How to dodge a Dodgy PT.
CLIENT QUESTION - From Fran D.
From what I've heard (from the people I follow/ podcasts I listen to) the PT qualification only covers the basics. As there seems to be a shift towards a more holistic approach to health and fitness (in terms of nutrition, exercise, stress and sleep management etc), do you think the qualification should be changed to include all these aspects so people can be sure they are getting the right advice rather than someone who thinks they know what they are talking about? -
(However well intentioned the advice is it can still be wrong if they get it from the wrong source). Or should it up to the customer to make sure they pick a PT who's more knowledgeable/ highly trained?
In short… How the fuck do you know?
It’s a really hard thing it is, there's so much bluster and lies and nonsense that goes on in the industry. But here is a run down of things to take into account when looking for a trainer.
- The first session should always be free, it’s an industry standard. There should be a chat to begin with, to understand what you want to achieve, injuries etc etc - then go through a test session. I make my people work - I believe you should, just because its free doesn't mean it should be half arsed.
- Do you have a special requirement, are they qualified or suitable? Are you Pregnant, have an injury or a preexisting condition that makes you less abled, are you looking for a special stream for training - olympic lifting etc. A rough idea of your needs is not good enough they should have a solid understanding.
Did you feel comfortable with them, your gonna spend a fair amount of time with them and a solid amount of money - Whilst a tough love make may some people work better, that should not translate into being belittled or feeling out of place in general.
Did you feel the session met your needs? If not, discuss, maybe they have other ideas.
Do not, I repeat DO NOT be pressured into signing up for a package or handing over money there and then. It should be a mutually agreed on process - if at any point you feel unhappy - walk away and complain to a gym manager.
YOU are in the position of power, not them. Not happy, not getting the service or treatment you deserve, tell them.
Your PT, should give you their full attention during your session - not chatting someone else up, or seeking other clients. Saying Hi to someone is one thing, walking off and leaving you unattended is quite another.
Also ask questions, it's the fastest way to put the shits up a PT, they should know, or if they don't know admit it, our knowledge should be solid and up to date but it is finite.
Nutritions - guidance is ok, but it's generally their opinion unless backed up by a scientific finding - bullshit food plans and silly diets don’t work and should not be encouraged.
In short, you should enjoy your first encounter, feel motivated, never belittled (there are no stupid questions), always empowered, understand what you’re doing and why.
I'm not gonna use Fran’s phrasing of - holistic - because you should be trained as a whole not just a turn up and do X reps and Y sets. And that shouldn't be a special concept reserved for meditation and yoga and ‘slow’ practices.
However in an industry that is currently heavily unregulated, the onus is on you to sort the wheat from the chaff, listen to friends rather than insta fame, see how they treat their other clients, or interact with people. A good body does not a good PT make.