"This has nothing to do with a trainer's self-esteem. It's not even about being polite. You hired me to achieve a goal, and every minute you spend texting or talking on the phone takes time away from me helping you get where you want to be."
6. We don't mind when you bring a friend... in fact, we love it.
"I feel that I can still give personal attention with up to four people in a session. The trainer makes slightly more per hour, but the clients can pay 50 percent less, if not more, depending on how many people are in the group. We can do partner exercises and different drills, and the time flies by. It's a win for everyone."
—Traci D. Mitchell
7. Working out with us isn't enough to cancel out your other bad habits.
"I had a client who worked out so hard that her face would turn purple, and she was frustrated that her body wasn't responding. I had a feeling it had to do with her diet, so I suggested she keep a food diary. She was very resistant and swore she ate only lean protein, salad and fruit. Then I bumped into her at a restaurant, and she and her partner had enough food for eight people: sausage, bacon, pancakes, waffles and more. She was clearly unwilling to see her role in the situation and take responsibility for her fitness—and she never kept another appointment with me after that."
—Geralyn Coopersmith, the senior national director of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute.
8. It doesn't really bother us when you cheat on us with another trainer—but it does when you act weird about it later.
"If no one acknowledges the switch, it can get a little awkward when you see each other in the gym. I'd prefer that a client be direct. We want them to find someone who fits their needs. And good trainers usually have plenty of other clients."
—Traci D. Mitchell
9. We are constantly washing our hands—and you should be, too.
"I often see people in the restroom who walk right by the sinks without pausing. Then they go out to the machines, the weights and the mats. You can't control that, or how often the gym cleans equipment, so your best defense is to wash up after you've handled anything in the gym."
— Jen Cassetty, a New York City–based sports, nutrition and fitness expert.
10. We are professionals, and you should hold us to those standards.
"Few people would walk into a meeting with a McMuffin and a coffee and sit down on the floor. We've all seen other trainers do these things, and it's not cool. And if a trainer doesn't show up or is often late or changes your appointment time more than once—things come up, but it shouldn't be consistent—you have the right to ask for a free session."
11. ...but most of us aren't the best business people. So please don't make us feel guilty for asking you to pay the money that you owe.
"Many of us feel uncomfortable talking about money and enforcing the standard 24-hour cancellation policy. We develop a relationship with our clients and want to keep them happy, so when they ask us to let it slide 'just this once,' we consider it. But training isn't something we do just for fun; it's how we support ourselves."
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