My Worst Personal Training Experience Ever--and What You Can Learn from It

1SHARES

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
8/9/2010 10:09 AM   :  209 comments   :  34,992 Views

Last month, I joined a new gym. (So did my boyfriend, and we hope to work out together more often.) Each new member is offered one free session with a personal trainer.

The reason I wanted to join a gym is because although I exercise regularly--I run three times a week and practice yoga most days--I (gulp) skimp on strength training. Though I do build strength with yoga, I know I need to add some cross-training to my regimen. My excuse: I'm busy! But, by rejoining a gym, I have committed to strength training at least twice a week. So far, I've stuck with that goal.

I arrived at the gym, ready to work out. The trainer started with a fitness assessment. My body fat had dropped a half-percent since April (yay!), and my weight was about four pounds higher (I was wearing shoes, but I haven't been running as much in this heat). I felt pretty good about myself. And then we started talking…

The trainer asked me a little about my fitness background:

"Well, I haven't been to a gym since last fall…"

"Last fall?" he asked, his brow furrowing.

"Yes, but I'm a yoga instructor and I've been training for various races. Between running and yoga, I didn't need a gym. I work out at least five days a week."

Trainer wasn't pleased, but he moved on.

"Why aren’t you in the best shape of your life?" he asked.

I cleared my throat, contemplating my answer.

I am in the best shape of my life. I'm not the thinnest I've ever been, but I'm definitely the strongest. I ran a half marathon three months ago, and I'm starting to train for my second one. My shoulders and arms are getting stronger and more defined, and I just feel good.

"What's keeping you from reaching your fullest potential? What's your weakness?" he asked before I could respond.

"I like a glass of wine with dinner," I said. "I like good food. I eat right, but I eat."

"Well, it sounds like nutrition is an issue for you."

"Actually, I'm a vegetarian who cooks mostly from scratch. I work for a healthy living website, and nutrition is one of the topics I cover. I eat when I'm hungry, but I eat pretty healthy most of the time."

He changed gears.

"Let's look at your body fat percentage."

He pulled out a chart.

"Yours is here," he said, pointing to his chart's section for above average. I looked more closely at the chart. I'm familiar with the categories for body fat percentages, and the gym's chart was off. According to the American Council on Exercise, a woman with 21%-24% body fat is in the "fitness" range; 14%-20% is "athlete" range. ACE tells me I'm in "fitness" range; the gym tells me I'm "above average."

"We want to get you here," he said, indicating the "fit" range on his chart, which started much lower than the ACE chart. "Now let's get started."

He called over another trainer, who started my workout.

For 25 minutes, the trainer led me through a series of exercises that pushed my limits. Full pushups to plank to forearm planks, several kettlebell exercises, more squat than I care to remember, and several straight-leg abs exercises.

Just halfway through the workout, when the trainer was checking his phone instead of checking my form, I knew that this would be the first and the last workout I would do with him. (Better to break up with a trainer sooner rather than later!) I couldn’t wait to get to work today to tell Coach Nicole all about this workout--there were so many things he did that would have made her cringe!

From giving me no instruction on kettlebells to asking me to go way too low in squats, then focusing on abs exercises that--I repeatedly told him--compromised my lower back by forcing it off the mat, I knew I had a blog post in the making.

I will continue to go to the gym, but I will look to other fitness professionals (and our Exercise Demos) to help me integrate strength training into my routine.

Not only is my body in the best shape of its life, but so is my mind. I'm confident about my body, and I accept my flaws. I will never have a bikini-ready belly, and I'm OK with that. I love myself, and anyone who tries to tear me down--even for the sake of "toning me up"--has no place in my life. I could have much lower body fat if I spent more time in the gym or restricted my eating. I don't want to do either of those things. I eat right, exercise regularly, and I'm at a happy weight.

Let my experience be a lesson for you.

1. Don't let anyone try to deflate your self-esteem. Regardless of your fitness and health goals, your self-worth is not determined by a number on the scale or your body fat percentage. If a trainer doesn't respect the hard work you're doing to reach your goal, find someone who does!

2. A trainer is not a dietitian, a therapist, or a pharmacist. Know what they can recommend and what they can't. (Learn more about what to look for in a trainer.)

