I recommend a trainer for every body type. You could be the CrossFit champion or Mr. Arnold. Those guys/gals probably have trainers though. They’re made to push you, motivate you, and keep you accountable. You may be able to jump higher than them, but knowledge is power. It’s good to have a trainer that knows what they are talking about and aren’t just wasting your time and money. Here are 18 reasons why you may need to investigate deeper into the trainer’s world.
1.) They don’t remedy water for everything. Headaches? Drink water. Constant muscle soreness? Drink water. Memory loss? Drink water. This doesn’t mean that everything is cured by water and it’s not OK to pop an anti-inflammatory if your body hurts. However, it never hurts to make sure your chugging water constantly. You’re body’s main fuel source is food, however it’s oil (in car terms) is definitely water. The two best things that can cure most aches and pains can be solved by H2O sources: water and ice. I recommenced 150 ounces of water a day for all clients, 110 pounds or 300 pounds, just to keep it simple.
2.) They don’t have a morning strategy for you. Right when you hop out of bed, before your morning wood goes down or you check your phone for text messages, you should have a plan of domination. You are most vulnerable when you wake up. Your cortisol levels are at it’s highest and if you don’t deal with that immediately, they can continue to rise. Drink a glass of water to wake up your organs. Drink something hot to wake up your muscles. Lastly, do something active. Walk your dog, walk your block, or stretch. I know most morning’s are spent hitting the snooze alarm and fighting your cats to get out of your closet, but it’s important that right when your body wakes up, it’s prepared.
3.) They don’t know what fascia is. Fascia may be one of the most underused words in the fitness world. Any bad personal trainer can mouth off all the 4 muscles in your quad, but can they tell you the important details? Fascia are the muscle fibers that surround your muscle, tendons, organs, and ligaments in the human body. Compare it to a nice summer day when your sitting in a hammock. Do you know that engulfed feeling you have? The hammock is fascia and your body is your innerds. Most exercise causes damage to the fascia because it’s your shield. Injury usually occurs when it’s penetrated. This is being compared to branch snapping, hammock falling to the ground, and you spilling your juicy refreshment all over yourself. Some of these injuries are unpreventable, like tearing ACL’s or rupturing a bicep. However, for the little dings and danks your body takes daily on an exercise program, fascia is important to take care of daily. Therapeutic massages, daily foam rolling, and myofascial release tools like runner’s sticks, lacrosse balls, and PVC pipes will do the trick.
4.) They don’t stretch. Your muscles and tendons are pliable. In order for you to get comfortable movement, they need to be rolled out like a pizza dough. I highly recommend stretching for aerobic activities like running, biking, and swimming. For weight lifting, mobility work is probably your best option. Hip circles, arm circles, ball slams, squat thrusts, tempo push ups, and even some running in place or jump rope. Either way, if stretching isn’t in your DAILY mode of exercise, ask your trainer what the dilly is.
5.) They eat from the dollar menu. Before your trainer even speaks, you should want them to look the part. That being said, their lifestyle should probably fit the mode. It’s that ‘practice what you preach’ method. If their car smells of stale french fries and cheeseburgers, it’s not really fair while your busting you ass on fruit smoothies and eggs in the morning.
6.) They try to diagnose everything. A good well-rounded trainer should have a bunch of medical professionals that they recommend people to. Little things are going to happen, like strains and “-itis’s”. With repetitive stress placed on joints and muscles, they’re bound to nag you. With proper cold/hot therapy, myofascial release, and blood flow recovery these things can be limited. However, trainers don’t know what’s wrong with your knee or shoulder. If they diagnose you with something like a strain when it’s possibly much more, you’ve got some problems. Trainers are not doctors (and most doctors are not trainers). Go see a professional, then once it’s diagnosed maybe your trainer can help you with some post therapy exercises. The main pro’s to have on call for fitness would be a chiropractor and orthopedic specialist. They can tell you what’s wrong.
7.) They don’t have you on a muscle building plan. Whether you’re trying to go from scrawny to brawny or a pud to a stud, no trainer should ever just have you eat salads and walk on a treadmill. Your goal, no matter the size is to maintain your muscle. After all, muscle is what burns your fat. The more oxygen your body can turn into carbon dioxide and release it, the more fat you burn. Muscle is what processes that. Unfortunately, burning fat is not about sweating.
