Breaking up is hard to do, and ending a relationship with your personal trainer is no exception.  There may come a time when you have learned the basics and feel comfortable going out on your own, or you may be feeling frustrated with a lack of results from the time - and money - you’ve invested.  Personal trainers exist to help their clients become more knowledgeable about their bodies, helping them to break through physical and mental plateaus.  However, in an industry that is largely unregulated, it is up to you to make sure you hire a well qualified professional, and listen to your instincts when the relationship seems to be deteriorating.  Keep reading for five reasons why it may be time to fire your personal trainer.

1. Your Trainer is Out of Shape

Take a look around your gym and you may notice an interesting trend.  Often times, people tend to look like their personal trainers.  You will undoubtedly see clients and trainers who are similar in gender, age, style of dress, even hair color.  If your personal goals include fat loss, muscle building, or improving your general fitness, you shouldn’t be working with a trainer who doesn’t embody these qualities themself.  A trainer’s body is their calling card.  It is proof that their methods work, and that their own lifestyle can serve as a positive influence in your training.

2. They Did Not Graduate from School

A well-qualified personal trainer has received multiple certifications from nationally recognized sports and fitness institutes.  They have sought out opportunities to continue their education, and have developed a niche market to which they cater. They view themselves as a business liable for your physical health, and have an insurance policy in place in the event of an injury or situation that gets out of hand.  Halt any further training if you were not asked to complete a Par-Q, Par-Med X, or Par-Med X for Pregnancy form prior to training, or if your trainer is not certified and insured.

3.  Their Ring Tones are Louder Than Your Interval Timer

Have you ever had to interrupt your trainer’s text conversation to inquire what your next exercise should be?  During your session, the focus should be on you.  Every movement counts, and it is impossible to give you the attention you deserve while your trainer updates their Twitter feed.  A lack of focus in the gym may also translate into an inability to manage themselves as a small business.  You shouldn’t tolerate a trainer who regularly shows up late, misses appointments altogether, or is unable to track payment schedules.

4.  They’ve Never Heard of the Shake Weight

There is a lot of hype in the fitness industry about the newest supplement or piece of equipment that is “guaranteed” to help you lose weight, build muscle and get in shape in the least amount of time, with the least amount of effort.  Fitness marketing, by nature, seems to defy logic, and it is up to your fitness professional to stay current with the newest trends and research in fitness and nutrition to separate the good from the ugly.  As the industry changes, so do the tools available to help progress your training.  If your trainer seems to be stuck in a box and their methods are outdated, it may be time to move on.

5.  You’ve Increased Your Dosage of Pain Medication

Exercising with proper form is essential to seeing the best possible gains from all of your hard work.  Not to mention, proper form protects you from any injuries that will set back your progress and leave you wishing you had never attempted that step up with a reverse lunge.  Your trainer should be monitoring your form at all times, coaching you on proper technique and correcting movement patterns that could put you at risk.  Aches and pains in your knees and lower back are the first signs that you are exercising with poor form - something your trainer should be able to spot and correct.  Some muscle soreness is normal, but joint soreness - particularly in your knees and lower back - is not.



Sarah Dalton is the founder of Able Mind Able Body, a Las Vegas based company offering motivational lifestyle coaching and personal training services.  She takes a holistic approach to healthy living, and educates others on the benefits of nutrition, exercise, and emotional health.  Visit for more info.