Welcome to the new Community design. We know there are some big changes to get used to as well some challenges and bugs. Please check out our post about New Updates To The Community as well as Outstanding Bugs. We will continue to collect feedback and bug issues and will work to make improvements.

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

13

Replies

  • amers271
    amers271 Posts: 17 Member
    Those are truly personal trainer horror stories! I never have had a personal trainer (even if I buy a gym membership I get lazy and don't go.)

    Instead, I do home workout videos and get motivated by like-minded individuals through MFP, Instagram and accountability groups. To each their own.

    Good luck with your new personal trainer. If it doesn't workout, try some workout videos - many of them have calendars your follow to make sure you are doing a mix of cardio, strength, yoga, etc. I'd be willing to suggest a few things if you decide you want to try them out - because I've done so many! :D
  • stealthq
    stealthq Posts: 4,307 Member
    edited March 2017
    I've only had two PTs. Both were fine in the weights department for your average healthy individual - decent programming, weight progression, etc.

    The 1st was otherwise reasonably intelligent, but gave crummy nutrition advice. This was back before PTs not educated in nutrition giving such advice was a no-no.

    The 2nd believed every exercise and diet fad that came along. Fortunately (I think?), he viewed me as an authority because I have a biochemistry and genetics background. So, instead of giving me instruction he was constantly asking my opinion about all of this crap and I was having to gently let him down every session. I also know he was incompetent at modifying exercises for someone with an injury from a family member. Basically, he refused to believe that extreme shoulder pain (turned out to be bone-on-bone arthritis) when getting set up for low bar back squats meant you should pick an alternate exercise that won't make the shoulder worse.

  • Sara1791
    Sara1791 Posts: 760 Member
    My crossfit coach really knows his stuff, and isn't pushy about stuff that's debatable or isn't his area. He respects personal goals. Plus he's adorable.
  • cwolfman13
    cwolfman13 Posts: 39,820 Member
    I've had 3 different trainers over the years...for the most part, each experience has been for the most part positive.

    My first trainer was when I was just getting started back in the weight room...I've been in and out of weight rooms for much of my life, but always just kind of did whatever so I wanted something a bit more formal. He basically had me doing Starting Strength and was beneficial in helping me with my form. His nutritional and diet advice was pretty bro-sciency, but that didn't matter much to me as I had already dropped a lot of my weight.

    My second trainer was alright, but I was really hoping he'd work more with me and my Olympic lifts...he did a little, but really, he was into body building routines and programming, and that just wasn't my thing.

    I've worked with my 3rd trainer now for a couple of years...he is awesome. Olympic movements are at the foundation of what he does with pretty much all of his clients and he is very focused on overall athleticism and fitness unless he's training someone for a specific sport...he does train a handful of pro athletes as well as elite level amateurs and collegiate athletes as well as Joe Schmoes like myself. I don't train with him directly much anymore, but he still works my programs and he's always in the gym to give me *kitten* about something or another, and he's always good for a spot. His dietary and nutrition advice has always been pretty spot on as well. Over the years, we've become pretty good friends and our families socialize on the regular...I'll be going over to his house for tequila shots and street tacos on Saturday evening.
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 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 is what I think I'm getting right now. I work out with a partner and my trainer. When the partner isn't there, it becomes small talk. Right now, I'm still ok with that because it's helping me keep to the habit of getting to they gym at 5am. But after we get through the next week (so much personal life drama), I'm going to talk to him about it and say I need him to help me step up the intensity. I think at least half of it is on me to tell him if he's not providing the service I need.

    The horror stories you guys....some of these are really awful. I only had one bad Gold's Gym trainer and I just told the people at the front desk it was a bad fit for my goals. I switched to someone mediocre for a few sessions and just quit that route.
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 Member
    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!

    THIS!!! This is probably the conversation I need to have with my PT.

