Personal trainer WRONG.
(BTW, why is the client buffer than his trainer?)
Go to Google, search “personal trainers” and click “Images.” A troubling majority of the images that pop up show personal trainers (PTs) with their hands literally touching their clients, “guiding” and “helping”. This is a Red Flag.
Personal trainer RIGHT.
No one requires another person to manually guide them through an exercise—especially on a gym machine, of all things! Gym machines were designed in the first place to do exactly that, to guide you through the exercise. They are designed specifically to guide you through the exercise based on, and mimicking, the classic free-weight version of the exercise. You can do biceps curls using a dumbbell in the classic manner, or you can hop on a fancy machine designed to guide you through performing the exact same exercise. The machine in essence is your personal trainer.
So when I see PTs with their hands on the elbows of someone sitting in an overhead shoulder press machine for example, “guiding” the client through an exercise that the machine is already guiding the client through, it makes me crazy. “Push up with your hands as high as you can,” is the usual verbal instruction. Uh—NO, you don’t push up with your hands, you idiot, you “push up” by engaging and flexing your shoulders. It’s a SHOULDER exercise. Your hands have nothing to do with the exercise other than connecting you to the machine. Demanding the client focus on their hands rather than their shoulders during a shoulder exercise is an all-too common illustration of trainers' overall incompetence.
Their main strategy of course is for the PT to create in the client a dependency upon them and their expensive service, to generate a psychological reliance within their client where none is actually required. Not only are these PTs' hands-on style completely unnecessary, this contrivance prevents the client from performing the exercise to full benefit, correctly and rewardingly, by compromising the client’s aptitude and potential.
After my many decades of gym attendance I can state that 95% of all trainers I have observed going about their work are absolutely sub-par. No certificate can teach someone how to teach, as we all know from our school years: we can all name those teachers we have had who were amazing, and those who were useless, and yet both types had earned a teaching certificate.