"Should I be doing backsquats?"... It depends.
"Should I eat a strict Paleo diet or follow a Flexible Dieting approach?" .... It depends.
"Should I incorporate Olympic Weightlifting into my training program?".... It depends.
"Is this movement better than this movement for developing my glutes?"... It depends.
"Should I incorporate isolation movements into my training?"...It depends.
"How low should I go when I'm squatting?"...It depends.
"Is the sit-up a good exercise?"... It depends.
Do you see a trend here?
When it comes to questions about exercise and nutrition, rarely is my answer a firm yes or no.
The reason is because exercise selection and variability (along with diet selection) is relative to the individual.
There are MANY factors that need to be considered before you answer questions like the ones listed above... this means there are not as many black and white areas as some trainers will have you believe.
It's more complex than a simple yes or a no across the board (with the exception of a few fundamentals). If their answer is a firm yes or no, they should be able to explain in depth how they came to that answer.
Exercise selection is based on ones' bone structure, their levers, their tissue health, their experience and technique, their proprioception (body awareness), their training history (injuries), etc.
I have worked with a TON of clients with all different levels of fitness, backgrounds, injuries, limitations, etc. I can point out the ones that can tolerate and benefit greatly from backsquats. I have also worked with individuals that do not tolerate backsquats well and would benefit from selecting a different variation of the squat. It depends.
I'm not looking to go over the pros and cons and the REASONS for saying yay or nay to specific movements, training protocols or diet selection...I'm simply saying that your trainer should have enough knowledge and experience to know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to fitness. It depends.
There is no such thing as a list of movements that should be prohibited from everyone's training and vice versa.
As a trainer, I always weigh the pros and cons.... the risks vs. benefits when making decisions about exercise selection and application.
-Nicole Race, Coach and Co-Owner St. Pete Strength and Conditioning, home of SPSC Crossfit