  • rollerjog
    rollerjog Posts: 154 Member
    edited April 2017
    i think if you know what your doing theres no need for a personal trainer, there is endless free info on the internet about eating right and training right , now with that being said if your getting ready for contest like bodybuilding ,fitness, physique bikini, for men if you want to get down to 3% to 5% body fat or women get down to like 15% body fat then i would say yes to a contest prep trainer, but for a trainer at the gym save you money do some research, i see at the gym all the time these so called trainers training senior citizens with these crazy workouts that a 20 year old kid would be doing thats just starting out and has no clue of what there doing
  • PowerliftingMom
    PowerliftingMom Posts: 430 Member
    I've worked with 7 different trainers from 2014 to present. I'm very fortunate to have the greatest trainer! He's my powerlifting coach and without him, I would not have been as successful as I have been. He's given me great advice/assistance regarding, not only powerlifting, but also diet advice. I have competed in 5 meets in the past 9 months and increased the total weight lifted from the first meet to my most recent meet last weekend to 100 lbs!
  • fitbethlin
    fitbethlin Posts: 162 Member

    I guess I'm in a different place.

    But the awesome thing is that instead we talked in depth about my life - my relationships with my family, my body and self esteem issues, my history, what it's like when I've gotten depressed and given up, what triggered those periods, and what knocked me out of it.

    I told her I wanted to "automate" fitness, so that it was just a part of my lifestyle that was a habit, like showering. And she was on the same page with me. She suggested that we develop a routine that I could instead stick to even when I was depressed and lost motivation - instead she told me to shoot for two days a week at the gym and any additional visits would be "bonus." She told me it's a great feeling when you "want" to go to the gym, so it's great that i have that now, but that the feeling ebbs and flows throughout life, so we'd develop a lifelong baseline.

    This also sounds AMAZING! I would never have thought I could get something like that from a trainer - that would be something I'd probably seek out a sports psychologist to work through or something. Honestly, I don't even know where I'd go to find this.

    Hold on to her. She sounds like she's worth her weight in rubies!
  • Sara1791
    Sara1791 Posts: 760 Member
    fitbethlin wrote: »
    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!

    THIS!!! This is probably the conversation I need to have with my PT.

    I guess I'm in a different place. If I just want a killer workout there are plenty of ways I can get it without a trainer. And I've done them - boxing, marathon training, dance, bikram, mountain climbing, the hardcore classes at my gym, etc. Those make me fitter and get me results. There are also a ton of hard workouts I haven't tried but want to, like competitive rowing or triathlons.

    But I'm actually interested in making a long term lifestyle change, and I specifically sought out someone with a background in psychology and CBT for that purpose. Sure I'd lose the weight by working out hard and eating chicken breasts and broccoli and scheduled cheat meals, and I have in the past, but I'm trying to lose weight for life.

    Anyway, I was afraid she'd just have me jump right in to a hard work out regimen that would get me fast results, and I've have to manage her expectations and talk to her about my past issues with injuries from jumping in too fast and too hard.

    But the awesome thing is that instead we talked in depth about my life - my relationships with my family, my body and self esteem issues, my history, what it's like when I've gotten depressed and given up, what triggered those periods, and what knocked me out of it. I told her about how I just gave up two months ago and decided to just eat whatever I want, and how I'm feeling motivated right now and love getting to the gym several times a week. I also talked about how I competed in varsity swimming as a kid and teenager and how much I still love it and feel confident when I'm in the pool because it's my "home," and that I like doing it even if they say swimming doesn't get you results like lifting heavy does.

    I talked to her about a fancy event in December I had looked forward to for a couple of weeks, and how I bought a new dress and got my hair done, and how I looked in the mirror right before leaving and thought "God, I hate the way I look. I feel too ugly to leave the house and let anyone see me."

    So she actually had me scale back a little. I told her I wanted to "automate" fitness, so that it was just a part of my lifestyle that was a habit, like showering. And she was on the same page with me. I had suggested a five day per week regimen - one for swimming, three for lifting, and one for yoga/stretching, exercises to reduce pain. She suggested that we develop a routine that I could instead stick to even when I was depressed and lost motivation - instead she told me to shoot for two days a week at the gym and any additional visits would be "bonus." She told me it's a great feeling when you "want" to go to the gym, so it's great that i have that now, but that the feeling ebbs and flows throughout life, so we'd develop a lifelong baseline.

