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

I just bought a package for personal training, and I'm super nervous about it. She's got great reviews and has won these awards, but I've had personal trainers in the past whom I hate and really made things a lot worse.


- One guy told me to start drinking muscle milk, and when I told him I hate muscle milk, he said I'm never going to lose the weight because I'm being too inflexible. Keep in mind it was that SINGLE product that I didn't want - I wasn't saying I didn't want to eat more protein or even that I was anti supplement - I just didn't like that single bottle of muscle milk.

- Once I joined a really cheap discount gym. In my consultation the trainer took all my stats and told me that to be at a healthy weight I had to lose at least 160 pounds. I was 183 pounds at the time. I remember replying "But if I lost 160 pounds I would only weigh 23 pounds. I need you to think about this for a second. Does this make sense to you?" and he replied "yeah I know it sounds like a lot, but these are the numbers. You have to lose 160 pounds to be in a healthy weight range. At least. Preferably more."

- My old job included membership to Equinox, which is a nicer gym. A staffer saw me trying to do weighted squats, and came over to help me with my form. I thanked him, and he told me that he's a trainer there and could help me a lot with a couple of sessions. At our first session, I wasn't strong enough to do anything he wanted me to do. Not a single thing. I even told him I needed a lower weight but he told me I just wasn't trying hard enough. After our session he told me that I required personal training at least twice a week to even start to think about getting in shape. I told him there was no way I'd be able to afford that. Plus, after our session my back was killing me from overuse and I was so nonfunctional I had to go to the doctor for the first and last time I ever had back issues that required a doctor. He kept pestering me and calling me - one day I woke up at 6am and saw that I had two missed phonecalls from him from early in the morning. One of the voicemails he left me said I had no hope of ever losing the weight if I wasn't willing to make the financial investment. I had to change gym locations after that just to avoid him because I felt so harassed.

- I hired a woman to come to my home once a week a few years ago. She was great at first, but she eventually started getting really nosy. She decided my boyfriend wasn't manly enough or hot enough. It got to the point that all of our sessions included her opinions on me "upgrading" to a better looking guy once I got into better shape. The relationship with him didn't work out in the end, but he was the best boyfriend I had and the only boyfriend I was in love with, so it was super weird. I never understood not only the beef she had with him but why she felt she had to aggressively push this whole thing about me dumping him when I got thinner. Shows a really skewed world view, to say the least.

Anyway, a bad trainer can really make things really bad and demotivate you. It seems like a great one would be super helpful, so I'm hoping this will work out.

Share stories!


  • lorrpb
    lorrpb Posts: 11,464 Member
    Those are really awful examples! Hopefully you've had all the bad trainers in your area and now will have a great one. If any of th I see things had happened to me at the beginning, I probably never would have continued on ,my journey
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,899 Member
    Wow that all sucks! The second one made me laugh a lot though. 23 lbs? That's the weight of an infant.

    I can't believe you had so many stupid trainers.. as well as one who I suspect was trying to cheat with your bf. Hopefully unsuccessfully.
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    @mom23mangos lol yes, those all happened tome.

    @VeryKatie lol that's an idea but I don't think so. She told me a lot about how she likes "bad boys" and how guys who are too nice just don't turn her on. So weird. My ex was the sweetest guy you'd ever meet, too.
  • VeryKatie
    VeryKatie Posts: 5,899 Member
    edited March 2017
    @augustremulous hahah well in that case it sounds like she was trying to convert you to the bad boy side of things!

    I now think all personal trainer users should be allowed a 1 month or 2 month probation period. Where they can fire the trainer no questions asked and cancel any kind of contract they have.

    I once had a trainer try to sell me $6000 worth of services but didn't even give me examples of what I would be doing for that money. I just didn't trust him! And the $6000 was after I bartered him down from like $12,000 by saying "that's too much money and too many sessions a week. You need to set me up so I can do it on my own most of the time with at most once a week check ins!" And he wouldn't go any less than 2 times a week for 8 months. I get maybe more sessions for the first month or two but not for 8 months.

    I've only ever seen one person who hired a trainer at the gym I used to go to. He would have her use the weight machines. He never gave her form tips or anything (there are still form tips for machines) and he wouldn't count her reps or anything. He just stood there checking out other people while she worked. He didn't even look to see how she was doing. Any time she asked "how many more" he'd just say "keep going" or "um... 30 seconds". I'm not convinced he really had a plan for her. He should know how many sets and reps... and she just wanted to know what he was planning.
  • cathipa
    cathipa Posts: 2,992 Member
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member

    newmeadow wrote: »

    Uh, she did this while charging you an hourly or per session rate? I'm gathering trainers aren't professionally licensed then. Certified, okay, but anyone with a professional license would be more than a little hesitant and downright foolish to conduct business like this.

