good from the bad. This is all my own opinion so take it as it is.
1. Overweight personal trainer If your personal trainer has a gut or is overweight you may want to consider picking a new trainer. If there philosophies on exercise has not helped them get in shape.
How can they help someone else. Yes this may seem a little shallow and you should not judge someone by how they look if they were serious about there jobs or had a passion to help people get better they would be in good shape themselves. Would you allow someone who is broke to manage your money?
2. They Bosu ball people to death IF your watching a trainer train a client and they use the Bosu Ball/balance board like its the cure for all diseases. It will be time to find a new trainer. I don’t know where this crazy for unstable ground training came from but the general population does need to use bosu ball for every exercise. Train on the surface in which you live or perform on. It is very simple. I have send countless people standing on a bosu ball shaking trying to perform bicep curls with 8lb weights. The bosu ball makes people think that they are working harder than they really are. Especially when people are doing simple movements like curls or partial squats
3. Machine weights If a personal trainer has taken your money and promptly walks you over to the machine weights just kindly ask for your money back. Machine weights for the most part are idiot proof. Look at the picture guide select your weight and perform the guided movement in the machine. If most of you workout consist of weight machines then ask for your money back. I believe that trainers need to not only show you a proper work out program but also teach you skills with using free weights as well.
4. Don’t advocate good technique If your trainer does not mind keep reminding to have good technique when performing an exercise then they don’t really care. I have seen many personal trainers what clients perform partial squats. Teach people to go full range of motion or make sure they are doing an exercise proper and safely. If they can’t perform full squats on a bosu ball have them do it on the ground it is plan and simple.
5. Still perform sit ups and crunches This is relatively new but none the less if your personal trainer is keeping up with the current research they would know that sit ups and crunches cause more problems to the lumbar vertebrae. So why are they still subjecting their clients to this torture. There are several other ways to Strengthen the core muscles. You have planks, med ball tosses, farmer walks, suitcase carries x band walks, Pallof presses, land mines and etc. These exercise are more friendly on your spine and get better results than crunches and sit ups.
In conclusion if your personal trainer is overweight, makes you use the bosu ball and Machine weights for a lot of your exercises, doesn’t advocate good technique and is still making you perform good sit ups and crunches its time for you to find a new trainer or a new gym in entirety.
K.I.S.S Keep it Simple Stupid. I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately and this is a reoccurring theme in many books. Never try to over complicate things. If you can keep things as simple as possible you will have less problems in life. A lot of experts in the Strength and Conditioning world as saying that we are getting too complicated and there needs to be a shift back to the basics. I completely agree with what the experts are saying. I just think that there are too many gadgets and toys that people use to stimulate that they are working hard in the gym. For example ( which I use often) the bosu ball. I think the bosu ball is a great tool for rehabilitation. In the general population I think it is over used. When I see people who use the bosu ball for every exercise must live on top of a fault line. Unless your sport calls for you to move over unstable ground I don’t recommend the bosu ball. Basketball, football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, tennis, softball, you usually play of flat stable terrain so standing on a bosu ball and doing curls may not translate very well. Correction I found a study comparing unstable training with traditional training. They said there really wasn’t any difference between the two. With my own experience I had to use less weight whenever I was standing on the bosu ball for the fear of falling over and dropping the weight on myself or I was afraid to go the full range of motion as well. I learned now that in order for my training to transfer to what ever I’m doing I need to train on the surface similar to which my event is on and closed-chain exercises( i will speak on that in a later post). Keep your workout simple you don’t need any gimmick to help you get results some old fashion elbow grease and time.
This is another rant about what I have experienced in commercial exercise facilities.
Why is everyone and their parents using the Bosu ball for all of their exercises? Is it a new hipster trend that you must workout on unstable ground? I can understand that the Bosu ball is a great tool in rehab and physical therapy setting that forces people to activate stabilizing muscles ( potentially cause greater activation in abdominal and hip region in the body.) In a study publish in Strength training and Conditioning Research 2008 found that there was not difference in muscle activation while performing exercise on the Bosu ball. They used highly conditioned athletes so the study could be biased because well conditioned athletes have more experienced using these devices. In all honesty I see many people trying to perform squats and lunges on the bosu ball and it is absolutely pitiful. Most normal people cannot perform a correct squat on stable ground but they try to squat down on the Bosu ball and only reach about quarter of the way down. Listen whenever a muscle has to perform double duty as in provide force for movement and also contribute to balance. Most of the force production will be cut in half. So now you will have to use a lot lighter weight and not even the full range of motion. On the plus side it feels like your are doing a lot right?
People doing Curls squat rack
This has me baffled more than anything else in the world. Why do people curl with a barbell in the squat rack? There are machine and bars and chairs specially made for curling and people still don’t think it is enough. Now if they are there first I usually move on with my program and perform a different exercise but these dudes(dudettes) stay on curls for about 40 mins most of the time flexing in the mirror talking about how buff they are. Out of all the muscles the bicep and chest in my opinion are the two most overworked muscles in the gym. Honestly do everyone a favor and stay out of the squat rack if you’re doing curls. You’re just taking up valuable space and time.
People who go to the gym and don’t want to sweat.
I guess this is more personal but when I go to the gym I plan on breaking a good sweat. When I go but this week is a deload(light) week for me allowing my body to recover and I was on the Elliptical(don’t judge me) Getting in a Tabata for conditioning and there was this woman next to me. She had been on the elliptical for roughly 40 mins without breaking a sweat. She had burned maybe 250 total. She then got of the machine and went home. I gave her the benefit of doubt and she probably did a workout before I got there. She was moving at 45rpm(note get below 40 rpm the machine cuts off or goes into Pause mode). Now she came in the next day and I saw her entire workout 40 mins on elliptical barely moving then leave to go home. I thought to myself whats the point coming to the gym if you’re not going to break a sweat or anything. That is a honest waste of money. If your reading this go to a gym, don’t worry about getting to sweaty, work hard and push your self, you will feel a lot better about. Don’t short change yourself. A gym is made for you to get sweaty and to try to improve your well being. So go out and enjoy yourself.