3. Don't be afraid to say no. I knew heading into my "free" session that the trainer would try to sell me a year's worth of sessions. Though I told him early on that I usually work out at least five days a week, he tried to tell me I wasn't committed to fitness. I thanked him for his time and told him I didn't want any sessions. "You won't be back," he said. Um, to the gym, yes. To you, no.

Trainers can be a valuable resource along the road to a healthier you, and I know people who credit theirs in large part for their success. My experience was, I hope, a rare one. I don't want to single out one person or one gym (I won't name names), but I hope you'll remember my experience when you're out shopping for a gym or a trainer. A few years ago, when I first tried to lose weight, I went to gym that offered a free session every three months. The trainers there were wonderful, and I wish I could have afforded regular sessions because then, unlike now, I needed the motivation. (Take our quiz: Do You Need a Personal Trainer?)

Have you ever used a personal trainer? What results did you achieve? What would you have done if you were me?


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Comments

  • 159
    I had that exact experience a few years ago with a big gym.
    Feeling that uncomfortable being there at all was enough of an experience to not go back to that particular gym, but to meet someone who's supposed to help you, that just doesn't believe in you because you haven't already reached your goal, was just it.
    Luckily I've now found a small gym with only personal trainers, a gym where only clients can come and work out without having a session and it's right on my corner.
    I love it there, all the trainers are so helpful and friendly and many of the clients have been where I am, or just starting out, like me. It's like my second home now! I see my trainer twice a week for strength and I go do cardio on my own all other days. I hope everyone get as lucky as I got! - 8/10/2010   11:37:47 AM
  • 158
    Thank you for the great blog. I also had a horrible experience with a personal trainer when I joined a gym a few years ago. Like yours it was a free session, and the woman paid no attention to what my goals were instead telling me that I needed to lose x number of pounds and body fat even though according to her charts both were in the normal range for my height and weight. Her plan was to train me 3 days a week at a price that made me laugh out loud. Then she tried to sell me a cheaper package, but warned me that I wouldn't see as good of a result with it. After that session I canceled my membership and vowed never to join a gym again.

    Two years ago I ended up checking out a gym and signed up when they offered me a good deal. I got a free session with a trainer and was very reluctant to attend. I'm glad I did because it was absolutely wonderful. He listened to me and created a plan that was based on my goals. Just goes to show that you need to shop around a bit to find the right trainer. I would recommend checking credentials before attending a session. - 8/10/2010   11:05:55 AM
  • 157
    My one daughter in-law had a private trainer also. She paid for it big dollars. He did the same thing. When she came home she was dizzy and sick. Went to bed. Headaches. . She still thought it was the way she should be. You know that saying, no pain no gain. Well she went on for months. Sicker, tired.

    She quit. He was getting the dollars from her, pushing her over her limits. Making her run the tack till she was exhausted.

    Who hires these guys. People go in heavy, lets face it. So for goodness sake. Go into it easier. - 8/10/2010   11:03:13 AM
  • 156
    Seems that this personal trainer needs to be brought to the attention of management. If management won't do anything, then the gym needs to be reported to some type of authorizing group/organization. Is there one? This is dangerous. - 8/10/2010   10:51:36 AM
  • 155
    I had a similar experience with my gym's free training sessions. I told the trainer exactly what I was looking for -- I had just finished physical therapy and needed to learn to use the strength training machines so I wouldn't be back in my doctor's office -- and then she went off and tried to sell me protein shakes, their brand of BodyBugg and, yes, extra training sessions at $105 for 45 minutes. I'd told her at the start that I couldn't afford personal training, but then she put me on the spot and told me that I should drop everything else I was doing to continue with her because I was going to hurt myself and develop more bad habits. It was all really uncomfortable. I had a decent workout with her, but I felt like I was being put through the wringer by all the sales pitches and weird information. She also had those charts where you learn your BFP. At 113 pounds, I'm wary of anyone who tells me to lose weight, but that was her first question: "You're five pounds overweight. How quickly do you want to loose it?" I was very happy that I'd been reading SP for a year and working out on my own because I already knew what I was looking for and didn't let her overwrite my own goals. I was intimidated and felt deflated and mad afterwards and I could have easily never shown up to the gym again. It took me a full two weeks to go back to the gym after that because I knew how to work out on my own with weights at home, but she failed to teach me how to work out at the gym. I eventually called a friend who was just starting out as a personal trainer and she gave me a quick tour of the machines at the Y where she works. In fifteen minutes flat I felt like I knew enough to go experiment on my own.

