How To Improve Your Personal Trainer

You’ve made the tough choice to hire a personal trainer, but maybe you’re just a little disappointed with the quality of either your sessions or the actual trainer themselves.

What can you do to make them better and to make sure you’re getting value from money from your workout sessions?

In this article, I’ll be explaining the options that you have, and I’ll also give you some advice when all else fails.

Here’s a look at just a few of the ideas we’ll be covering

  • Confronting your trainer about your issues
  • Why Communication is vital and how to improve it
  • When you should and shouldn’t accept lateness or missed sessions
  • How to compare your trainer to others to see if they’re up to scratch
  • What to do when all else fails

These are just a few of the ways you can improve your trainer that we’ll be covering, there are a whole lot more ideas that might not seem so obvious, so keep reading to find out more.

how to improve your personal trainer

You must be honest with your trainer if you’d like to improve any aspect of your training sessions. If your trainer is unaware that you are disappointed with the quality of training, or if you are bothered by your trainer being late or canceling sessions last minute, you must confront them.

Top ways to improve your personal trainer

  • Confronting your trainer about your issues
  • Improve communication
  • Don’t accept lateness or last minute cancellations
  • Question the exercises you’re given
  • Compare your sessions to others around you
  • Let them know if the workouts are too tough or too easy
  • Speak up if you are dissapointed with a lack of results
  • If all else fails, don’t be afriad to move on

Confronting your trainer about your issues

One of the most important things you can do to improve your personal trainer and the sessions they provide is to speak up and tell them when you aren’t happy about something.

It’s very easy to become friends with someone you may be seeing for an hour several times a week, but don’t forget that this is a service you are paying good money for, so you are well within your right to confront them about an issue. It’s no different from going to a restaurant and asking to speak to the manager if you received poor service.

I understand that it’s not easy for everyone to do this face to face, as they may feel bad about hurting their trainer’s feelings, so if this is the case, you may feel more at ease to write it in an email or message them by phone.

This will help give you extra time to think through what you are going to say and make sure you’re message is clear.

Being polite is important, but putting up with paying top dollar for poor quality training is never acceptable.

Improve communication

Poor communication is the cause of many entirely avoidable problems in life, and personal training sessions are no exception.

It’s very easy to get confused over which days you are supposed to be training and at what times, and it’s incredibly annoying for both trainer and client if one is waiting for another only to have them not show up to a session.

This is a very easy problem to resolve with simple communication improvements, like a simple text or message the night before a session to confirm the time you expect to train to make sure you are both aware. Or if this is not possible for whatever reason, set a scheduled time each week that doesn’t change.

If you’re finding that your trainer repeatedly forgets to reply to your messages or isn’t returning any of your phone calls, you should definitely confront them on this. You don’t want to miss the sessions you are paying for, and missed sessions hurt your progress in a big way, so if your trainer is demonstrating poor communication, call them on it (pardon the pun).

Don’t accept lateness or last minute cancellations

Everyone’s late once in a while, it’s normal and in small doses, it can be acceptable, but some people just seem to be late more than others and if you’re paying a hefty price for your sessions, they should be starting bang on time at least 95% of the time.

If you’re finding that your trainer is consistently late or canceling sessions last minute so you’re left with trying to find time to fit another in, you should absolutely confront them on this.

Trainers are taught to be professional at all times, and regular tardiness is no sign of this, if after several occasions of you giving them the benefit of the doubt they continue to turn up late to sessions, threaten to leave them. They will want to keep every client they can, so maybe the shock of an ultimatum may be what they need to start getting their timekeeping skills in check.

Question the exercises you’re given

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t question which exercises have been prescribed for you by your trainer. If you’ve been told to perform a movement and you really can’t feel the benefit or understand its purpose, question why you are doing it.

This is a great litmus test to see if you’re trainer really knows why they are doing when prescribing exercises, or if they are just giving you the ones they think you’ll enjoy or that they give to all their clients.

