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This post was inspired for multiple reasons.
1) I have been reading a lot of Layne Norton’s posts regarding reasons to fire your trainer and it lead me to think about common red flags I hear about all the time.
2) More and more I have been hearing from women who once had healthy bodies and healthy metabolisms struggling to get that back after working with a bad trainer.
Now, let me get this straight. I’ve made mistakes in my career. I look back at things and wonder how I ever believed the stuff I did. When I first started out I would not consider myself a great trainer. I have since learned and grown as a trainer. The last couple years I have really grown into a trainer that I am proud of. I put my clients health first, I am honest yet supportive, and most importantly I never stop learning. I continually grow and build on the knowledge I have to offer my clients only the best training and nutrition approaches.
With that said here are some VERY common problems I see with popular, and everyday, trainer. I can guarantee you either know one that fits this list or have a friend training with one.
These are 15 reasons to fire your trainer (In no particular order):
1) If your trainer has you doing “leg shaping” plyometrics to build long lean muscles I suggest moving on from your trainer. Plyometrics have their place in training, this is not it. I remember seeing a meme saying “what if I told you there was no such thing as leg shaping”…. This would be a fitting place to put it, however I am unable to find it.
2) If your trainer is not able, or not willing, to provide answers to your questions regarding programming OR if their reasoning does not match up with science (or logic). Fire your trainer.
3) If you are eating 1000 calories and doing 2 hours of cardio a day. This is a sign you need a new trainer asap. Get out before damage is done.
4) If your trainer’s response to weight loss plateaus are fat burners, T3 or clenbuteral. Fire your trainer. (Via Layne Norton)
5) If your plan says “Absolutely no dairy and no fats other than ___ oil” (via Layne Norton) OR if your diet has no fats. Fire your trainer.
6) If you have a generic cookie cutter program or if your program looks strikingly similar to your friends… And their friends program, then fire your trainer.
7) If your trainer blames you for your post contest or post transformation weight gain, or claims it is normal, fire your trainer.
8) If your trainer has you dieting for a show WHILE “Fixing” your metabolism fire them now. It is impossible to fix your metabolism while dieting for a competition.
9) If your trainers clients only look like athletes leading up to a competition, photo shoot or immediately after a transformation challenge then fire your trainer. Stage photos or “After” photos shouldn’t impress you. What their clients and athletes look like in maintenance should be what is impressive. Is their approach sustainable? No? Then don’t play with fire.
10) If your trainer can’t get you lean without slashing out food groups, dropping calories to very low levels, or adding in tons of cardio, I suggest firing your trainer. They do not know what they are doing.
11) If your trainer tells you that it is normal to be an emotional wreck on a diet. Fire your trainer.
12) If your trainer disregards or brushes off your concerns (Or claims they are “normal”.), fire them. This includes, but it not limited to, concerns regarding:
* Energy levels
* Hunger (NOTE: In a deficit hunger is normal. Feeling like eating your arm off, or a preoccupation/ fixation on food is not.)
* Simply feeling terrible
* Digestive issues
* Performance in the gym
* Ability to sleep
* Hair loss
* Body temperature problems
* Emotional instability
13) If your trainer makes you feel bad about your inability to stick to their ridiculous plan, find a new trainer.
14) If your trainer takes on EVERYONE that approaches them, run away. Prep for a contest with a depressed metabolism? They’ll take you on! Want to lose 40 pounds in 6 weeks? They have a plan for you! Do you have body image issues but what to use the stage as a goal to feel happy with your body? Yep, they’ll get you to the stage.
15) If your trainer tells you to do fasted cardio because it burns fat stores and therefore leads to faster weight loss… FIRE your trainer!
How to avoid a trainer that fits this list:
1) Hiring a coach because of a title, because they were in a magazine, because they have a look you want, because everyone else trains with them, etc are all BAD reasons to hire a coach (Layne Norton). Hire a coach because they know what they are doing and will train and diet you in a healthy and sustainable way.
2) Ask questions before you even hand them a dime. You are hiring THEM, they are not hiring you. It is a privilege for you to hand them your money and for you to trust them with your long term health. If they refuse to answer questions, they aren’t forthcoming, what they say does not match up with science, etc… WALK AWAY with your health.
3) Look at their clients in “off season” or months after a transformation. What do they look like? Are those clients happy? Are they enjoying training? Did they develop an unhealthy relationship with food? Are they now a psychological mess from the awful training and diet plan they were put on?? These should be SIGNS. It is NOT normal to have rebounds after a diet, contest, etc. It is NOT normal to be a psychological mess after a contest. It is NOT normal to cut out food groups. It is NOT normal to be doing double cardio sessions. It is NOT normal to be dieting someone with a depressed metabolism. These are NOT NORMAL even if that coach tells you it is.
4) Ask around. Ask past clients. Ask other trainers. Ask medical professionals. I have massage therapists, physiotherapists and chiropractors that refer me clients. Not all trainers can say that. Do other professionals trust their clients with that trainer?
At the end of the day suffering is NOT required to get to your goals. Suffering is not normal. Rebounds are not normal. Your health and mental stability steadily decreasing is not normal.
You need to ask yourself:
Is my health and sanity really worth working with so and so, just because of who they are?
Is my health and sanity worth a plastic trophy that will collect dust in a couple months?
Is my health and sanity worth a good after picture that won’t even look like me in 2 months?
Is my health really worth it?
If you are ok with spending years trying to undo the metabolic catastrophe they created with your body, then work with them. But when you are now 50 pounds over your normal maintenance weight and you are down to 800 calories and 3 hours of cardio a day yet still gaining weight you can’t say you didn’t know any better.
If you end up with hormonal imbalances and chronic insomnia due to the extreme measures your trainer took, you can’t say “I didn’t know what they were doing was bad for me”.
If you end up a psychological mess, spending years regaining any semblance of happiness with your body, you can’t say you didn’t know.
Repercussions are huge for following the methods of bad trainers. It is YOUR CHOICE at the end of the day, but I believe it is important for everyone to be informed regarding their choices.
Now you are informed and I hope this helps you to avoid the hell a lot of women go through because of bad trainers.
A list of coaches I consider mentors, and I hope you take the time to learn from are:
Dr Layne Norton- https://www.facebook.com/LayneNorton
Erik Ledin, of Lean Bodies Consulting- https://www.facebook.com/LBCOnlineCoaching
The LBC forums: http://www.leanbodiesfitness.com
Coach Scott Abel- https://www.facebook.com/CoachScottAbel
Brooke Erickson- https://www.facebook.com/BrookeEricksonbeFIT
I try to include as many articles and information as possible on my business page, Strong.er- https://www.facebook.com/StrongerKw
I hope this was helpful!
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