    I used to belong to the Y near me and I wish everyone did what they do. They didn't have fancy machines, but their free personal training session was an orientation to the gym. No one weighed or measured me. We talked about how to use each machine and I did a few reps on each of them to try it out. I asked the trainer then about how to improve my posture and she had a few tips. She didn't even try to sell me more personal training sessions. That's what I expected but it sure isn't what I got. - 8/10/2010   10:42:16 AM
  • 154
    If a personal trainer can intimidate someone as physically fit and active as you are, can you imagine how he would make someone who is 60 lbs. overweight feel? And your experience just proves to me that in the eyes of the world there is no such thing as thin and fit enough. Sometimes I feel like gyms have become religious organizations you have to become whole-heartedly sold out to, and "There's no such thing as thin and fit enough!" is their mantra. No wonder more of us don't go to the gym. (Even ASIDE from the cost.) - 8/10/2010   10:24:02 AM
  • 153
    Idiot... sorry, not nice, but its the first thought that popped into my head with this "trainer". I remember years ago, I joined a gym and finally got up enough courage to do the aerobics class. The size 0 twit told me that "if you don't kick your leg higher, its NEVER going to work" as loud as she could, so everyone could hear. I hate confrontation, but somewhere found the courage to say, "If my leg didn't weigh as much as your entire body, I would, which is why I'm here". Sadly, tho, I didn't have the courage to go back, since everyone else in the class was nearly the same size as the "instructor". - 8/10/2010   10:11:55 AM
  • 152
    I do not normally respond to these blogs. But I just had to with this one! In April of this year, the gym that I'd been going to for over 10 years closed. So I joined another one and got 2 free sessions with a trainer. I must say that unlike yours mine was a very good experience. We talked for quite some time about my goals. I explained what I could and could not do due to arthritis. She took me thru all the excerises and stayed with me and helped me. I was impressed as I had worked with a trainer at the other gym and he pushed me to my limits and "made fun" of my arthritis. I complained to the management there. But I must say that my experience with the trainer at the new gym was great and if I could afford it, I'd hire her all the time!!! - 8/10/2010   9:58:22 AM
  • 151
    I have been working with a personal trainer for 2 years now and he has been the best. There are 6 trainers at the gym I belong to and when you join they just pick one for you and that's who you get. I do know that are probably only 2 others that I would even consider training with just from my observations over the last 2 years. Guess I got lucky when he was "assinged" to me! - 8/10/2010   9:55:22 AM
  • RLMCCUE
    150
    Wow, I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience, and I'm so glad that you blogged about it! I am the exact opposite in attitude; I would've dissolved into a puddle of tears before beginning the workout session with that trainer. I don't have the self-confidence that you have and rely on the opinion of "professionals," even if they don't have the best advice. This blog really gave me a lot to think about, thank you! - 8/10/2010   9:53:15 AM
  • 149
    "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." - Eleanor Roosevelt

    You have the right attitude. If the person you're working with isn't "doing it" for you, find another trainer. It's like anything in life, I've come to learn. There are ways to do everything, and all of them different. Some of them you can understand, agree and work with without a problem. Others you couldn't get the jist if you tried. When that happens move on and find someone you CAN work with.

    No one has the right to use your own lack of self-esteem to make money. It's the same as so-called "diet centers" that prey upon the desperation of people that are looking for help with their physical self-image. You could walk in there with a perfect BMI and body fat percentage, have a heart rate as strong as a horse, and they would still try to sell you on their individual program, healthy or not. Same with a gym or personal fitness trainer or anything.

    Find a program that works for YOU, makes YOU comfortable, and is within YOUR budget. Everything else is secondary.

    Good for you for not only standing up for yourself, but for having the guts to encourage others.

