10 Reasons to Fire Your Personal Trainer

Personal training can be an excellent resource whether you're a beginner or an experienced exerciser. A good trainer can help you figure out what to do with your time, teach you how to exercise the right way and provide accountability and motivation.

But, personal training is kind of like a marriage and, like marriages, not every personal training relationship works out.

The following are just a few issues that may come up, but always talk to your trainer about any issues you're having. If you can't work it out, it may be time to find another trainer.

Your trainer is always late or cancels on you

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Emergencies happen to everyone and it's inevitable that some appointments may get cancelled. But if you've noticed your trainer cancelling more appointments than he's keeping or is always late (without making up the time), have a talk with him and tell him your concerns.

If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try to keep it casual, saying something like, "You know, I really have to be at work by a certain time.  If this time isn't working, could we come up with a solution?"  

If he doesn't make some changes or acknowledge his mistakes, it may be time to move on.

Your trainer doesn't return phone calls or emails

Your trainer isn't just supposed to be there during your sessions, she should also be there if you have questions or problems outside of your scheduled appointments.

Communication is key, whether you're setting appointments or asking questions about workouts.

If your trainer isn't responding, talk to her and ask for a reasonable response time (say 24-48 hours). You might say something like, "I sent you an email about my workout and I didn't hear back.  I wanted to make sure you're getting my emails."

If you're still not getting what you need, it might be time to move on.

Your trainer doesn't give you his full attention

If your trainer interrupts your workouts to talk to his buddies in the gym, take random phone calls or just doesn't pay attention to you during workouts, that's an issue that needs to be discussed right away.

Sometimes interruptions are inevitable and not every trainer is going to be at his best all the time...but, if you feel like you're being ignored, talk to him about it. He may not be aware there's a problem. If he doesn't change his behavior, you may need to find another trainer.

Again, this requires some type of confrontation and it may be hard to broach the subject, but remember you're paying for his time.  He works for you.  You might just get his attention during the workout by regularly asking, "Is this the right way to do this?" 

If that doesn't work, maybe that trainer isn't right for you.

Your trainer doesn't respond to your feedback

A personal training relationship is really a collaboration - she sets up workouts and then changes them according to what you need and how things feel.

If your trainer isn't doing that or has you doing workouts that are way out of your wheelhouse, tell her your concerns.

Giving feedback is the only way she can change things. Many trainers aren't even aware that there's a problem, so always say something.  You might just say something like, "You know, that last workout was great, but I'd love a workout that was a little less intense.  I was just exhausted for the rest of the day."

Your trainer pushes questionable supplements

You may find that some health clubs and their trainers sell supplements and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.

But, you should always talk to your doctor about any supplements before taking them, especially if you're on any other medication which may be affected by other supplements.

If your trainer pushes you to buy something you're not sure about, let him know your concerns. This may not be a firing offense, but make sure he understands where you're coming from.

Your trainer diagnoses injuries or illnesses

Your trainer can do a lot of things - set up workouts, teach you how to exercise and even listen to you vent about your crazy boss.

What she can't do is diagnose any injuries or illnesses (unless she's also a doctor). It's fine to talk to your trainer about any problems you're having and she may be able to give you general advice, but she should always refer you to a doctor.

And if she urges you to work through any pain that doesn't feel right, that's a no-no as well.

You don't get along

Much of a good personal training relationship is about personalities, so it won't always be a match made in heaven.

If you prefer a more vocal trainer who will push you very hard but end up with a more laid-back trainer, it's fine to tell him what you're looking for.

He may be able to give you what you need or, if not, recommend a trainer that will better fit your needs.

Your trainer is too flirty

Personal training can be an intimate relationship. Your trainer knows your measurements, your weight, your food fears...that can create an open environment, which is good.

But you should always feel comfortable around your trainer. If he makes a pass at you or she flirts a little too much, you might need to bring that up.  If that feels uncomfortable, you might bring up your significant other at regular intervals and make sure this person knows you're involved with someone else.

If it's really out of hand, you may just need to move on.

You feel you're being taken advantage of

Most trainers are good, decent people but there will always be a few out there looking to make a quick buck.

If you feel your trainer cuts your workouts short on a regular basis or is charging you more than you agreed on, sit down and discuss the problem...it may be a simple misunderstanding.

You might say, "When I signed up, I thought our sessions were an hour long.  Am I wrong about that?"

If things don't change, move on. 

You're ready to go out on your own

Of course, not all personal training relationship have to end because of bad things. At some point, most clients do decide to try things on their own and that's actually a good thing.

Don't be afraid to tell your trainer when you're ready to move on...if she's an experienced trainer, she'll respect that and help you figure out how to make the transition to exercising on your own.

You might say, "You've helped me so much...so much so that I think I'm ready to go out on my own.  Can you help me do that?"

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