My personal trainer gave me a program. Is it any good?

Generally, the answer you will get from the r/Fitness community about this question is either “No, it’s terrible” or “A program from the Wiki would be better”. The most common criticisms of these “programs” are:

  • They lack a plan for progression over time, especially in the area of adding weight or otherwise increasing resistance
  • They are not balanced in which muscle groups they hit, or the volume they hit them in
  • They are often more geared towards feeling difficult, wearing you out, or making you sweat than being based on effective long term training principles
  • They use unbalanced movements, such as unstable surface training or Bosu balls, which add difficulty but do not have any actual benefit
  • They make excessive use of complex, multi-stage movements that have artificial difficulty because of unfamiliarity and learning curve
  • They have an excessive amount of variance in the movements they use from day-to-day and/or week-to-week, sometimes citing “muscle confusion”
  • They put too much emphasis on machines instead of free weights
  • They put too much emphasis on isolation movements and not enough on compound movements
  • They put too much emphasis on circuit, cardio, or high intensity interval type training and not enough on strength training

These are just some of the major red flags to look out for. Not all of them may apply to the routine your trainer gave you.

You’ll want to read this definitive post about routine critiques and compare it to what your trainer gave you. You should also read our requirements in Rule #9 for routine critiques and make sure that your post about the trainer’s routine meets them.