When to call it quits with your personal trainer


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Personal Training Series, Part III of III

Ending a relationship with your personal trainer can be tough. Whether it’s financial reasons or personal differences, sometimes you need to walk away. With the help of experienced fitness professionals — fitness professional and freelance writer Linda Melone (LindaMelone.com), Dwayne Davis (Fitnesstogether.com/morristown) and ACE-certified personal trainer Rachel Strang (Fitness Freedom LLC) — we help you figure out when to say goodbye to your personal trainer. This is part three of a three-part series.

You’re not that into it

Strang suggests asking yourself the following questions:
1. Are you diligent about doing workouts — with or without the trainer?
2. Do you have definite and defined goals and expectations?
3. Are you excited to learn and try new workouts?
4. Do you stay in contact with your trainer and realize that accountability is key?
5. Do you give feedback after workouts and ideas for future workouts?

If you said no to more than two of these questions, you may want to rethink your relationship with your personal trainer.

“I have had cases where a client seemed like a great fit. We were able to carry a conversation, had a great level of communication, however, they just didn’t want to continue whether financially or (they were) just not ready to start the training,” Davis explains. “There have been other cases where at the initial stage it seemed like a very tough fit. Not on the same page from a conversation standpoint, more about questioning of exercises first before trying them, but when it came time to end a personal training package they would renew.”

The trainer does not act professional
The professional manner in which a trainer conducts themselves is very important. If either party cannot maintain a professional relationship, it’s best to seek another trainer.

“I’m aware the title is ‘personal’ trainer, however, personal in this context should mean to professionally conduct a personalized detailed program to obtain the clients particular fitness goal. Not to be a boyfriend/girlfriend or some other personal provider outside of fitness,” Davis explains. “This doesn’t mean you have to look for a zombie trainer, rather than a trainer who [has personality]; just keep it professional. You can even be friends, but when it’s training time that should be the complete focus.”

Your financial situation changes
If you can’t keep up with payments, it’s time to call it quits. “Unexpected expenses, loss of a job or any other number of financial situations could end a wonderful relationship abruptly,” Melone says. “Barring finances, a good rapport, willingness to listen—on both the part of the trainer and the client—makes it easiest for both parties to be happy with the outcome. [I've had clients work with me for over five years.]”

There are cheaper ways to get in some focused attention: Ask your trainer if you can bring a few friends for a small group training session. Many trainers will work out a group price with you to help lessen costs.

Go cyber: g, usually available at a fraction of the cost of a regular personal trainer, is gaining popularity. InSHAPE Fitness offers 30-minute blast sessions via Skype. Keep in mind that, according to ACE Fitness, despite the obvious benefits of online training, it is most effective as a supplement to working one-on-one with a qualified trainer. Due to the complexity of many strength-training and conditioning programs, novice exercisers should begin with a hands-on trainer. Read how to choose a reputable online trainer here.

“Typically, if a client has a realistic view of what to expect from training, is willing to work hard, and can afford the service, this would equate to a long-term client,” Davis says.