Every client should be given individual and tailored workout programs, so your trainer should have absolutely no problem explaining exactly why it is that they have prescribed you a certain exercise and the benefits it will provide.

Compare your sessions to others around you

This is a very easy way to see if your trainer is on point, needs some improvement, or needs to be outright sacked.

It’s hard to tell if you’ve never used a personal trainer before what you should expect of them, how do you know if they are any good? And how can you know if you’re getting what you have paid for?

An easy way is to simply look around you in a gym or park to see what the other trainers are doing with their clients. Are they engaging in conversation during rest periods, are they paying attention whilst their client exercises or are they looking at their phones?

If you notice that your trainer is demonstrating any negative traits such as not giving you their full undivided attention, call them on it. Let them know that you think it’s unacceptable to be paying what you’re paying for the level of service you’re getting.

Let them know if the workouts are too tough or too easy

This is one of the few points on this list where the trainer isn’t necessarily at fault.

Speaking from experience, it’s pretty tough to get a full understanding of how difficult an exercise is for someone, so without them being completely honest about how difficult you are finding the exercises, they may struggle.

I used to have clients that would swear blind that they felt the exercise was just at the right level and they were really struggling, but I could see in their faces that really they could have done more.

As a trainer, you can push people, but ultimately it’s up to them to put in the effort required to make progress.

Without the exercises being performed to the correct intensity levels, the results will be slow to achieve, or they may not achieve anything at all. So if you think you are getting away with easy workouts but pretending to work hard when in fact you could lift a little more, you’re only cheating yourself, so you should tell your trainer the truth.

The same goes for if the workouts are too tough. Some trainers love to work with their clients to the max, but if you feel you’re being pushed too hard, let them know, they should accept it and reduce the intensity down a little.

Speak up if you’re disappointed with a lack of results

You’re paying for tuition on how to exercise, you’re also paying for diet and lifestyle advice to help you reach your goals, but ultimately, you’re paying for results!

Don’t let being polite get in the way of you making it perfectly clear that you aren’t happy about not achieving the kind of results you were expecting.

Say something to your trainer, ask them why they think you aren’t seeing what you expected, see if they can make any recommendations or explanations as to what’s gone wrong.

The caveat to this of course is that your trainer is not with you 24 hours a day, so you’ll need to also ask yourself if you really put the effort in that you should have, did you eat the way you were advised, and did you train on your own enough?

If the answer to any of these questions is a no, or a maybe, I would hold fire on blaming your trainer, there’s only so much they can do for you, a lot of the results will be dependent on yourself.

If all else fails, don’t be afraid to move on

Ok, so sometimes, there’s nothing more you can do to improve your personal trainer, if you’ve gone through the tips above and you’re still not getting good results or feel like your trainer is paying attention to you during your sessions enough, it may be time to move on.

There’s nothing wrong with sacking your trainer if they really aren’t up to scratch. Again, don’t be too polite to say anything and keep paying for poor-quality training. I can almost guarantee you that there will be several PTs or even a fitness coach waiting to help you out and give you ten times the quality of your current PT.

If you’re still not really sure what a personal trainer should be making you do, and you’re finding it difficult to decide if your trainer is any good or not, take a look at the article below to clear things up.

10 Things Your Personal Trainer Will Make You Do


There are a number of things that you can do to try to improve your personal trainer, and the biggest and easiest thing you can do is to be completely honest with them. If you don’t tell them there is an issue, they may not know you are unhappy about your training, so let them know how you feel things are going.

From there, you can decide if you want to carry on training with them if they improve, or just move on to another trainer that can provide the kind of service you are happy paying for.

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10 Things Your Personal Trainer Will Make You Do
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Chris Walker

Chris Walker worked in the City of London as a fully qualified REP's level three personal trainer for just under ten years. He built and maintained a client base of 40 individuals and worked with several high profile clients, including actors, actresses, comedians and politicians.

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