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When to Consider Firing Personal Trainers

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 2/26/2009

You and your personal trainer should be a match made in fitness heaven. If you have doubts that you aren't getting the most out of a personal trainer, don't feel bad about making a break. There are several good reasons why you should fire your personal trainer.

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    Thinking about making a break?

    Personal trainers can be a great resource on your road to physical fitness. A good trainer will not only tailor a workout plan to fit your specific needs and goals, but also provide you with valuable information and encouragement.

    But not all personal trainers are created equal. There aren’t any national standards for education and certification of trainers, so anyone can call himself a personal trainer. Sometimes a personal trainer just isn’t up to par. Even if your personal trainer isn’t completely lousy, she may just not be the right trainer for you.

    If you’re thinking about dumping your trainer, here are a few good reasons why you should go ahead and fire him.

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    Your trainer pushes questionable supplements.

    While good personal trainers will have an extensive background in anatomy, exercise physiology, and nutrition, a personal trainer is not a doctor. While the fact that your trainer might recommend a certain supplement isn’t necessarily a bad thing, remember that she doesn’t have the expertise of a medical professional.

    Always talk to your doctor about taking supplements, particularly if you’re on medication. Some herbal supplements can make your prescription meds less effective. If your trainer persistently pushes you to buy supplements—particularly questionable supplements that you may know to be dangerous—move on to a more professional, ethical trainer.

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    Your trainer misses too many appointments.

    When you sign a contract to work with a personal trainer, that trainer is making a commitment to you as well. Part of that commitment includes showing up on time to your regularly scheduled appointments. If your trainer misses or is late to appointments, that means one of two things: either your trainer is too busy to keep you on as a client or your trainer is not a serious professional who respects your time. You deserve to get the best personal training services for your money, so look for someone whose schedule syncs up with yours.

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    Your trainer tells you to push through the pain.

    Remember: your trainer is not a medical professional. While he’s qualified to give you fitness advice, he is not licensed to diagnose and treat injuries and illnesses—even common sports injuries. So if your trainer tells you to push through the pain when you’re injured, that should be a big red flag. If you feel genuine pain, you should stop exercising; and a trainer should recognize that.

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    You don't have a good relationship.

    When it comes down to it, personal training is about relationships, not just workouts. If your personality doesn’t mesh with your trainer’s, then you might not be getting the most out of your workouts. For example, if you’re laid back but your trainer is a drill sergeant, then you might not enjoy yourself. Look for personal trainers whose attitudes fit your style.

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    When to Fire Your Personal TrainerPersonal trainers should respond to your needs when you present them. If your trainer won't honor the financial terms of your contract or your trainer doesn't respond to your feedback, then it's time to move on. Sometimes you may simply need to fire your trainer just because it's time to move on to something new. Personal trainers provide services just like other professionals, and if you don't get what you need from them, then let them go.finding working with how to when to fire firing personal trainers
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    Your trainer defaults on your financial agreement.

    If your trainer charges you more than you agreed on, fire him right away. Good personal trainers will have integrity when it comes to providing excellent services and charging appropriate rates.

    Even if your trainer isn’t so obvious about overcharging, be mindful that there are other ways she can take advantage of you: if your trainer regularly cuts workouts short but still charges regular rates, talk to her about it. You pay a premium for her time, and you deserve to get the most out of it. If she still cuts workouts short without compensating you, move on to another trainer.

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    Your trainer doesn't respond to your feedback.

    Good communication between personal trainers and clients is important. When an exercise gets too easy or when something doesn’t feel right, your trainer should alter your routine. If you find that you give your trainer feedback but he never responds, you may want to move on to a new trainer who is better at listening to your needs.

    The communication shouldn’t stop after your workout ends. A good trainer should make himself available via email and phone to answer your questions as they come up. Cut your trainer a little slack and give him 24 to 48 hours to respond to your phone calls and emails. But if you’re getting frustrated with a lack of response, consider giving your trainer the boot.

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    It's time for a change.

    Change is an inevitable part of life. So sometimes you may need to drop your personal trainer simply because it’s time to move on to something new.

    You may outgrow your personal trainer. Perhaps your trainer keeps you exercising with the same routine for years. If you tell her that you’re bored with the routine but she can’t switch things up enough to keep you challenged, move on to a new trainer. Remaining challenged is vital to helping you meet your fitness goals.

    You might not even need a personal trainer anymore. Maybe you’ve met your original fitness goals and are confident that you can motivate yourself to keep up your own challenging workouts. If that’s the case, don’t feel bad about saying goodbye to your personal trainer.