Ok, so I don’t talk about other trainers much.  I feel that my training stands alone and what others do is generally not my concern.  Every once in a while I see something hysterical or really good and I take notice, but otherwise, I generally let people do their own thing.

I did hear something last week that kind of pissed me off, though.  It had nothing to do with me, I was just pissed off for the client.  A client (middle-aged man, fairly new to exercise) came in and was greeted by his trainer.  After a big smile, hello, and handshake (which is what should happen) the trainer asked him:

“What are we working on today?  Arms?”

The client thought for a second and then said “No, I did arms the day before yesterday.  Let’s do legs today.”


Admittedly I don’t know the client well and I have no idea of his arrangement with the trainer.  However, there are a few things wrong with this situation.  For starters, a trainer doesn’t just run a client through a workout.  A trainer is responsible for building the client a plan.  The trainer should know exactly what that client is going to do before they get there… because they planned it!  They should never have to ask a client, who’s not an expert, what to do!

Can you imagine going into your cardiologist and having him ask:

“What are you thinking today, surgery?”

and you respond with:

“Naw, I don’t want to be laid up for a while.  How about we just up my meds and add a few nitros?”

Look, my clients pay me to provide a fitness service to them.  That service is to get them from physical point A to physical point B.  The reason they’re paying me is because they don’t have the knowledge, inclination, motivation, or whatever to do it themselves.  So that’s what I do.  I plan how they’re going to do it and then we get there.  There’s nothing wrong with client input, it’s an integral part of the trainer-client relationship.  However, there is no point when the trainer should a) not know what’s going on that day, or b) be taking advice from the client on the client’s training!