8.) They don’t enforce muscle recovery with you. Trainer’s jobs really aren’t giving you exercises to do. Their main job is to hold you accountable for the other 23 hours of the day you live. Diet is definitely the most important thing going into your fitness journey. However, second is muscle recovery. Then we can rank exercise structure third. There is no such thing as over-training. However there is such a thing as under recovering. When you step foot in the gym, train for an hour, then go home an sit on the couch watching Netflix and eating “the dollar menu”, you have just made things much worse for you. This is where your trainer should step up and give you proper ways to recover quick. We’ve gone over the fascia and stretching, but now it’s your job to make it an important part of your lifestyle. Or should I say, your trainer’s job. Slow progress or reverse progress happens when your body hates you. Fast progress happens when your body loves you for your efforts to make it feel extra special.
9.) They don’t air drum. First of all, with air drumming, there’s music. With music there’s motivation. With air drumming there is also personality, and this could be the make or break or your training experience. This doesn’t mean dump your trainer is he doesn’t bang the air with imaginary sticks who likes to jam out. This means make sure that you can laugh or relax a little in your session rather than being afraid he’s going to yell at you.
10.) They tell you not to eat rice and potatoes. Your main fuel source for your workouts are carbohydrates. The two best sources of fuel for your workouts are definitely these two grocery list necessities. While fruit may be outstanding for having a great nutrition plan, starches like potatoes, rice, and even oatmeal beat them surrounding your workouts. The most important thing you need to know is that they will replenish your muscle glycogen and that these contain the starches and glucose your body needs to thrive and recover.
11.) They call you “honey tits”. I know I wouldn’t want a female trainer calling me “tiny dick”. Regardless, make sure they’re professional and you can understand their sarcasm.
12.) They tell you to do fasted cardio. I’ve been preaching this for years about how fasted cardio eats muscle and is hypocritical when it comes to energy dissipation and muscle preservation. In fact, most fat loss strategies nowadays make it almost impossible for people to preserve muscle. As we talked about earlier, your body’s cortisol level is elevated in the morning. Doing cardio on an empty stomach adds to this. Cardio is best done post-digestive state (about 2 hours after eating).
13.) They don’t constantly talk about back and shoulder safety. Believe it or not, one of the most destructive exercises can be a push-up. However, it’s one of those exercises that should/could be done daily. Your trainer should constantly remind you how safe you need to be on bodyweight exercise like planking or pressing. A lot of people tend to believe that heavy lifts like dead lifts and kettlebell swings damage backs. However, constant hyperextension of the lower back during push ups, planks, or burpees can destroy a spinal system. For shoulders, constant separation with added pressure is the culprit for pain. Make sure they constantly tell you that your form sucks especially when you’re getting tired throughout the workout.
14.) They talk about muscles more than they talk about joints. Muscles are important, but joints are what hold them together. Collagen, tendons, ligaments, and joints should be monitored always. Remember to ice joints and heat muscles when you feel discomfort. Heating a joint or nerve center will lengthen your inflammation. An added note: joints needs to be properly warmed up. If you’ve ever cooked with coconut oil, you’ll know that it’s hard at room temp and turns liquid when heated. That’s how the synovial fluid in your joints are. It’s starts off crunchy then turns into a lubricant. You shouldn’t lift any significant amount of weight until your joints have been heated in a sauté pan first.
15.) They don’t make you sprint. Sprinting is the ultimate fat loss training tool and the ultimate muscle building agent. If we don’t understand that high intensity interval training is the way to go, your trainer is probably still stuck in the 90′s.
16.) They have you do the same workouts with the same weight. Not only is it important to always try and improve your weights weekly or monthly, but it’s very important to change the loads of the weights you use. One of the main reasons why people don’t get stronger on bench press . . . is because all they do is bench press. You also may want to change up your weeks. Some call them de-load weeks. I call it recovery weeks. It’s a week where all you do is bodyweight exercises to alleviate pressure from your joints. You’ll still get a great muscle burn, but your “gains” will never stop or plateau.
17.) They don’t recommend extra curricular activity. If your trainer doesn’t tell you, I’m telling you right now: go play a sport or find a hobby. Not only will you get extra exercise, but it will possibly give you something to train for when you’re stuck at a fitness crisis. For me, Monday’s are indoor soccer, Wednesday and Friday’s are kickball, and Sunday’s are outdoor soccer. You don’t need all of this, but picking up hiking will definitely boost your performance in the gym.
18.) They don’t drink coffee. Never trust a person in charge of your program who doesn’t drink the succulent juices of Columbia.
This is where your body changes,