A huge part of being a successful personal trainer is getting to know your clients. Like any good relationship, you should truly care about the person. Whether they are your wife, friend, client or family member, your relationship will never truly solidify unless you have a genuine interest.
This stands true in personal training and is something that I admire about many personal trainers I speak with around the Northampton, Ma area. A good trainer builds relationships with their clients in order to know more about them. They ask about interests, strong suits, weaknesses, struggles, hobbies or whatever activity they are doing on the weekend. Personal trainers need to do this in order to be able to motivate, solve problems, and be pro-active about how the will approach different clients.
During this relationship building phase both sides get to know each other and probably become friends or at least form a good respectful business relationship. Here is where the potential problem can come in.
I had a prospect call a while back and said that they are looking for a new gym b/c they had hurt their knee while training at this particular gym in the Northampton, Ma area. I starting asking questions on what they did, how they did it and then came to the conclusion that it was an overuse injury that happened b/c of lack of mobility and proper form in what they were doing. We continued our conversation and the prospect told me how they just loved the trainer but unfortunately they could not do what the trainer kept asking them to perform and work on. Obviously they did not know the trainer was lacking knowledge as to how to fix a problem like this so I left it alone out of respect for the trainer and the relationship the personal trainer and client had with each other.
I thought to myself....WHAT? Now, I understand that this trainer was probably a great person and has all the right intentions, however, you are paying them to hurt you. They are not correcting the problems that you have in your movement patterns and in fact they are making it worse by repeating the pattern over and over. Unfortunately, this situation happens more than you would think and it is just lack of knowledge from personal trainers who cannot assess movement patterns and how to correct them. In this day and age, this is more the norm than not. People in general don't move or even sit functionally correct. On the other side, many personal trainer don't know, understand, or take the time to learn how to properly deal with improper mobility and movement patterns clients have.
The main point I am trying to make here is this. Like any good service you need to make sure that you are getting what you pay for. Your personal trainer may be a great person and now a good friend but the bottom line is that you are paying them for a service. Make sure you are getting results and not getting too caught up in the relationship. Do they constantly engage in what you are doing at the gym? Do they send you home with things to do and think about? Have they touched on nutrition and how important it is? Do they just go through the same workout over and over? Do they cue you on proper form? Are you getting results? Have you been stagnant for a period of time and had nothing done about it? These are all questions you should be asking yourself during your personal training sessions.
I would bet you have several friends that you socialize and hang out with, right? For your fitness needs, make sure to stick with a personal trainer who is getting you results in the gym and not just another buddy to chit chat about life and what you are doing this weekend.