Workout Tips

8 Clues Your Personal Trainer is a Tool

Look for these warning signs that you need a new personal trainer.

8 Clues Your Personal Trainer is a Tool

Your personal trainer might be the best, brightest and most professional fitness expert in the world. Or he might not. It has been my experience, unfortunately, that the latter scenario is much more common than the former. The problem with the fitness industry is that it's chock-full of embarrassing people. So, how do you know if your personal training program is being managed by a professional? Well, here's how to tell if it's not:

1. The Military Connection

If your trainer wears dog tags and camouflage, but has never actually served any time in the armed forces, you have a problem. I know there's this whole boot camp/drill sergeant theme that trainers think is really catchy, but it's not, it's just embarrassing. It shames us all. And if you HAVE actually served time in the military, then what are you thinking? Don't desecrate the honor of your uniform by wearing it while screaming at housewives to do more burpees. When you go to your attorney's office is he dressed up like John Adams, powdered wig and all? God, I hope not. Is there any call for your trainer to wear a costume to work? Sir, no sir!


2. The Diva

Does your trainer go by a single name, like Blaze or Hammer? This is a classic tool-move. I know we're in Hollywood, dude, but you're not Cher. Unless you're singing the occasional power ballad between costume changes, stick to the name on your driver's license.

3. The Performer

Is your trainer's headshot on the wall at the gym? Really? Why? Is he SAG/AFTRA? Did he do a national peanut butter commercial? I don't care, what does that have to do with training? I'm fully aware that in this town I can spin around seven times, throw a tennis ball in any direction and I'll either hit an actor or a trainer (or an actor/trainer), but I don't need to be reminded of that! Take the headshot down, buddy, you're not ready for your closeup.

4. The Stripper

And then there's the trainer who applied for a job and, as evidence of his credentials, lifted up his shirt and said, "This is what I'm bringing to the table." True story. Joe and I are still laughing about it nine years later. Nice abs, bro, but next time just fax your resume. If you've ever seen your trainer's abs, and you weren't at a beach party, you've seen too much.

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Next: More Ways to Spot a Bad Personal Trainer >>