    Yay YOU! - 8/10/2010   9:48:57 AM
  • 148
    I've had both good and bad experiences with personal trainers. My first unfortunately was when I was at a decent weight, but needed toned and needed to be more active. The trainer advised me to eat a high protein diet, against my diabetic care provider's advice, had me try a energy drink that pushed my blood sugar to dangerous levels and almost had me in ketoacidosis and wanted to push products instead of fitness. Once she had me committed to a year gym membership with the personal attention I needed as a blind gym user, she quit. I did too and was going to college and put on most of all the weight I have now! Now I am a member of my local YMCA and have a great support system and a great trainer willing to work with me when I need him. He doesn't give diet advice and he watches my form and challenges me without pushing me.... I schedule sessions with him when I want to learn something new or change up my strength routine. Shopping around is the best advice! - 8/10/2010   9:48:52 AM
  • 147
    Wow, thanks for sharing! I like Jillian Michaels tough love approach, but caring and respect are even more important. - 8/10/2010   9:48:11 AM
  • WINEDINETRAVEL
    146
    I went to a personal trainer during the winter months for 2 years. I didn't lose much weight, but I did lose inches and body fat, which made me very happy! The personnel were wonderful - kind and encouraging, nothing like what you described. I'm sorry to hear of your negative experience. - 8/10/2010   9:01:38 AM
  • 145
    I too have had a few bad trainer experiences.... the worst was a trainer who treated my like I had no knowledge of nutrition or exercise of any kind. I may look like I don't know how to work out or eat right, but I do. I've had trouble putting it into practice. After a back injury at work and shoulder surgery, I went to a trainer to get back into training with supervision given my new weaknesses. Not only did he not listen to anything I tried to tell him about my background with exercise and injury, he did not supervise me appropriately and pushed me way too far, too fast. I routinely would barely be able to walk for several days after the training sessions. When I confronted him about these issues, he acted like he didn't know what I was talking about. Ultimately, I ended up going to another gym in the same chain and several more trainers before I found one that I clicked with. It was not a pleasant experience and I would think twice about working with a trainer again. - 8/10/2010   8:59:31 AM
  • 144
    How unfortunate for you and how unprofessional of him!

    I had hoped to read that you called him on checking his phone instead of WORKING with you - his client. If I were in the same situation I would have spoken to management about his conduct immediately after my session.

    NOT saying anything about this trainer's lack of professional behaviour means that he will keep doing what he is doing - being unprofessional, uncaring or worse - than he was with you.

    I'm disappointed to hear you said nothing and did nothing to alert his superiors as to his weaknesses as a personal trainer. Now this guy could potentially get a client with less going for him or her than you, and real damage could ensue.

    I'm glad you got a blog out of it and have alerted us to the things a trainer should NOT do, but this guy is still out there. If you keep your silence all that can be hoped for is that his future clients don't get injured doing squats that are too low, or crunches that compromise their lower backs or trying to use kettle balls without instruction. - 8/10/2010   8:51:57 AM
  • 143
    Well, I certainly wish and hope that someone will post a blog detailing their BEST training experience, sort of even the playing field -- and that SparkPeople ALSO profiles this in dailyspark.com as well. Let's see some positive experiences as well. It's so easy to write negative things and agree/comment on them that we sometimes forget to broadcast the good things that happen to us.

    So I challenge any of you to write positive effects of your lives, as this has time and again been shown to corrolate with weight loss, as well as other dealings of your life.

