January 18, 2017


5 signs your working with a good trainer.

What I'm covering here is the topic of fitness instructors,personal trainers,gyms,coaches,trainers and so on.

Since starting my journey in this industry in 2007 I've had the opportunity be around a hell of a lot fitness professionals.There are a lot of good guys out there but sadly there are quite a lot of cowboys around too.

In Ireland today we have a trainer/gym on practically every street corner.Its just like coffee shops.Next time your out and about go count the amount of cafes you see in 10 minutes and I guarantee you will come across at least 2 big chains along with plenty of small run privately owned coffee shops.The thing is if you are searching for quality you may need to go that little bit further to get what you want.Just like coffee shops.

I've huge passion and respect for this industry as a whole but some days I can get quite amazed on what I come across. I've witnessed great,good,average,bad and REALLY bad coaches,trainers,advice,coaching/PT sessions.Ireland has some amazing trainers today along with some pretty poor ones too,but perhaps that's in every type of industry.

 Your paying good money and investing in your health and fitness and perhaps considering working with a coach,trainer or even joining a small group training gym.

PT is on average 50-80 euro these days a session,but then I thought to myself perhaps the client doesn't know whats good or whats bad?

So let me nail the basics here.

Well here In my opinion is what you should expect when working with a good PT/coach/trainer/instructor.

Once you gotten over the initial stages of booking in,going through the consultation phase here are the basics that need to be instilled.


Upon joining you should have the option to be assessed with a trainer.This means you should sit down with a trainer, talk over your goals and that allows the trainer to get a fair idea of what you want to work on..Any client I work with sits down with myself and I generally screen them for everything from goal setting to mobility work to body composition to lifestyle factors. It’s all important.Then there is discussions about previous fitness regimes, injury history and nutrition advice. Getting all this information covered from day one really is the most important part to get the ball rolling. It’s about putting the building blocks in place.

Training program 

What the client really needs is a clearly defined structure.We all need mobility/stability work that's a given,however some clients need work on their mobility,aerobic base,some on general strength or perhaps some need work on hypertrophy goals.Every client/goal is different so what they need they should get and sometimes it may not be what they want.Too many trainers out there are now going down the road of giving the client the same style of training that works best for them personally as a coach when they train. Leg day, back day, arms day might be fine for someone that wants to train like a bodybuilder but is this really the best approach for someone has limited time to train and that wants to improve their fitness, drop body fat and improve mobility?This wont work-period.

Look and behave like a trainer

Perhaps a pretty obvious point.You are seeking advice from a professional that practices what the preach and the knowledge you do gain from them should be able to help you out.A sign of a good trainer is one that looks after themselves and one who looks the part.They should show passion for their job, be professional on all levels, bring energy to the session, motivate clients when days are low, know all of their clients’ goals and ensure that those goals are achieved.In my opinion, a good coach is someone who has been immersed in the industry all of their life and learned their trade. It should be someone who lives for health and fitness, trains daily, eats right and leads from the top.The best coaches out there are always improving themselves, educating themselves, and maintaining high standards for the movements they are training. And they keep their clients accountable.A colleague once asked me, “Would you let that trainer train your mother?” And that’s something that struck a chord.

Assessment and progress

A lot of the clients I get to work with have a goal in mind.It really is a 50/50 approach when getting after those goals.If you are not assessing you really are only guessing.I would suggest you test and retest your progress every four-six weeks and this is something that most personal trainers should be doing with their clients.This could be anything from retesting your body fat readings,comparing a benchmark workout you did in the first week of January to 6 weeks later or even something as simple as retesting your mobility/flexibility work that you started doing daily a month ago.


Personal training is expensive for most and is a luxury that a lot of us wont be able to afford all the time.One of my goals when working with clients is to be able to pass on as much knowledge and assistance to them so when I am not around that they will be able to know how to look after themselves the right way.The best foods to eat,the right structure to approach a training session to even the best method of recovery.When I see clients move on and join the gym themselves its a great success as I know they now have the tools they need to go about their health and fitness business now.If you do find yourself working with a trainer and you are not getting any better then you need to move on or even question the trainer more.Don’t be afraid to ask your coach about the reason for the structure of your training sessions.Any trainer can make you sweat with a tough workout but it’s the top trainers who have a method to the madness and who will get the results.

I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.

David Last is a personal trainer based in Dublin. For more information you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Or you can send him a direct message here.

You can also see some of his previous articles here.