How To Deal With A Personal Trainer Becoming Too Personal

Source: Shutterstock/Catalin Petolea

Source: Shutterstock/Catalin Petolea

It sounds like a setup for a romcom: Girl goes to gym to get skinny and find a mate. Cue cute personal trainer who flirts with her. And while this sounds cute and fun for a chick flick, in reality, it can and does happen to female clients, and it isn’t always welcome.

All too often, that personal trainer that you hired to help you buff your bod and feel good in your own skin can actually squick you out instead by hitting on you. Learn how to tell when your personal trainer has crossed a line into creep territory and how to prevent this from happening again.

 Warning Signs to Watch For

A personal trainer is supposed to critique your form and show you new exercises. And sometimes, this may involve him getting very close to you and touching you. It’s all in the name of fitness — or is it?

Warning signs that you may have hired a creep for a trainer include excess touching, overt leering, suggestive comments, and of course locker room stories from other clients that the trainer crossed a line.

Personal trainers aren’t cheap, and you should be receiving quality fitness instruction for the money you’re paying. A professional personal trainer may flirt with you to develop rapport but should not cross the line. Read on for specific dealbreaking behaviors.

Common Places That Trainers Cross the Line

Specific behaviors that go too far include:

  • Flirting when you do not respond back
  • Asking you out on a date or asking you to meet up outside the gym, even to discuss your workout
  • Touching you for longer than brief corrections
  • Staring at, or touching, your breasts, belly, hips, or butt
  • Performs assisted stretching routines that necessitate lengthy contact with your body

It’s often easier to spot a creepy trainer across the gym floor, because you have a full view of what’s going on. When you’re bent over doing deadlifts or struggling to clear the pull-up bar, you cannot see what’s going on as clearly. If you have a shred of doubt about whether your trainer is using your session as wank-bank fuel, consider asking a friend to hit the gym at the same time and observe from afar. She’ll let you know if the dynamic seemed off.

Washing Off the Ick Factor Afterward

You just tried to do something good for your body and self-esteem, and this happened. It can get you down in the dumps to be objectified in the gym by someone you’re paying to perform a service.

A shower will wash your body, but you’ve got to cleanse your mind of the experience. Take a night for self-care and call a good friend, put on your favorite TV program, or treat yourself to fully loaded froyo.