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Excuse Buster: Work it for me, baby

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: More than 70 per cent of people who exercise regularly are not getting the results they want,
the International Health and Fitness Association (IDEA) has discovered.

Out of the 25 per cent of those who are getting results, 90 per cent are working with a personal trainer, reported IDEA.

Personal trainers get results; everyone can benefit from the one-on-one attention. If you want to increase your fitness skill level, need motivation to keep fit or want to look your best, then you should consider working with a trainer. But be careful…

It doesn’t take much to filter out “bad” trainers in Western countries. In Phuket and the rest of Thailand, however, it seems to be a free-for-all.

Many of the professional trainers in Phuket have noticed an increase in tourist trainers, or trainers that come to the island to make a quick buck. They often end up injuring their clients or leaving people with a much lighter wallet and a bad taste in their mouth.

Here are some red flags to watch out for, so that you can steer clear of any sketchy trainers:

Work Permit

Perhaps the most important bad trainer filter is determining if the person has a work permit or not. Ask to see the work permit, and check the document to ensure that it lists fitness instructor and not English teacher or hotel guest relations as the job description.

This will, in one hit, filter out tourist trainers and random people trying to make some fast cash. Anyone serious about their career would be legally registered to work in the country they live in.

Write it Down

As soon as you and your new trainer start working together, he or she should be taking notes and
recording each session. Part of a trainer’s job is to devise a specific program to help you meet your personal goals. If the trainer is not writing anything down, they will have no way to gauge your progress. If they are not tracking your progress, they cannot fine tune exercises and develop a strategy for your success.

Look the Part

“Practice what you preach” is a phrase that should be the foundation for any bona fide trainer. How can an out-of-shape instructor be trusted to give you what you need? The trainer doesn’t have to be 230 pounds of pure, bulging muscle with washboard abs and shoulders the size of boulders, but he or she should look healthy and fit.

A lot of trainers tend to be heavily involved in a sport that requires them to maintain a certain weight or may have a passion for endurance sports. These trainers will look the part, and will have a physique that speaks to their level of mastery.

‘No Pain, No Gain’

The beauty of a personal trainer is his or her ability to help people achieve their fitness goals faster and more effectively than if they are taken on alone. A trainer can push you past your comfort zone and challenge you in many different ways.

However, there is a boundary. If a trainer pushes you to the limit every single session, then you will most likely be leaving that gym much like you would a burning house. Being overworked on a daily basis is not just ineffective, but dangerous and counterproductive. You will burn out quickly and risk sustaining injuries that could prevent you from training at all.

Assess, Assess, Assess

Besides taking notes at every appointment, trainers should also run regular assessments to determine where you are wanting to end up as a client and how to get you there. This includes movement screenings, posture analysis, body compositions and tracking strengths and weaknesses.

If you are working with a trainer that does not even test for something as simple as posture deficiency, and then throws you into an exercise that facilitates it, you’re going to end up out of shape and in great pain.

When you hire a personal trainer, you put your health into their hands. So, answer this: would you blindly follow the advice of a man stating that he is a doctor without first verifying his
credentials? If no, then why would you do so with a personal trainer?

Krix Luther is a fully qualified personal trainer with nearly a decade of experience specializing in strength and conditioning. For more information about Krix and his services, visit

— Krix Luther


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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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