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Signs that you should fire your personal trainer

Written by True Topia

November 2, 2021

Did you just spend another week of a disheartening training session? Are you tired of not seeing any results and feeling worse day by day about your workouts? Before you ditch it all and declare yourself a loser, how about you take a deep glance at your trainer?

Yes, for some it may sound weird and rude. Ideally, a personal trainer is a blessing in disguise who can help you to pave your way towards your fitness journey when you are starting or have a particular goal in mind. But what if your personal trainer and you, aren’t the perfect matches?   

Your relationship with your personal trainer should have proper coordination, understanding, and should complement. Here are a few signs that will help you determine whether it is time to fire your current trainer and hire a new one!

How to identify the red flags of your personal trainer?

Anything that isn’t correct for you, comes with its own red flags. Here are a few that your personal trainer comes with. 

  • They don’t value your time: Your personal trainer is never on time. The person either comes late or cancels an appointment very often. It happens without any decent compensation of that time in the next session. Even if they arrive on time, they are either busy on their phone or talking, giving minimum attention towards your training session. All this may skip your mind while working out, but keeping a note of these can help you pick the red flags, 
  • The invisible progress: According to your trainer’s routine, you are making progress. But neither do you feel any stronger nor is there any improvement in your physical fitness. There is no change in your workout routines as well, hence your body is not getting challenged enough. It is a red flag for you to either communicate this or fire your trainer if there is still no change. 
  • A mismatch to your lifestyle: A mismatch to your lifestyle can happen in two ways. The first is regarding time, and the second is regarding the diet. Firstly, it can be extremely difficult to match timing with your trainer. Due to the complete mismatch of your routines, it can become practically impossible to get proper time from each other. 

If your trainer is still telling you to stick through even though he is not available that much, it is a red flag. Secondly, it can happen that the diet chart that your trainer has created isn’t catered to your lifestyle. The person has not considered the number of times you can consume a meal, the timings, and the type of food. None of these sync and seem feasible for you to maintain as a part of your lifestyle. 

  • They don’t know you: In conjunction with the previous point, your trainer should know you. They should spend a good amount of time in the beginning to understand you, your lifestyle, your goals, preferences, likes and dislikes in terms of your training and all the other necessary details. If your trainer doesn’t take any interest, chances are there that the training sessions will not be properly tailored to your needs, leading to nowhere. So, fire your personal trainer if this is the case.  
  • Violating physical and emotional boundaries: This one is a huge red flag out there. If your trainer is trying to be too friendly and crossing your emotional boundaries, asking you too many personal questions that are making you uncomfortable, it’s time to fire them. At the same time, if the person is violating your physical boundaries, making you feel uncomfortable in such terms, it is an obvious red flag to fire them immediately.  
  • Pushes questionable supplements: A lot of gyms and training centers partner with some supplement companies to help them generate more sales for their products. Sometimes these products may be good and work well for you. Sometimes these can be harmful and cause severe damage to your body. If your personal trainer is making it mandatory to consume these supplements without proper reason and verification from the doctor, it is again a red flag. Do not consume questionable supplements from your trainer before getting them verified by the doctor. 
  • There are way too many short-cuts happening: Initially, when you signed in, there was a certain plan of action, laid work-out sessions that got planned for you along with the set workout hours. However, your trainer is cutting short the training sessions, decreasing the number of workouts and sets just to get the session over. Despite promising you a one-hour session, they are wrapping up in 40mins. If this sounds familiar to you, take this up as a red flag. Talk to your trainer about this. If things still don’t change, it’s time to fire them!
  • Is it challenging yet fun? The biggest question that boils down is, are you even enjoying your session? Followed by, despite that, is your session challenging your body? After working out for a certain number of days, your body gets adapted to the challenge, hence it gets important to level up. 

Also, repeating the same routine regularly gets extremely monotonous and boring. Your trainer should look into these details and switch up your routine every once in a while, challenging your body and keeping it fun. If all these points are lacking in your trainer session, it is time to switch your personal trainer. 

  • The nutrition knowledge: It is always a wise option to work with trainers who have decent knowledge about nutrition along with expertise in your training. This will ensure that along with proper training, the proper amount of food is also going inside your body. 

The requirement for every body type is different. Hence, understanding your body needs and nutrition accordingly becomes crucial to see any changes. If you feel that your trainer is unable to understand your nutritional requirements, it can be a call to fire your personal trainer and look for a new one. 

