1st time at the gym: Was that OK behaviour?

My first post in here, so Hi, there!

I've almost always been overweight, sometimes I lost (sometimes unhealthily) and kept the weight of for a year or so but never for long. Now I'm at my heaviest and I'm giving it another try, eating healthily, using my crosstrainer again etc. And I finally decided to join a gym. The ones in my town are far too expensive for me but there's a cheap one in walking distance from my boyfriend.

Yesterday I went there to have a trial training with the head trainer. And I'm a bit weirded out by his behaviour. I warmed up as he told me to but I was pedalling away, he started on a rant about how he never understood overweight people who lost and then gained back and whether we didn't realize that it's stupid behaviour and we just needed more willpower etc. I told him that I'd been been using my crosstrainer for half and hour 2-3 times a week to begin with (!) and he immediately shot me down, saying that half an hour totally wasn't enough and this way there was no point at all.

Was that his attempt at tough love to get me motivated or was he just being a jerk? Is that normal trainer behaviour? I did tell him that he might be a good trainer but no psychologist but he shot me down saying that psychology had nothing to do with weight gain.

Later on I did get some praise because when we did weight machines to do more weights than other beginners apparently do and I had no problems with the crunches etc. But even the praise was along the lines of him not expecting an overweight woman to be able to lift anything at all.

I'm still going to go there because it's close and cheap and a friend goes there as well. But I feel pretty bad about it, really.

Any opinions? Am I overreacting?


  • lishie_rebooted
    lishie_rebooted Posts: 2,993 Member
    He's an *kitten*. Talk to gym management, he shouldn't be talking to gym members that way
  • AllanMisner
    AllanMisner Posts: 4,152 Member
    Yes, please do go back to the gym, but request a different trainer. A trainer should provide you with a comfortable environment suited to your goals and needs. Unfortunately, people skills aren’t really a part of the curriculum for most personal training certifications.
  • cbhubbybubble
    cbhubbybubble Posts: 465 Member
    Sounds like a jerk to me....nothing wrong with someone to give us a dose of reality or advice, but sounds like he was just being an *kitten* and not in the spirit of helpfulness
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,564 Member
    He is a jerk and I would tell the gym manager. He could be discouraging a lot of people from ever coming back.
  • Myhaloslipped
    Myhaloslipped Posts: 4,317 Member
    That is pretty weird and inappropriate, especially since he doesn't know you. He sounds like someone who does not have proper social boundaries.
  • He should be motivating you not belittling your attempts at gettting fit! If that was me his actions would have sent me in floods of tears straight back to the biscuit tin!
  • milkywayward
    milkywayward Posts: 27 Member
    No, it's not acceptable, and it's not personal to you either — he berated you for what he saw as the actions of a whole class of people instead of tailoring his training and advice to you as an individual. Request a different training next time and put in a complaint with management.
  • MimGSR
    MimGSR Posts: 61 Member
    MikaMojito wrote: »
    saying that psychology had nothing to do with weight gain.

    Even giving him the benefit of the doubt and suggesting he was attempting to motivate you with tough love, the above is just not true. He doesn't sound like a very good trainer at all.
    I hope there's another one there who you get on with better :)
  • Alatariel75
    Alatariel75 Posts: 17,640 Member
    He sounds like an total *kitten*. Go back - the gym is far more than the trainer you see, but don't see him, and if you're comfortable to, complain to management. His attitude and delivery were deplorable.
  • sarahrbraun
    sarahrbraun Posts: 2,261 Member
    As an obese woman, and a personal trainer myself, that was NOT appropriate behavior for him having just met you.

    I don't know that I could be a jerk like that to ANY clients, let alone a brand new one. I know if someone acted like that to me, it would be the LAST time they trained me.

    On my own personal fitness journey, I have had 3 male trainers. All of them young and muscular. None of them have insulted or belittled me. They've said stuff like "for better results, I'd like to see you do this" . My current trainer (who I've worked with for a year) has occasionally gotten in an assertive mood and told me "I don't care how many times you rest, but you're not done until you give me X reps" but that's as bad as he gets.
  • MikaMojito
    MikaMojito Posts: 680 Member
    Kinda glad to see I wasn't just being a wimp!

    I WILL indeed go back to that gym because I'm not doing it for him, I'm doing it for me. So he can go get lost.

    Unfortunately he IS the manager and head trainer of the gym, so I'd have to complain to him which I think would be pointless. However, since it's a cheap-*kitten* gym, I won't have too much contact with him. Once you know how the machines work and you've been given a plan to follow, you can just go do your thing. The trainers do walk around an correct you if you do something wrong but he's not MY personal trainer. If he was I certainly wouldn't go back.

    And to be honest: ONE of the reasons I'm trying to get fit is to have the knowledge that if people talk to me like that I could theoretically (!) punch the in the face really hard. Not that I'd ever do anything like that, I'm usually pretty good at defending myself with words. But I felt so completely out of place there, surrounded by young, slim muscular people (not their fault, they work hard for what they've got) that I let him cow me into silence. It won't happen again.

    Thanks for your support, everybody! I hope you're all doing well with weight and fitness!

  • Larissa_NY
    Larissa_NY Posts: 495 Member
    Ugh, gross. Definitely let management know. If he was an *kitten* to you he's probably an *kitten* to everyone else who's overweight.

    On the other hand, if he's the head trainer, odds are the gym management knows what kind of a jerk he is and doesn't care. Maybe he's the owner's persistently unemployed brother-in-law. Either way, you can and should either get a different trainer or find a good program online. You don't need a trainer to get in shape as long as you hit the gym with a plan for workouts of increasing difficulty.
  • Joannesmith2818
    Joannesmith2818 Posts: 438 Member
    Dayum....what a tool. Also he is wrong!
    Don't let this fool ruin the gym for you :)
  • wizzybeth
    wizzybeth Posts: 3,564 Member
    he IS the management? OMG. LOL
  • giantrobot_powerlifting
    giantrobot_powerlifting Posts: 2,600 Member
    edited April 2015
    A cheap gym that fits your needs is hard to pass up, but as your fitness progresses you may feel the need to try new things. MFP can be a good place for that. There are some really experienced people here you can ask questions and direct your own programming (if need be) without Jerky Trainers.
  • Justygirl77
    Justygirl77 Posts: 385 Member
    Dayum....what a tool. Also he is wrong!
    Don't let this fool ruin the gym for you :)
    This! For sure.

  • lichic25
    lichic25 Posts: 161 Member
    He's an *kitten*. Talk to gym management, he shouldn't be talking to gym members that way

    Unless its a privately owned gym, there's got to be someone in corporate you can talk to. That kind of behavior is completely unacceptable.

  • grandmothercharlie
    grandmothercharlie Posts: 1,420 Member
    He's an *kitten*. Talk to gym management, he shouldn't be talking to gym members that way

  • ljones27uk
    ljones27uk Posts: 177 Member
    agree with all this, sounds like the worst P.T Ive ever heard of. You keep up the work on the cross trainer. 5 minutes is better than nothing, so why hes telling you its pointless is beyond me. Its all about Calories In and Calories Out.. Even if you train for 5 minutes and it burns 5 calories.. its still 5 calories in the right direction! Sounds like he's a little confused. :-))
    good luck
  • markiend
    markiend Posts: 461 Member
    Sounds like the sort of plonker who stops people wanting to go the gym, and if they get there in the first place... makes them feel weird.

    So , make sure you go back, make sure you let the gym management know. It could be he is suffering from roid rage or is just an idiot

    Don't let him stop you