11 SIGNS YOUR TRAINER IS FULL OF CRAP

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    If you’re a gym regular with a decent amount of experience under your belt, chances are that you see and hear things at the gym on a daily basis from trainers that make you cringe. The 40-something soccer mom being forced to do overhead presses on a BOSU, the trainer yelling about the relationship between pain and gain, the coach checking his iPhone while a new client tries to figure out how to stretch.

    These things all chap our hides as editors/gym-goers, so we decided to check with some of our experts to see what other suspect trainer behavior is worth taking stock of. Because for the people out there that require a little bit of guidance, great care should be taken that they are kept safe and that they are getting what they’re paying for.

    Here are the top 11 signs that your trainer is full of crap.

    1. They Say Women Should Avoid Weights

    “Some trainers tell women to avoid weights and just stick to cardio to burn fat,” says actor, coach, and fitness model Mehmet Edipwww.mehmetedip.com. “Wrong! Weight training will only help improve muscle structure and density and an intense workout consisting of supersets or combo moves will only help burn fat better, even after you have completed your workout due to your heart rate still being elevated.”

    2. They Say It’s Supposed to Hurt

    “You’ve probably heard coaches saying ‘It’s supposed to hurt,’ or ‘no pain no gain,’” says fitness personality Andy McDermott, NASM-CPT. “Man, I hate this. I’ve helped so many people who have told me they had previously quit working out in their first week or two because they had a trainer who went all drill instructor on them and made them so sore. For the average person trying to create good habits and a healthy lifestyle, exercise needs to be fun—not painful! Sure, I encourage some clients to push into the area of discomfort to increase gains at times, but simply put, pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Take care of your machine!”

    3. They Say You Don’t Need Machines

    “I have two issues with this statement,” says David Sandler, MS, CSCS*D, Director of Science and Education for Isatori. “One, if you are using anything that has a cable attachment, you are still using a machine, even if you have to dictate the movement pattern. But two, if you are in the business of looking good, which everyone at some point is, then isolating muscles and zeroing in on specific patterns is a must. There is no piece of equipment that should be avoided for total development.”

    4. They Champion Instability Training… Then Do it Wrong

    “Using light weights because they are on an unstable surface is a big red flag,” says Sandler. “First an unstable surface is questionable in and of itself but I will let someone else go down that route. But no matter what surface you are on, or which exercise you choose, you need to be working with enough weight to match your goals, whether it be for strength, size, or endurance. Simply doing a movement to do a movement is a waste of time. You need to struggle on those last few reps to make it count.”

    5. They Tell You to Eat Less, Burn More

    “I hear this one all the time,” says Phil Gephart, MS, CSCS, owner of Newport Fit4Lifewww.newportfit4life.com in Orange County, CA. “Yeah, I’m gonna call BS on that one. Less calories means a slower metabolism which means a slower thyroid. If you stabilize your blood sugar then insulin is regulated. Many times people need morecalories (especially women) to experience significant and permanent fat loss. So eat within 45 minutes of waking up, eat every 2.5 to 3 hours and eat protein at every feeding. Without getting too specific and individualized that’s how to burn fat and keep lean muscle.”

    6. They Look Like Crap

    A good sign that they’re full of crap doesn’t have to be verbal—it can be visual. “If your trainer can’t keep themselves in at least halfway decent shape then find a new trainer immediately,” says Rob MacIntyrewww.hardnockssouth.com, CSCS, an independent strength and conditioning coach who has worked with WWE stars like John Cena and other top-tier competitive athletes.

    7. They Claim to Know the “Best Diet”

    “Since there is no best cookie cutter diet for everyone, if someone is telling you what the best is, then it shows their limited knowledge of nutrition,” says MacIntyre. “Sound nutrition advice and guidance is a better method than a trainer who gives everyone the same diet.”

    8. They Tell You Not to Deep Squat

    Now, you’re getting MacIntyre angry. “Some trainers say that squatting too low is bad for your knees and/or back,” he says. “This is true only if you don’t have the proper mobility or flexibility to squat low. If that is the case then your trainer hasn’t properly prepared you to squat.” Also, research has repeatedly shown that no additional risk of injury exists from squatting below parallel.

    9. They Tell You to Increase Volume to Get Lean

    Stop us if you’ve heard this one: You are eating pretty clean but not losing weight that fast. I think you just need to increase your workout volume.

    “If you are already working out 3 to 4 days per week correctly, you shouldn’t have to work out more,” says Justin Grinnell, CSCS, owner of State of Fitness www.mystateoffitness.com in Michigan. “If your trainer keeps telling you to work out more than five hours per week, not only do they have you on a poor workout plan, they also are not coaching you well enough on your eating habits. They may also be looking for you to spend more money with them. Instead of increasing the time you spend in the gym, make a grocery list, shop, make a weekly meal plan (on-the-go and dining out included), and prepare some food. I have done this with clients and they are amazed at the results and the saved time.”

    10. They Call for More Low Intensity Treadmill Work

    “They’re full of crap,” says Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, a Texas-based strength coach and co-author of Jailhouse Strong. “In 1994, Angelo Tremblay and some of his colleagues at the Physical Activities Science Laboratory at Laval University in Canada tested the long-held belief amongst most exercise and medical professionals that long, slow cardio at a low intensity is superior for fat loss. In fact, they compared the impact of moderate/low intensity to high intensity interval training in hopes of finding what was superior for fat loss.

    One group did 20 weeks of endurance training while the other group did 15 weeks of high intensity interval training. The cost of total energy expenditure was much higher in the endurance-training group than the interval group. Additionally, Tremblay and his associates found that the endurance group burned nearly twice the amount of calories during training than the interval group. And yet, skin fold measurements showed the interval training group lost nine times more subcutaneous body fat than the endurance-training group.

    In layman’s terms, interval training trumped long, slow cardio for fat loss.

    The interval trainees got nine times the fat loss for every calorie burned during training. The researchers from Laval University found that metabolic adaptations that were a result of interval training may lead to enhanced lipid utilization post-exercise, effectively accelerating fat loss.

    If you want skip the science compare a sprinter’s physique to a distance runner’s.

    11) They Tell You to Stretch or Warmup on Your Own

    “This is absolutely asinine,” says Andrea Ausmus, NASM-CPT, a trainer and coach at UFC Gym in Torrance, CA. “People don’t stretch on their own. That is why they are paying you! Show them how to stretch, how long to hold, which muscles to focus on, explain the when and why of dynamic movement and active stretching, and benefits of partner stretching.

    And telling them to warmup on their own? This only works if the client knows the training program in detail before they walk into the gym. If they do not, warming up on their own is a surefire path to injury. If a client goes and warms up on a stationary bike but has a chest-dominant training program, time has been wasted.”