    She sounds more like a psychological therapist, which I think is wonderful, but I've never heard of a physical therapist who had that kind of education and expertise. I'm so glad you found what you're looking for!
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    edited April 2017

    This attitude is why it took me so long to hire a trainer. I know that I can teach myself what I need to know, but I'm paying a professional because I don't want to spend my time doing that. I want to spend time with my family, outdoors doing stuff, working hard to be good at my job, home-making (I love nesting, it's so weird)....whatever. I hire a trainer because I want to outsource these things to someone else. It took me years to give myself permission to let someone else help me so I could focus on the fun stuff.

    I think I finally got there with cleaning btw. I'm having a cleaning crew come for the first time on Wednesday. I realize that even though I really do like the satisfaction of mopping my floors, I get more satisfaction from spending that time on painting or building something in the garage. It's so hard to let go of the need to do it all myself though...


    yes! exactly. There's so much on the internet, and reading that can help inform the choices you make, but those are not customized to you. Plus you get no feedback.

    I mean the suggestion that you can just figure it out from the internet is like saying you can participate in sports by just watching youtube and copying people instead of actually participating in a team. It's not the same thing - even close!

    I agree about having a cleaning service come in, lol. I get one about once a month. The only thing that bothers me about it is that where I am, that business is really fueled by undocumented workers who are exploited - the cleaning service might charge me one thing, but the actual cleaners may end up being paid like $6 an hour under the table - they settle for below minimum wage because their at risk for deportation. I do prefer self employed cleaners, but as independent contractors they're not exactly raking it in either.


  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member

    ninerbuff wrote: »
    As a trainer for a couple of decades now, I can tell you that there are many different clients too. Some understand what can be done, some adhere to the broscience they read in magazines and get angry if I don't incorporate them in our program (they can add it on on their own time if they like), and some expect results in less than a month.
    I've had a chance to actually experience just about every type of demographic in my career and it takes time to adjust to the many types of people you meet. Imagine being a trainer trying to get feed back from a shy client who doesn't talk? One of my hardest ones to train. Or a client who just whines at EVERY SINGLE THING you do with them...and still putting up with it because you just know that's how they are.
    Just letting people know, that you only have to deal with one trainer you'll fit with. Trainers (successful ones anyway), have to try to adapt to every type they can out there and may sometimes lose a client or two trying to do it. Doesn't mean they are a bad trainer. They may just lack experience.


    This makes sense. It must be pretty hard to deal with all these folks with their neuroses and body image issues and insecurities and demands!
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    edited April 2017

    She sounds more like a psychological therapist, which I think is wonderful, but I've never heard of a physical therapist who had that kind of education and expertise. I'm so glad you found what you're looking for!

    Well, she's a personal trainer, not a physical therapist. My gym has three levels of trainers - "expert," who have 100 hours of coursework and are certified, "elite," who have that and also an area of specialization and extra coursework, like injury prevention or sports training or yoga or something, and "specialist" trainers, who are for people who want serious weight loss or are athletes who are competing, and are considered "national leaders in the industry." So I went with the specialist trainer, which was the highest priced one.

    Since her degree is in psychology I guess she brings that knowledge with her, too.

  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,202 Member
    ninerbuff wrote: »
    Just letting people know, that you only have to deal with one trainer you'll fit with.

    thanks for this point. it took me about a year overall to turn myself into an educated customer when it came to training . . . six months to figure out what i was looking for, and another six to work out the ways to articulate it. in retrospect, a lot of the people that i fly-on-walled while i was working it out are not 'crappy trainers' in any objective sense. they're just not the right kind of trainer for me.
  • augustremulous
    augustremulous Posts: 378 Member
    edited April 2017

    thanks for this point. it took me about a year overall to turn myself into an educated customer when it came to training . . . six months to figure out what i was looking for, and another six to work out the ways to articulate it. in retrospect, a lot of the people that i fly-on-walled while i was working it out are not 'crappy trainers' in any objective sense. they're just not the right kind of trainer for me.




    So what kind of trainer do you need/want?