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How many of you have personal trainers you love? Hate? Or utterly stupid? Brilliant?



  • AFGP11
    AFGP11 Posts: 142 Member
    A trainer will never give you motivation and they can't make you successful. They won't slap the food out of your hand at midnight. They also can't determine what your goals are which means you should already have your goals before you look for a trainer. People are often dissatisfied when they poorly research a major purchase.
  • LisaTcan
    LisaTcan Posts: 410 Member
    I work out at the YMCA and I've recently started heavy lifting (barbells, 5x5 style). There is a wonderful trainer there who gives me thoughtful, helpful advice on my form whenever he sees me working out and doing something wrong.

    I am trying to convince my husband it's worth the cost for some personal training sessions on top of my gym membership. I actually have never wanted a trainer until I met this guy.
  • wishfuljune
    wishfuljune Posts: 2,423 Member
    I absolutely loved my last trainer - he was the best. But he had a long term family emergency thing and had to quit. My current trainer is fine but just doesn't compare to the last one. So after the old one quit it took me forever to decide to go back - I do LA Fitness - the ones at my main gym only work during the day - you know when I'm at work - so I started venturing out. Went to one nearby - he seemed pretty good asked a lot of questions, asked me to bring my food log the next week, asked if that would be my normal time to come etc - like long term planning. The next day they called me to say he no longer worked there! Oy. And of course all their other trainers work while I'm at work. Tried a girl at a gym further away - she never asked me a single question about my goals or anything. She was pretty good but I couldn't imagine spending time with her every week especially when she wasn't concerned about what my interests were - oh and I had to search for her and we started late - not a good first impression. Then I tried this current guy - he'll do - he at least asks me questions and seems interested in how I'm progressing.

    I've had a couple previous who just assume I can't do much and basically having me do the little pink weights that weigh less than my purse. I need a trainer who tries to kill me not baby me. I can be a pansy on my own in the gym just fine - in fact that's why I need a trainer!

    Wow, my trainer at LA Fitness also had to quit because of a long term family emergency too! He was the best. I felt like I was really getting stronger because we were lifting four or five times a week. We didn't focus on nutrition too much, because he knew I was on MFP and that my boyfriend and I don't go out that much/cook our meals at home. I am starting to like the new trainer at LA Fitness though. She doesn't do heavy weights like we did with my old trainer, but she does a lot of HIIT stuff or boot camp style workouts and I end up leaving the session sweating a lot more than in my older sessions.
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    AFGP11 wrote: »
    A trainer will never give you motivation and they can't make you successful. They won't slap the food out of your hand at midnight. They also can't determine what your goals are which means you should already have your goals before you look for a trainer. People are often dissatisfied when they poorly research a major purchase.

    This really has nothing to do with anything anyone wrote though.
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    Mikkimeow6 wrote: »
    I happened to get really lucky and find a trainer that really cares and is a giant resource of information. When I started, I was barely able to finish the first workout, and threw up halfway through. I told him that I struggled with trainers, and the last time I used one I was pushed too hard and injured. He told me, "We are going to make this work for YOU, and no one else." I remember him holding his hand for me to get off the floor, and I never looked back. He pushes me, but never too hard, and set me up with a physical therapist for old injuries, on his dime, mind you, and worked with a dietitian to find me a way to eat without starving myself or losing interest. He checks up on me on my rest days, and I have personally seen him use his motivational skills to lift up not only myself, but other clients of his.

    I tested him for two sessions, and it just felt right off the bat like I could trust him, and he knew what he was doing. He was not only a certified personal trainer, but had a degree in kinesiology and played college football. It was a little intimidating, and I was worried that he would try and bro me with chicken and broccoli, but he is reasonable and allows me to fit in normal foods as long as I am hitting my protein goal and staying hydrated. If I am struggling with an exercise, he adjusts it for me, and I have never felt like he gave me a task that was impossible to do.

    In fact, I signed up for a 5k in June, my first one in two years, and he surprised me by signing up himself and taking the day off to run it with me.

    He sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,202 Member
    edited April 2017
    So what kind of trainer do you need/want?

    me? oh gosh, i could write you a dissertation about my personal dealbreakers, and in the end it would just be a roadmap of my social fastidiousness. i lift in a busy rec centre that has several 'freelance' trainers as employees, and i got to observe them at work.

    technical competence was necessary, of course. and all of them have it to a really high degree. but really i was just holding out for someone that i would respect as a citizen and a human, so i mentally x'd a whole string of superbly 'competent' people because i just didn't like them enough.

    mr t warned me when we were email-arranging things that his gym was very 'basic' as far as amenities, and i could just tell he was a little self-conscious in case i got there and got all icked out by the crack in the bathroom sink and the one grubby hand-towel and the general grunge-flavoured look. and his ex-hippie tendency still to clean everything with baking soda and similar stuff, when he cleans it at all.

