Why a Personal Trainer may NOT be what you need


This will be a shortish post today as I am ‘smack-bang’ in the middle of moving at the minute. I’ve got 6-8 weeks to get everything sorted – manic times!

I’ll try to get online as much as possible but please bear with me!

Being a ‘Personal Trainer’ myself allows me to see the other side of the industry that people outside the ‘circle’ wouldn’t necessarily see.

‘Side note: I prefer to call myself a ‘coach’ – The whole ‘Personal Trainer’ thing doesn’t really sit well with me for various reasons which I will come to tell you about in time. But for the sake of today’s post I’ll use ‘Personal Trainer’.’

I’ve come to learn there are 3 different types of personal trainers;

Personal Trainer 1: The Value Adder

These are the fitness professionals that are in it for their clients. They want to see people do well. Being a Personal Trainer, sometimes requires you to wear a few hats at any one time, and these types of PT’s provide MASSIVE value not only to you’re fitness goals but in you’re personal life as well.

They will provide results, all while keeping you safe and putting you first.


Personal Trainer 2: The Dollar Eyed PT

Then there is the other type of PT. These people are the complete opposite of our ‘Value Adders’ above. Unfortuatly the industry is littered with these types of Personal Trainers. These are the people who give the fitness industry a bad name as they put your money ahead of your health. They will always charge more for what they can offer you.

Trash Talking behind your back would normal for these people.

These Personal Trainers are to be avoided at all costs. The thing is however, they tend to be very good at lieing and deceiving. Unfortualty these types of personal trainers make up the majority of the industry.


Personal Trainer 3: Motivate Me Not PT

Then there are the personal trainers that mean well, may have a bit of experience and knowledge but are not very good motivators. After all, a lot of people choose to go with a personal trainer to get motivated!

These trainers, are very verbal in trying to motivate you, however if you have ever been in this position you would probably know that these types of trainer do everything BUT motivate.


Motivation is first key to success in all aspects of your life. It’s a constant battle we have we ourselves on a daily basis. Sometimes we feel as if we can take on the world and then other times we feel so low we don’t want to do anything.

New research from Kansas State University suggests that a personal trainer who screams and shouts to motivate you may in fact be doing the complete opposite.

The research was led by Brandon Irwin, which involved asking participants to perform two sets of planks for as long as they could.

There were two groups involved;

Group 1: Performed two sets alone

Group 2: Performed the first set alone, and the seconds set with a virtual partner who was an expert in planks. Those that were placed with a virtual partner had either a silent partner or a partner who would try to encourage the participant.

This is what they found;

  1. Those that had the virtual partner performed the plank for longer than those that went solo. – Nothing ground-breaking here. I know some people who say they perform better on their own, but the general view is people tend to perform better when they are doing it with someone else.
  2. Those that had a vocal partner performed 22% longer
  3. However, the real meat in this research showed that those who had a silent partner performed 33% longer – 11% longer than those with the vocal partner.

I myself, can relate to this. For me there is nothing more distracting than someone shouting in your ear when you are trying to focus on;

a)      Pushing those last few reps out AND

b)      Performing those last few reps properly without putting yourself at danger of injury.

Now while this recent study doesn’t answer all questions in motivation and exercise it does give us some food for thought.

It has been thought for many years now that one of the key reasons for hiring a personal trainer was to help people become more motivated, and while according to this study this does still work, the proof is in the pudding to suggest that silent trainers may be the way forward.

Now, from my opinion I always think a trainer should have some verbal input – you can’t go round never talking to your members and clients. It’s just not going to work.

However, finding the sweet spot and knowing when a trainer should open their mouth and when they should keep it shut is the key.

Again, this study isn’t the ‘be-all’ of motivation, and there will need to be some more research carried out, but maybe….just maybe, one day all personal trainers will put in the effort and put their clients first and NOT themselves.

Take Care – Keep Focused,



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