I have had a series of injuries while working with trainers. Is it a coincidence? I’m not sure. It could be a combination of trainers pushing too hard or it could be my refusal to admit my age.
My shoulder injury:
I was working with a trainer while rehabbing my hip so we were focusing a lot on upper body. I was doing presses, assisted dips, the ropes and more when suddenly I had a severe pain in my shoulder. The slightest movement was excruciating. Turned out I had some slightly torn rotator cuff muscles in three groups and as my doctor put it, “A significant bone spur that has to come out or risk more tears.” So you might say the trainer had nothing to do with the bone spur but did the trainer push the training too hard and it expedited my shoulder issues to come to a head? I’m not sure.
My back injury:
I was trying valiantly to be in the best shape of my life as I approached a landmark birthday. I was doing the TRX and executing planks into a pike position in which I would open my legs. It is a hardcore move that resulted in herniated disks in my L2/3 and L4/5 plus I broke off a piece of a disk. I’ve never felt so much pain.
There’s no doubt that persona training had a role in my injuries although I don’t put all the blame on the trainer. I need to rewire my brain.
How to choose a great trainer:
Observe the trainers: Watch how they are training people.
Ask for their credentials:
Many trainers have areas of specialization. One trainer I had also worked in Physical Therapy and another was working on getting their PT degree. My training sessions with them never resulted in any injuries. Both of them refused, for my own good, to allow me to do anything inappropriate for my age or ability.Trainers can have degrees such as ACSM, ACE, NASM, and NSCA are all accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA). The NCCA accreditation is considered the best.
Talk to the manager of the trainers:
Take the time to take to whoever is managing the trainers. Explain your unique circumstances and what you’re looking to accomplish. Give them he time to select the right trainer for you.
Never choose a beginner trainer if you have physical issues:
new trainers simply don’t have the experience in most cases to deal with chronic physical issues and I’ve learned this the hard way. If you have special needs, it’s even more important to get a trainer who has experience and training in the area you need help with. And many trainers don’t want to work around your injuries or even want to deal with them.
Ask clients of trainers for a review:
ask the trainer if you can talk to a couple of their clients. You want to do your homework and the best way to understand personality fit with a trainer is to ask their clients. I’ve had trainers who made me want to cry and I’m tough. I’ve also had a couple of trainers that pushed me till I wanted to throw up. Going so hardcore isn’t for everyone.
Watch and see if the trainers encourage stretching:
I hate stretching but everyone needs to stretch or risk injury. Watch to see if the trainer starts slowly with their client with stretches. It might be good to take a stretch class once a week to force yourself to stretch if they don’t.
Watch to see if trainers have clients foam roll:
At the beginning or the end of any workout, you should spend a few minutes of foam rolling. What most people don’t realize is you only roll out and area till you find the spot causing discomfort and then you find the trigger point and apply pressure using the foam roller. Too many people make the mistake of just rolling back and forth. Ask a trainer you’re considering for help with foam rolling tips and test their knowledge.
Good trainers will ask how you feel at the beginning of any workout:
If you have any pain or discomfort, don’t be afraid to tell the trainer especially if the exercise is causing pain. Don’t power through it, which I’ve done a few times. It’s time to quit and find another exercise. They can’t tell. You have to speak up. They have thousands of exercises in their arsenal so they can find something else that won’t cause pain.
Take your time in selecting a trainer:
Don’t be afraid you’ll hurt a trainer’s feelings if you switch to a different trainer. You have to find the trainer that’s right for you mentally and physically. And by all means, see a doctor if you have a pain: don’t keep working out if you have consistent pain. Your body is telling you it’s time to see a doctor before you cause permanent damage.