    We used to hang out and chat for a few minutes after our sessions. But yeah. We had gotten pretty friendly, and TBH did gossip a bit about sex and dating, but she crossed a line.
  • jbirdgreen
    jbirdgreen Posts: 569 Member
    Wowza, those are nightmare stories.

    My trainer is pretty good -- he's the only one I've had, so I can't really say if he's perfect. I pay a really good rate ($15 for 45 mins), so I'm not really keen to try anyone else.

    I do like how he very tactfully told me I was gaining weight around the holidays -- he basically asked for my routine and told me to add cardio and watch nutrition. I got the message without him telling me, "Uhh, you're getting fat!"

    He's also motivating, but doesn't really yell at me. Positive affirmation when I kill it too.

    He doesn't really do diet/meal plans, we really just work out and that's it.
  • samthepanda
    samthepanda Posts: 569 Member
    I'd personally be wary of any PT who expected me to sign up for a package without having had at least one trial session. Not everyone is the right 'fit'. Some PTs are quite fixed on what they offer in terms of how long sessions last how many sessions per week etc, as well as the programme. I had a guy target me after he'd covered a class, he worked on weights and could help me lift heavy if I trained 3 times a week with him and he'd give me a diet plan. I didn't want to lift heavy, not my thing, and I struggled to get to the gym three times a week!
    I work with a PT for a couple of years. He was great. Slotted me in every 2-3 weeks, regularly reviewed goals and kept sessions varied and interesting, offered diet advise if I asked but didn't push it. Helped keep me getting to the gym when it was a battle.
    Hope this one works out for you.
  • kwtilbury
    kwtilbury Posts: 1,234 Member
    Those sounds terrible. I see a lot of the trainers at my gym sort of casually go through a workout with lots a small talk. I've seen them work with the same clients for years with absolutely zero progress.
  • gazellefish
    gazellefish Posts: 72 Member
    kwtilbury wrote: »
    Those sounds terrible. I see a lot of the trainers at my gym sort of casually go through a workout with lots a small talk. I've seen them work with the same clients for years with absolutely zero progress.

    This! This is what I was trying to hint at when I said "I've heard/seen other trainers in the same gym who seem not as invested," haha, but you said it much more tactfully than I could have!
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    @jbirdgreen $15 for 45 minutes? What?

    I just signed up for a new client special that's three sessions for $99. But after that it's $85 per hour. These seem like typical rates where I live.
  • jbirdgreen
    jbirdgreen Posts: 569 Member
    edited March 2017
    Yeah, he had a special where it was $15/45 minutes when you purchase five sessions or more. Because I faithfully go 2x a week and I have been doing so for months, he keeps me at that rate.

    I think he prefers the steady money and a regular client over having someone who pays $$$ to only use him one time.

    Plus I think he also considers me to be a project because I was so out of shape when I started. Not necessarily super obese or overweight, just really weak/awkward.
  • mrp56839
    mrp56839 Posts: 159 Member
    My PT has ended up being one of my good friends. I started seeing him about a year and a half (and 60ish pounds) ago. My imbalances have improved significantly, I'm worlds stronger than i was, and my weight has held pretty steady for over a year. while my fitness progress isnt as fast or noticeable as it used to be (im still making smaller gains), we're working on other goals like being independent in the gym and confidence. Our goal is to put him out of a job. I adore the guy.

    The bad ones? The first one was a loud giggly meathead with arms as big as my thighs. I was so afraid of him that i never went back for the actual workout. The second was a lady who couldnt care less about me. She put me on a bike to "warm up" for 20 mins, showed me 3-4 machines for the next 15 and then made me stretch to cool down from such a strenuous workout for the last 10. On my way out, she handed me a copy of the "beginners workout" that we did and told me to call her in a month for the next routine. Uhhhh.... no.

  • Brandi92809
    Brandi92809 Posts: 78 Member
    edited March 2017
    One time I had a trainer who would not only arrive 10-20 mins late EACH time we met, he would bring Mcdonalds or Taco Bell etc and eat it in front of me and actually wouldn't direct me so I often just tried to do things on my own on the machines. Granted this was a free trainer who was a student this was supposed to be his "internship" or something sooooo I guess its my fault for going the cheap route and not getting a real professional.