Anyone that has ever used more than one personal trainer to help them achieve their goals will know that it is very easy to separate a good one from a bad one.
A classic sign of a bad personal trainer is when they are keen to recommend supplements to you because in this instance they are primarily driven by money. That’s because they can often earn a small commission for each sale that they generate.
The fact is that unless you are a professional weightlifter or powerlifter, you will be able to get all the protein you need from your diet without any supplementation, and the good personal trainers are well aware of this.
So therefore they will generally recommend good food sources for protein to help promote muscle growth, and good food sources for carbohydrates in order to boost your energy levels before your workouts. They will also give you ideas of the kind of meals that you should be eating so that you can come up with an effective diet plan yourself.
When I signed up with a personal trainer for 12 sessions, he was very strict about my diet because as my primary goal was to bulk up and build more muscle, he wanted to be sure that I was getting enough protein and consuming enough calories every day.
Therefore I had to send him photos of every single meal that I ate, and he would then message me back with a thumbs up if it was okay, or an instruction to add more meat or fish if I wasn’t getting enough protein, for example.
This feedback was invaluable because I eventually knew instinctively what kind of meals I should be eating (and how much I should be eating), and was in a position to continue eating the right foods long after I had stopped seeing my personal trainer.
The one thing I would say is that if you feel you could benefit from taking one or two supplements, there is nothing wrong with asking your personal trainer which ones they recommend, or which brands they recommend, for example.
However it should always be instigated by you because when people take their personal training certifications, they are generally told not to promote supplements to their clients.
At the end of the day, personal trainers are there to help you achieve your goals, and this can always be achieved through diet and exercise. So if they start encouraging you to buy certain supplements, this is probably a sign that you should switch to a more professional trainer who has your own interests at heart, and is not driven by money.