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Selecting a Personal Trainer

by Ric Drasin,

Selecting a personal trainer is kind of like finding the right mate, the right car or real estate salesman / hair stylist, shrink and so on. The trainer has to be tuned into you and you tuned into them. Every person has different needs and different problem areas to work on. Women want to reduce the hips, men the stomach. First off, you can't spot reduce and if anyone says you can , forget it ! When you lose, you lose all over. In my estimation most trainers should go back and learn how to train themselves. I've seen them pop out of the wood work in most every gym that I've trained in. I train at Gold's Gym in North Hollywood now and every day that I go in , I see a new trainer. Most of them early 20's. How much experience can they have at that age? They've have just been weaned off of formula. It takes more than 6 mth's of workouts and a little bump on the biceps to be considered an expert at training and especially giving advice to other people. I've seen these trainers clients and maybe 1 out of 100 made some improvement.

I've been training people since the early 60's when I worked for Jack Lalanne. We were called GYM INSTRUCTORS then. They gave us a card with 20 exercises and we had to give the member 2 sets of each exercise. Everyone got the same routine. An example: You can't go to the Doctor for the flu and expect to get the same medicine that he gave to someone else. It might not work for you, you might have a reaction, or maybe you can't swallow pills. Well not every routine works either. You have to find what is geared toward your body and also what kind of diet works for you. Maybe No Fats isn't working. So try No Carbs - and High Protein. I've talked to people who's trainers don't even discuss diet. Just take their money. It's like every market gets flooded when people think it's easy money... hence, more trainers. I've even seen trainers training trainers when they don't have a client.

Well, getting back to Jack Lalanne's. I took it upon myself to start giving people routines that I thought would work for them and having them write down everything they were eating for a week. When I switched the diet and program, they started getting results. Plus it increased business when word got out that they were getting in shape. Too bad that I didn't charge for sessions. It was more of a challenge. I was competing in Bodybuilding , just won Mr. California at the time.

Later moved to Venice beach in the 70's and started training with ARNOLD and Joe Weider for the following 4 years. Learned a lot from that and passed it on down to my clients.

Not everyone wants to look like Arnold but most people want to be hard and lean with some muscle. At least look for a trainer that looks like he/she trains and knows what they are doing. Ask them how long they have been training. Find out what they know about splitting body part s for different days., diet - hi protein, low fat, or low carb. See if they socialize or stay on their client hard.

I don't believe that a trainer has to be a slave and carry your weights to you and wipe your brow. You can pick up your own damn weights. You'd have to if you were alone. A trainer is a coach and helps you through those forced reps, and increased weights and makes sure that you are eating right. A trainer is like a training partner, giving you goals and pushing. He/She is not there to baby you and do the work for you or kill an hour hearing problems. If I have to listen to a clients personal problem, there's an extra charge for council. Keep it to the work out.

Bottom line. To have a great body, Find a Trainer that can design your program to a 3 day, or 4 day or even 6 day routine. Splitting body parts works well. Chest/Back, Shoulders/Arms and Legs on the next day. There are many variations which I will write about in my next article. You have to do the work, feel the movement and concentrate on the bodypart you are working and your trainer should keep you on track. Not listening to you talk about last nights encounter.

If this trainer fits the bill , then hire him/her for a week and see if you like them. Try to observe them with other people to see if they are on track and most of all see if their clients are making progress. Most people don't know what to look for but these are key points. The rest is up to you.

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Selecting a Personal Trainer

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