    Having said that, I'm sorry that you went through that...Still appreciate your honesty. - 8/10/2010   8:37:44 AM
  • GREEKGAL1
    142
    Great blog. I get so upset when I hear a trainer tell someone what to cut out of their diet. They have no business doing that unless they are dieticians which this person was not. - 8/10/2010   8:37:39 AM
  • 141
    I went through a 6-week training program at my local 'Y' and had a wonderful trainer. If I can ever afford it I'll definitely go back to her! - 8/10/2010   8:06:42 AM
  • DENI_ZEN
    140
    What...a...LOAD, Stepfanie! What kind of a he-man huckster *was* this conniver and conjurer?? HIS purpose is to sign people up, not to assist them in enhancing their personal fitness, and I'm so glad you saw through his nonsense! I'm sure your fitness level could run blocks around his own... My fitness level was nearly nonexistent when I sought the help of a trainer at a local hospital's gym. Plus, I have some physical limitations. After doing a thorough evaluation, he designed a program that was doable and affordable, encouraging me along the way. Perhaps the fact that my experience was in an area hospital helped, but I'm so glad you saw right through this "trainer's" crappola! - 8/10/2010   8:02:14 AM
  • FERNCREST
    139
    My advice is to watch the trainers train others for a few weeks before deciding which one to go with. That's what I did before I hired my coach who trains me for figure competitions. Also ask around the gym, it sure worked for me. - 8/10/2010   7:47:58 AM
  • 138
    OMG - I thought it was just me. I also went for a visit with a personal trainer at the gym. I filled out a form and stated that my purpose for being at the gym was to maintain my Cholestrol and osteopenia as I don't have a thryoid and need all the help I can get. I mentioned that I dance four to five nights a week and workout two days. He proceeded to call me "Fat" I laid into him as I didn't say anywhere on my form that I wanted to lose weight and how dare he talk to me like that. I am old enough to be his mother. Several friends that go to that gym also laid into him about the way he talked to me. IT IS CRIMINAL the way that they talk to their clients. I go to the gym for classes for seniors now and also yoga. But will not even think about using one of their trainers. - 8/10/2010   7:36:46 AM
  • 137
    Kudos to youI never did get my free session at the gym probably for the same reason - I had no intention of extra sessions for sale. No one was around to make sure I was using the equipment necessary but they came around to see if you had a towel. Go figure. Thanks for the article. - 8/10/2010   7:25:27 AM
  • 136
    Wow, I can't beleive you were at my gym! It has to be my gym because there can't be TWO horrible trainers out there! When I had my free personal training session, I informed the person I had a bad knee and was told by my doctor no squats, no leg lifts, no running, no hopping...well the trainer 'had surgery on his knee years ago" and knew EXACTLY what exercises to do. He had me doing everything the doctor told me not to. Stupid me, I went along with it and for a week my knee flaired up worse than ever. It is obvious that this person was not trained and was only interested in selling training contracts. I've had good personal trainers before at other gyms, so not all free personal training sessions are bad experiences but please remember just because they SAY they are a trainer does not mean they know what they are talking about! He was just a salesman. - 8/10/2010   7:02:25 AM
  • 135
    The first, and only, time I worked with a trainer was for an orientation/goal setting session after I joined a gym for the first time in my life of 59 years. He was great, but demanding. And I don't think he listened when I told him I'd never used those machines before. So he pushed me to do two sets of 15 reps on each machine. Then he put me on the treadmill on a slight incline for 10 minutes. After that, we got down on the floor and he showed me various floor exercises, pushing me to complete full sets for each movement. I left satisfied but hardly able to walk. I woke up the next day in so much pain that I could barely get around. It took four days (I'd wanted to go in everyday for 30 minutes--still my routine--when I joined the gym. His hour and a half session with me my very first day crippled and hurt me. When I finally did go back, I was still limping. I told the manager of the shop and asked she keep my name anonymous, and that she use my experience as a talking point with him rather than a reprimand. She's a good person and has great people skills. Obviously, the trainer figured out who this was in regard to, and he approached me about a week later. Apologizing profusely and saying he'd learned to listen, he then scaled down all my reps on each machine. In another week I was good to go and have been following his good advice.

    I should have put my foot down, my butt down, all of me down during the session. I could have avoided this. I could tell during the ordeal that it was an ordeal and hurting me. Yet, I felt intimidated. I say use trainers but let them know your realistic starting point. - 8/10/2010   6:45:59 AM
  • 134
    I have never felt the need for a personal trainer. When I go to the gym I know HOW I should strength train. Its bad enough going to aerobic classes and zumba and knowing that the Instructor is NOT instructing properly - poor warm-ups, stretching technique etc. Sometimes I think I should never have taken the Fitness Instructor course!!!! - 8/10/2010   6:04:17 AM
  • 133
    I was very disapointed with my last experience. I trained at night with a great trainer who knew how to help someone with joint disease. I wan't lazy, I love to exercise but can't give it my all until toned. I had to switch to am training and heard guff from the "drill sergeants" about "give it more and you're slacking". I walked out and never went back. I know I'm the looser in this one but when the owner was the idiot, I'll find something somewhere else. - 8/10/2010   5:18:23 AM
  • 132
    If I got that kind of trainers, I might be too scared to say no to exercises that even I know not proper technique and then I willn't go to the gym. I've never have a personal trainer so going to one might be an intimidated idea for me. If I can find trainers like coaches in SP for first try- friendly, patient but at same time very motivating to others - I'll be so fortunate! - 8/10/2010   4:42:11 AM
  • 131
    Thanks for a good blog! It is needed to show that just because someone says "you need..." doesn't mean they really know what "you need..."! -- From what you shared, you weren't even being listened to in what you communicated.

