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What your trainer wishes she could tell you Add to ...

If you’re going to hire a personal trainer to help you get in shape in the New Year, or if you’re already working with one, there’s something you need to know: There’s more to the client-trainer relationship than just you paying them money, and them getting you in shape.

Chances are, something you are doing is driving your trainer crazy, but they can’t tell you (even though they’re dying to). It’s hardly professional (or profitable) to yell at clients, after all. But that doesn’t mean trainers shouldn’t get to vent, and maybe, by doing so, prevent future nuisances and etiquette breaches.

We gave personal trainers from across the country blanket anonymity and asked them to answer a single question: What do you wish you could tell your worst client?

Unwanted sights, sounds and smells

“You brush your teeth before seeing your dentist, don’t you? Please apply deodorant before seeing me.”

“Would you please wear underwear if you want me to help stretch your hamstrings?”

“If you can’t put the weights down gently, you shouldn’t pick them up.”

“We both know you’re working hard, and I appreciate it. But do you really have to make those sounds?”

“Don’t try to coax me into the pool to train just because you want to see me [semi-]aked.”

“Just because you are lifting a heavy weight does not give you permission to spray spit all over me.”

I’m not your servant

“Do you think I want to clean up your yoga blocks, mat and foam roller?”

“Don’t blame me when you don’t reach your goals. If you don’t do what I say, it’s your fault. I can’t help you.”

“I’m on your side. Things we do and the things I ask you to do are for your benefit.”

I am a professional

“Are you chronically 15 minutes late for every other appointment in your life? We’d get much further if you could be on time.”

“Do you bargain with your dentist or doctor? I didn’t think so. Please don’t bargain with me.”

Commitment is key

“Far less-talented people have gone much further than you because they worked hard. Please start.”

“You can absolutely do this, but it’s an insult to both of us to think it’s going to be easy.”

“Quit being such a precious snowflake and deal with the fact that you’re not automatically good at everything you so much as look at.”

“You can’t lose weight if you lift weights only two hours a week and then sit on your butt the rest of the week.”

“You cannot keep blaming everything else for holding you back from reaching your goals. The only thing you can blame is yourself. You are the only person making decisions in your life. You can choose a positive outcome by making the decisions you know are right. If you choose wrong, it’s you sabotaging yourself. No one said that reaching your goals was going to be easy. It’s not. It’s hard and it’s work.”

“The reason you haven’t seen results is that you choose to not follow the program I have created. Eating badly and only working out once a week with me is definitely not going to help you lose 20 pounds.”


“Stop being so negative about everything from the exercises to the music. It brings the energy in my studio down. If you say ‘I can’t’ or ‘I hate…,’ you have to give me 20 burpees.”

“Could you please stop making jokes to other members about how much you ‘love when I hurt you’?”

“Please don’t constantly complain that you are tired. I start at 6 a.m. and finish most evenings around 8 or 9.”

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Follow on Twitter: @Dave_McGinn

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