If you workout with a personal trainer in a large gym that has lots of televisions – and other distractions – you need to make sure they are watching you and not ESPN.

Televisions can serve as a great distraction for people trying to take their minds of the endless drudgery that comes with doing long bouts of (inefficient) machine-based cardiovascular work.  However, a good distraction for a client is a bad distraction for a personal trainer.  Unfortunately you may have to make sure your trainer is paying attention to you if you’re exercising in proximity to televisions.

It’s ridiculous – and should be totally unacceptable – but the reality is that some personal trainers get distracted and don’t pay attention to their clients.  There’s nothing worse than, and no excuse for, a trainer who is watching the boob tube while a client is performing an exercise, particularly while the client is performing an exercise that needs to be closely monitored.

Mention to your trainer that you’d like to exercise in an area not dominated by flat screen TVs, especially if you suspect that your trainer isn’t giving you undivided attention.  Based on the reaction you get, you’ll be able to tell if your trainer would rather watch television than watch you. You are the client and should expect that your request be granted.

In the past couple of months I’ve seen trainers at the local “big box” gym totally ignore clients who were busy exercising; watching television, sending/reading text messages, talking to other staff members or club members are all egregious breaches of trainer etiquette.

If you feel your trainer isn’t paying attention to you, or you catch them in the act, tell them so.  By their reaction, you will know if it’s an isolated incident or a long-term problem that will necessitate finding another trainer.  Remember, you’re the client and the training session is all about you.


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