    it is grungy :smiley: mr drag queen has periodic fits where he can't stand it and/or mr t is away, and he comes in with a can of comet and scrubs the hell out of everything. the rest of us don't give a damn. i was too shy at the time to explain why it didn't matter to me, but it didn't. i wanted to work with him because they say a website is your only chance to make a first impression. and what he thought it was important to spend that impression on was: you can. not. come into my space and behave like a dick. towards anyone, because i am not having it.
  • kimothy38
    kimothy38 Posts: 840 Member
    I think the world of my trainer. When I first met him he asked what my goals were. I stared blankly at him for what seemed like an eternity. I was in such a bad mental space, felt old & past it at 42, and only met up with him cause it was free. He gave he hope though & for the first time in years I felt inspired.
    Decided to give it a go for a few mths. His knowledge, ability to know what I need, support and encouragement is amazing. I respect and trust him, I work harder than I would on my own, I do look forward to our sessions though new routines still scare me coz I never know what he's got planned.
    5 months on I've lost weight, regained self esteem, and am stronger than I've ever been. I still have 30kg to lose but with the help of my trainer there's no doubt that I'll achieve it.
  • amyteacake
    amyteacake Posts: 768 Member
    Those are such terrible stories! They were all completely unprofessional - also to lose 160 pounds and you already weight 186, did that guy fail math or something? How did he get his qualifications?

    I've had a personal trainer once before and I absolutely loved it. He was completely professional the entire time, would ask me if I was okay during workouts. He knew I have a bit of a bad shoulder so if I told him it was straining and sore he would understand and change a workout to help take the strain away during the workout. He was a lovely person and always listened to my rants during workouts. But he's the one that made me hate burpees. I hate burpees so much
  • saragd012
    saragd012 Posts: 706 Member
    What terrible stories! I'm so sorry you've had such terrible luck.

    My first PT was a very fit man that worked at Planet Fitness, he started off nice but also quite blunt. For example, in my first session with him he complimented my current fitness (foreshadowing) but informed me my shoulders were "sh_t", I wasnt offended because I do have bony shoulders and one of my goals was to improve them. I appreciated the bluntness, my SO at the time didn't and stopped going. I continued on my own, it went well for 2-3 sessions as he became more and more inappropriate. I had never gone to a PT though (and assumed the touchiness was just part of the process) so it took a VERY inappropriate incident for me to realize WTF was happening and I cancelled my membership and never went back.

    It took me a few years to get another trainer, but I've know been with a female trainer for nearly 2 years now, and she is AMAZING. I mostly do her small group sessions now, but occasionally I'll do a 1:1 with her if I need help with my form. I'm considering keeping her group sessions and switching to a different trainer for PT because I need someone with a little more experience with powerlifting to start my new program. The first experience has me hesitating though, so I understand completely why you're nervous to see a new person.
  • mburgess458
    mburgess458 Posts: 480 Member
    I haven't used trainers (other than the free first ones), but in all my years at the gym I have only seen 2 that didn't totally suck. I don't know how many times I have seen a trainer work with someone for an hour and do nothing but variations of core/ab exercises... or nothing but an hour of various curls. I'm sure the clients said they are interested in fixing their fat guts or building up their arms, but the expert should steer them at least a little.
  • Bry_Fitness70
    Bry_Fitness70 Posts: 2,484 Member
    My personal trainer is a complete a**hole, he never leaves me alone and nothing is ever good enough! (I am my own personal trainer :D )
  • Alidecker
    Alidecker Posts: 1,262 Member
    I was lucky and my first and only trainer. I was set up with two free sessions when I joined my gym and I never looked back. I started with once a week, but he would give me a plan for the rest of the week. At our sessions we would discuss my diet and he would look at my log and we would see what needed to be tweaked. I eventually went to once every two weeks and he would still give me full plans for those two weeks. It was a very sad day when he told me he was moving to another city. After several years of working together and having great results with weight loss and fitness, working though injuries and surgeries, I was devastated. He taught me so much that I didn't really need him in the gym with me anymore...so he informed me. He was right, but I don't like to think about what I am going to do in the gym. So now he writes me workouts and we discuss my goals in e-mails and texts. He is still there for the questions whenever I have them. We became good friends while he was here, we still see each other a couple of times a year, mostly socially, but we try and get a workout in and he checks out my form and fun stuff like that.
  • spdaphne
    spdaphne Posts: 262 Member
    edited April 2018
    This thread is so sad! What horrible experiences, but glad that some have had great experiences.

    I had an instructor who I knew who was working to offer personal training years ago. I liked her, but I think she changed her days she was at the studio.

    A few years ago I was having lower back issues and went to PT to heal it. After that, I wanted to do more back strengthening workouts and saw a trainer at the Y downtown near work. She was helpful, but I don't think looking back it challenged me enough. Maybe because I didnt communicate what my real goals were. Anyway, it was helpful.