  • You are ready to go out on your own: Everything doesn’t need to be a bitter ending and all about firing your trainer. You may just be ready to take it on your own from here on. In such cases, talk to your trainer, and they will be more than happy to guide you out and prepare you to handle your training sessions on your own. They can also help you to prep up and wrap up with any last-minute queries before you part ways with your personal trainer. 
  • Your goals have changed: It may be possible that you were previously training for certain goals and fitness levels. But currently, you may want to train for a certain program and hence have different targets that don’t fall under the expertise of your personal trainer. 

In such cases, it is always wise to find someone who has expertise over your upcoming goal rather than sticking through with your old personal trainer and feeling disheartened later. It is not necessarily a red flag but definitely an indication to change your personal trainer. Find out a new personal trainer who is aligned with your goals. 

  • The trainer doesn’t seem approachable: In case of any queries, difficulties, or rescheduling, you should be able to communicate with your trainer via phone or email within 24-48hrs at max. If your trainer barely responds to your queries or makes it difficult to approach him/her outside the training session, it can be a red flag. While this in no way implies that your trainer cannot have a personal life, but you being a trainee should be able to easily communicate and approach them within a certain period. Or else it’s the red flag in your training experience and calls to fire them. 
  • Not paying attention to your feedback: This can be a very common problem yet something that you can easily neglect. Often times your trainer may say that a certain type of exercise and training is good for your goal but your body isn’t supporting it. You feel the exertion is way too much but your trainer constantly pushes you, neglecting your story. 

You may think this is helping you push boundaries, but when your body is saying otherwise, it can be harmful. Ensure that if you feel something is wrong or any other feedback is there, your trainer should hear it and take steps accordingly. Ignoring this process can cause severe damage in the long run. If they still don’t acknowledge, fire your personal trainer. 

  • Your trainer becomes the doctor: Yes, personal trainers do have a piece of in-depth knowledge about body parts and functioning. But that doesn’t give them the authority to diagnose any injury or disease. If you feel a certain sort of pain or uneasiness, your trainer can help you with a probable cause and refer you to a doctor immediately. What they absolutely cannot do is push you to do certain exercises or training to cure the injury themselves. It’s a big red flag for your personal trainer. 
  • You both are not the perfect match: Yes, it doesn’t need to be anything problematic. Rather, it can be as simple as the fact that you don’t work along very well together. For instance, if you are someone who is just starting out, feeling not so confident, you may want to work with a trainer who is inspiring and motivating you. 

Whereas if you have a certain goal to achieve in a certain duration, you may want your trainer to be tough and help you push your boundaries. The opposite can be a complete mismatch leading to zero results out of the training. So, find your type and perfect match and fire the old one if you do not get along well.   

How to fire your personal trainer with ease? 

Since you have understood the signs, now it is time to fire your trainer with ease. How to actually go about the process without causing much hassle and consuming too much energy from your end? Here are a few steps that can help to ease out your process:

  • First communicate: If you actually like your trainer and if you both vibe well, communicate your problems to him/her. It may be possible that due to lack of communication the mismatch happened, resulting in these no result training sessions. 
  • Warning feedbacks: If communicating the problem doesn’t help, give them warning feedbacks honestly. If something is not working right, let them know about it without any sugarcoating. Also, mention fact that you will change the trainer if things don’t work out well soon. 
  • Controlled wrap-up: This is the final step where you decide to fire the trainer. Being a client, do not get too emotionally invested and swayed. Follow a very professional approach. You can wrap up with 1-2 appreciation if you want to as well. 
  • Don’t fall for false hopes: There might be a possibility that your personal trainer may sway you down into the lane of false hopes and promises again. Beware and do not stick through or fall for these false claims again, no matter how tempting the offer may seem. 
  • Head of the gym: If things seem difficult or awkward to wrap up on your own, you can inform the owner of the gym about the discontinuation as well. They can help you out with the process and can further help you find another trainer who can meet your requirements and goals for your training session. 

The process of firing your personal trainer may seem intimidating and awkward especially in the gym. But beating yourself up and adjusting your body constantly even when it is telling you that things are not working out well, can be extremely dangerous. 

So, carefully observe your personal trainer, their approach, and their commitment towards your progress. All these tiny notes can help you to analyze and save you from any severe damage and monetary waste in the future. 

In the end, your personal training experience should help to uplift both your physical and mental strength and not otherwise. A decently matched personal trainer can help you achieve your goals for the same. 

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