I workout at a gym I am not working for. I get so frustrated when I see other trainers clearly training a client using incorrect form or just plain bad, possibly harmful, exercises. I don’t know what to do. Should I say something to the manager? I mean this place is known to hire people before they recieve their certification and give them up to 6 months to get it. What do I do?
I do not allow inappropriate training methods at any studio that I operate. I don’t confront trainers publicly. I ask them, “Can interrupt you for a second? I need you to look at something for me really quick.” And then tell them that I am not comfortable with that activity. Offer to discuss it then or later, but they have to stop that now and move on to something else.
For example, I had a trainer trying to get their client to stand on a stability ball. That is something expressly forbidden in my studios by anyone. They chose to stop then. And later tried to convince me otherwise. But I told them that for me the risk out weighed the reward. And as I know a number of people have seriously injured their knees doing what is pretty much a circus stunt, told them that they would need to find somewhere else to do this particular activity. If they want to do that so badly, they could do it somewhere else.
In public, I do not confront trainers doing such things. If I see one doing something like the above, I stop watching them at all. I don’t need to confront people in public or deal with someone esle’s training mistakes.
If it’s someone I’ve mentored, I’m completely good with calling a trainer or group-ex person on a safety issue. “Is it OK if I give you some thoughts on a move I saw you teach?” Since we’ve already been in a mentor / mentee relationship, the person has always said yes and we have an opportunity to grow.
If it’s a coworker I haven’t mentored or don’t know well, I’ve done the “curious questioning” technique mentioned above.
I have written comments in the comment box a couple of times at a gym where I work out but do not teach. Simple statements regarding the most egregious safety concerns, “You might want to observe trainer XXX in their methods of teaching squats. I was working out nearby today and it looked like there were some knee issues with the back knee caving inwards on traveling lunges that trainer XXX didn’t notice or address.”
Then the manager can decide whether to observe the trainer or to let it go, but I’ve sent a message in a kind way.
The gym is where you reign supreme. If you see a trainer doing something wrong, ask them what they were doing with a client in a curious way. Maybe they are changing the workout to specifically fit the client.
Sometimes a clueless trainer actually does know what they’re doing.
On the offchance they don’t, I personally have no problem calling them out and asking more. The gym should always be a safe place. YOU can prevent an injury. Speak up.