    I went back to training in August at the Y again near home and signed up for the min of 3 sessions. I told her my goals were to get a strength training routine going and I needed help knowing what to do. I eventually signed up for 12 sessions after as we got more comfortable working together. She has encouraged 2x a week, but financially that would be a stretch for me. While I was seeing improvement in my body, it wasn't until I really changed my eating in Jan. Since then, my energy, strength, etc has gone up. I'm so much stronger and just adjusted my goals to focus on lifting heavier. She's great at challenging me and helps me stay accountable. She's great at correcting my form and showing me how to do exercises correctly. Now when I see others doing weights, squats or planks, I cringe at their wrists not being straight, leaning over too much or planking with their butts in the air, lol. My form has improved a lot and she's done a great job to help me get to where I am. Yesterday we went over what my THR should be in warming up which was helpful. I was drenched in sweat after our session. She's great and happy to hear how well I've progressed the last 3 months. She gives me an at home workout routine and also a gym workout to use in either situation which I like a lot. I'm more motivated to do stuff on my own and survived a month on my own when she went to Bali recently on vacation.

    And as reference, this is the pricing for the Y where I go, but the pricing and time varies a bit by location, like the Y near work is more.

    1 hour private sessions
    3 sessions $190
    6 sessions $350
    12 sessions $635

    The Y near work has 30 min and I think 50 min sessions but cost more due to location. You also can do semi private sessions if you want to workout with someone else, like a friend, SO which I've see or there's small groups too. It's a nice option.
  • MonaLisaLianne
    MonaLisaLianne Posts: 377 Member
    Interesting thread. I have only ever had 2 PTs. The first was a young guy who clearly didn't know how to work with an out-of-shape 63 yr old woman. He had me doing weighted lunges the first day, and my knees took 2 weeks to recover. He disappeared after 2 sessions, and I started with a NASM certified woman in her late 30's. She works with several older women, so had a good understanding of where to begin, and how fast I should try to progress.

    I've been working with her for about 2 years now, and it's definitely a love-hate relationship! She doesn't take any excuses, can be mean as hell when she needs to be, and pushes me to the max. That's why I hired a trainer! If it were up to me I'd wimp out after 2/3 of what she has me doing. She also switches things up periodically, so nothing is too repetitive and no parts get overworked or ignored. I would say it took a good 9 months to begin to see results. I'm not just doing this for my looks, however - I want to go into old age as strong as I can possibly be. I remember being so thrilled when I did spring gardening work (lots of bending, stooping, squatting, carrying) and wasn't even sore the next day. I was able to lift 40 lb. bags of sand & gravel to lay slabs of slate for a walkway with no problem. I love feeling strong!

    My gym charges $50 per 30 minutes for training, and out of that she only gets $10. When I joined I got a 50% off deal, which they continue to honor so it's $25 for 30 minutes. I train twice a week, do a core & abs class twice a week, a yoga class twice a week, and spend a half-hour on the elliptical everyday. I would really hate to lose this trainer, so I'm conscientious about tipping her *very* well on her birthday & at Christmas. It's a service industry and doesn't pay that great so I'm happy to acknowledge that she works hard.

    By the way, I'm now 65 and can outperform many of the pretty young things who I see at the gym. I only wish I'd started this about 25 years ago!
  • mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12
    mnbvcxzlkjhgfdsa12 Posts: 188 Member
    I only had a personal trainer once. Bought a package of sessions through my gym because I wanted to incorporate weights and had no idea where to start. Various trainers were late or didn’t show up for sessions. Most seemed bored. One pushed me so hard I tore a muscle in my leg, disaster! I was in agony for weeks. That was the end of personal trainers for me.
  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,465 Member
    edited April 2018
    I worked with a trainer from day 1 for 2 1/2 years until he closed his studio. He took a 59 year old 300 lb woman who hated exercise and couldn't walk up her own driveway and helped her lose 150 lbs and get into the best shape of her life, walking, running, swimming, and hiking mountains. He always said I did the work, which is true, but he gave me the appropriate guidance and training and the focus and structure I needed. He wasn't perfect, but he got me somewhere I could not get on my own and for that I will be forever grateful.
  • bethkulp
    bethkulp Posts: 4 Member
    edited April 2018
    I hired a personal trainer that works for home cooked meals. I also gave birth to him and helped him through college so he kind of owes me!
  • vs421021
    vs421021 Posts: 1 Member
    I just started working with a personal trainer, and I’m really relieved that I seem to have dodged the bad PT bullet. He’s doing a great job of helping with my form, checking in during the session to make sure I’m working at the right intensity, and following up with me during the week to see how I’m doing with the plan he’s put together for me.

    I’m only on my second week, but I’m looking forward to the next session!