Am I working with a bad online personal trainer

Are you working with a BAD personal trainer or online coach? (5 signs to look for)

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Average Read Time: 2 minutes 41 seconds

You’ve taken the plunge and hired a trainer to help you with your fitness goals, but how do you know if your trainer is good or bad? It’s hard to tell unless you already possess a strong knowledge of training and nutrition. For this reason, I’ve put together a list of five questions that will determine if your trainer is good or bad.

This is a follow-up to last week’s post about what to look for in a personal trainer or online coach. I touch on a couple of points from that post here, but if you’re currently looking for a coach, check out that post.

Note: Throughout this post, I’ll be using “coach” as a blanket term that applies to both personal trainers and online trainers.

Do they practice what they preach?

You wouldn’t ask your broke friend for money advice and if your goal is weight loss, you probably shouldn’t be taking advice from someone who’s significantly overweight. I’m not suggesting your coach has to have a magazine cover body, but in order to be worthy of your initial trust, they should at least look like they work out.

Did they ask questions specific to you before giving you a program?

A coach must know specific information about you in order to provide a program that is specific to you. Before giving you a program, your coach should have asked you questions about your goals, workout experience, nutrition habits, schedule, preferences, past injuries or health concerns, and about obstacles that have tripped you up in the past.

If they didn’t ask questions about you, it means your workout is not written specifically for you, your goals, or current situation.


Did they explain your program?

Did your coach explain why your workout and nutrition program is set up the way it is or did they just hand it to you and expect you to accept it without question? Do they explain the changes they make to your program and why they make them? A good coach will explain things to you so that if you decide to train on your own one day, you’ll know exactly what you’re doing.

What do they do if you miss a workout or a nutrition target?

If you miss a workout or miss your nutrition targets, do they empathize with you and encourage you or do they scold you? Life happens. If you haven’t already messed up on your program, you will at some point. I mess up. Nobody is perfect. A good coach will accept that unexpected things come up and will work with you to help you prepare for those situations so they don’t trip you up in the future.

How does your coach handle questions?

You should not be confused about what to do in your workout and nutrition program. If you have questions, you should be able to ask them. Good coaches encourage questions. If your coach avoids questions, it could mean they’re guarding their knowledge to keep you signed up as long as possible or even worse, they may not even know what they’re doing.

Bonus: Statements to Listen For

Let’s cover some statements a bad coach might say.

  • “Carbs make you fat. You’ll want to cut those out of your diet.”

  • “You’ll need to lift light weights for a lot of reps to get leaner.”

  • “Don’t eat after 7 pm. It will all get stored as fat.”

  • “Dairy is bad for fat loss.”

  • “Don’t do deadlifts. They’ll make your waist bigger.”

  • “Don’t do squats. They’re bad for your knees.”

  • “Girls should focus on cardio. Lifting weights will make you bulky.”


Ask yourself these five questions and see if your coach passes the test, but at the end of the day, you probably already have a good idea of if your coach is good or bad. Trust your gut. If you read this post until the end, but don’t already have a trainer, check out this post next.

Thank you so much for reading! If you found this information helpful and want to help the Treadaway Training blogcast grow, simply share this post with a friend. If you like what I have to say, sign up below to become a Treadaway Training insider or check out my YouTube channel. I will be back here Saturday with another body transformation topic. As always, God bless you AND your family and I'll see you Saturday.