    Unfortunately, the industry forces trainers to push for sessions and push for you to "need" them. It is their bread-and-butter so to speak.

    Yes, I have had 3 different interactions with trainers. Only one has provided useful help. (I'm done with 20-something "jocks" who cannot relate to my older, female body / system.) They really don't know what they are talking about!

    The one gal means well and has pointed me in a helpful direction. However, it is a definite expense to figure in and not required. Regular use would cause me to make headway toward my goals quicker, but alas I will take the slower route and seek out info. for building my ongoing program for life. (cheaper!) - 8/10/2010   2:52:41 AM
  • 130
    Unfortunately that sounds all too familiar to me. My niece was hired as a trainer at a gym but soon discovered it was more of a sales person job and not a trainer position at all. She hadn't really been trained in the fitness field at all but looks good so I think that played into it too. I hope to find a decent trainer some day but having been burned by about three, who didn't want to hear what I was asking for, have left me gym/trainer shy. - 8/10/2010   2:47:40 AM
  • 129
    That trainer didn't sound supportive at all! It's a wonder he gets ANY repeat business. You were very polite in the way you handled it.

    I have used a couple trainers at the fitness facility in my workplace and they were very supportive and wonderful. They were either fresh out of college or still getting their degrees so maybe they hadn't had a chance to get 'jaded' yet...still excited to have the knowledge and burning desire to help others. - 8/10/2010   2:36:49 AM
  • 128
    At least he didn't try to sell you nutritional supplements. - 8/10/2010   2:18:50 AM
  • 127
    I've had only one personal trainer and whenever I asked to learn strength training, she would say "not yet" and my 6months in the program were over and I never learned it. Now, I have to learn it on the internet with no one to show me how in person. I wasted my money. - 8/10/2010   1:40:09 AM
  • 126
    I have a great personal trainer. She starts out with what do I want to get out of an exercise routine and how much time am I willing to spend on it. Then she works the exercises around my limitations and strengths. - 8/10/2010   1:28:23 AM
  • 125
    OH man that was crazy! I can only imagine how he would treat someone like me who's body fat is much higher and has further to go. - 8/10/2010   1:23:56 AM
  • ST91347
    124
    over the course of the 20 something years that I have been working out, I have had a few personal trainers. I guess I have been lucky, I've always had good ones. You definitely did not. Yeah, a trainer wants to sell sessions, but a good trainer will make you want to to buy them by showing you what you can achieve with his or her instruction and help. A good trainer is also passionate about correct form and correct exercises for the individual.
    I think you should have spoken to the manager of the club. That guy is bad for their business. - 8/10/2010   12:54:33 AM
  • 123
    The guy sounds like a jerk. He must have been so fixated on his spiel that he wasn't even listening to you.

    I've just had my first ever personal trainer session and I'm very happy. One thing though, she doesn't seem to be used to people who are already quite fit. I didn't feel terribly challenged so this week we'll need to up the intensity a bit.

    Thanks for the blog and all the tips! - 8/10/2010   12:37:37 AM
  • 122
    He was just using sales techniques on you and not really seeing where you were at or caring... - 8/10/2010   12:30:16 AM
  • 121
    Great article. Really points out that even if a person is labelled an "expert", it doesn't mean they are. Nor does it mean they have the right to undermine your self-esteem. I have met some wonderful personal trainers, and even though I have always been intimidated by the whole process, they always managed to (eventually) put me at my ease. - 8/9/2010   11:51:42 PM
  • PARK.CARRIEL
    120
    I was definitely pressured into buying personal training sessions when I had my free session at the gym. I had several different trainers over the course of a year, some good, some bad. Unfortunately the last one pushed me past my limits, coached me to use incorrect form, and I ended up with severe knee injuries and have not been able to exercise or walk without pain for over 3 months. Don't trust that the trainer knows what he or she is doing. - 8/9/2010   11:44:32 PM
  • 119
    Have you ever used a personal trainer? Yes, several! Both male & female.
    What results did you achieve? It got me to the gym because I paid LOTS of money for the sessions, but in the end, it did not achieve weight loss nor make me feel successful enough to come back on my own. I had better core strength, though, and could throw a medicine ball like you wouldn't believe.
    What would you have done if you were me? Gotten certified as a personal trainer and taken all his clients! - 8/9/2010   11:16:48 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    118
    Once again we see why the weight loss and fitness business is a billion dollar business, and there are snake oil salesman all over the place, yet they continue to make money and find jobs. They should be stripped of their licenses. - 8/9/2010   10:39:52 PM
  • 117
    Burning Question...did you provide feedback, in writing, to the management of that particular gym as well as its headquarters (presuming is a "chain")?

