I have seen some off the wall stuff. Some of it just absolutely fabulous and some down right dangerous/inappropriate/being performed poorly or just too blah.
As a professional I try hard not to judge what others are doing because I do not know what the client’s goals are and what their current abilities are. I’ve been known to have jousting matches with clients using foam rollers while standing on a bosu on 1 leg! Some may say this is off the wall. I look at it as a fun way to break up a boring workout and I use this only when I know a client has the ability to do this safely.
So I guess if you want just the run of the mill stuff you can get that from most trainers. Personally, I would be bored.
I have seen many trainers do all sorts of wild things with clients. Mostly those that haven’t properly studied human movement. Various modifications exist in exercise, some I THOUGHT were a little over the top, but when performed correctly are safely challenging the exerciser from a different angle. Many years ago, I about flipped when I wittnessed a curtsy lunge; I do them regularly in my own routines now. Usually, if the form isn’t there, then its probably too soon for that advanced modification. If it cannot be done with good form, it just shouldn’t be done as a TRAINING technique.
I too have witnessed much of what other posters have said here. One of the common problems I see is a trainer who is so clearly out of touch with their client and the training session. They clearly seem to have a “standard script” of exercises that they use with a client regardless of whether those exercises and the intensity involved actually suits the specific client. I then watch as the poor client tries their best to perform. You can see them looking to their trainer for feedback, yet receiving none. It’s terrible to see this and I often find myself just shaking my head and having to look away.
Ok, I’ have a somewhat different “read” on the question.
To me, “off the wall” is unusual or very different, NOT dangerous, neglectful, inappropriate, etc..
Off the wall can mean different things in different gyms. At a “sedate” local gym where the free weight get more attention from the cleaner than all the clients combined, just doing squats could be off the wall.
I’ve seen it, I’ve had it done to me, I’ve even done it a couple times. Sometimes it can be a good thing, I had a client doing planks and plank rows at a facility that really didn’t have much personal training done there and had people come up and ask me if I had just “made that up”, once I explained the purpose of the exercises, many of them realized that I am a professional, not just someone who knows “how to lift weights”.