    Too frequently we provide feedback amongst our friends and/or collegues (or, in this case, our Spark "Family") but do not provide constructive criticism where it needs to be heard the most. Things can not and will not change unless we (myself included) do not provide the information for "the powers that be" to work from...frequently (actually most often for me) this works to the ultimate benefit of the customer sharing the information, but future customers as well as the employee(s) and company in question.

    Especially when our health, well-being (physical and mental), and pocketbooks/wallets can and sometimes/frequently are adversely affected!

    (By the way, if there is any negative "tone" to my post it is attributable to my "righteous indignation" regarding how you were treated, ignored, and dismissed by a proported "professional!")

    Thank you for increasing our awareness and reminding us that we are empowered to "vote with our feet (and wallets)!" - 8/9/2010   10:33:34 PM
  • 116
    I have a trainer who I absolutely love! Actually, I have had two that I absolutely loved! The first one moved out of state or else I would still be working out with him. Just like with any other profession, there are those who are not committed to doing the best job that they can. You have to find one who is committed to helping you achieve your goals, not theirs. - 8/9/2010   10:33:25 PM
  • 115
    Sounds like your trainer was working from a standard script that probably fits most people just starting out at the gym, and it scares people into signing up for more personal training. The weight chart was probably a special prop made for the sales job. Good money for your trainer, bad deal for you. I would definitely not go to someone who gave out bad information. I cringe at the thought. It sounds a little bit like my free personal training session except that it was not so extreme and 1) I really am overweight and 2) I am not in the best shape of my life.

    I don't mind acknowledging the truth. At my age, with a husband (albeit out of the country, for now), 2 kids and a full-time job, I have other priorities, although I am trying to make exercise a higher priority.

    Good luck with your strength training, and keep up the good work! - 8/9/2010   9:16:05 PM
  • DARKFLAME2009
    114
    Those weren't trainers....the first guy was the sales guy (the same type of person I had to deal during my "free" fitness test)....when I told him what my fitness goals were (climbing the CN Tower) he said i needed all kinds of specific training for it...also said I needed to lose weight and inches


    When I met with the actual trainer who was going to start me up, I mentioned that I was on weight watchers at the time he asked me WHY i was on WW and said that I didn't need to lose weight (that made me smile...)....he was a good trainer, but with the prices i just could not afford it....

    I also proved the sales guy wrong...I DID climb the CN Tower...in 37 mins...and I ran my first 5K in 36 mins....

    You really have to watch trainers....if it's not a good fit it's not a good fit...but the sales guys disguised as trainers are the ones you REALLY have to watch out for.... - 8/9/2010   8:32:01 PM
  • 113
    I was going to post a comment here, but I decided it actually felt like a blog post. So I posted it there.

    I will say that my trainer, Dawn the Tormentor, is awesome. You can check the blog on my SparkPage if you want more details. - 8/9/2010   8:29:41 PM
  • 112
    There is a reason 'ordinary' people can be afraid of gyms and weight training and strenuous exercise. I had a client once who was a nationally ranked marathoner, a health-and-wellness professional. She had a trainer who pushed HER too hard. What chance do the rest of us have? Thank you for the good advice. - 8/9/2010   8:20:35 PM
  • 111
    I think that just about anyone who's been in a gym has had this kind of experience (unfortunately). However, their are many personal trainers that will work with you and assist you meet your fitness goals. It might just take time to find the right fitness professional for you (it took me 3 tries!) - 8/9/2010   8:17:20 PM
  • 110
    You know at the gym that I am with, you have to pay extra for training...it isn't included in the membership, which I think is bogus because what are they there for?? I was really disappointed. Of course, the other gym isn't really any better. They have "free" trainers but you can never find one just to work with you. I just said the heck with it and trained on my own with sparkpeople. - 8/9/2010   8:15:42 PM

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