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Personal trainers suck!

I am sorry, but every personal trainer I see is wasting their client's time and money. The majority of these clients need to do one thing and one thing only. Get on a treadmill or eliptical and start huffing and puffing away for a few months to get in basic shape! (and maybe do like four basic compound lifts for total body strength i.e bench, squats, bent over row, situps)
I see personal trainers teaching overweight out of shape people all these new-fangled swiss ball upside down cruchedy moves that are fine for somebody who is in great shape, but beyond a waste for these people who go on to think that this is really cutting edge way to do all their workouts. What a disservice! These people are still in bad shape 6 months later b/c they are doing some low level goofy strengh training thing and getting the wrong advice.
I used to coach gymnastics so I know it is challenging to work with unmotivated people which is the majority of personal trainer clients (no offense, I know that is a lot of people on PT and that is why you want a personal trainer) so I sympathize but hey change your approach to the basics - I think personal trainers want to seem like they are on the cutting edge so they give advice that is for Terrell Owens!
People who need fitness help in the gym should get a workout parter instead!

Mon. Mar 17, 6:12pm

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Thursday, December 14, 2006, 6:07 AM

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I had to laugh at your post only b/c it reminded me of seeing someone from my gym out on a walk with a personal trainer as part of the session and I thought, "You're paying X dollars an hour to go on a walk with your trainer???"

Monday, March 17, 2008, 6:20 PM

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Some personal trainers are excellent and give invaluable advice in a number of areas. In my particular sport of cycling they can help with set up and posture to ensure you don't get injured. Most people new to exercise actually make a number of basic errors that can lead to getting hurt with the resultant effect on motivation. In addition it takes about 6 mths before practicing a new sport becomes a habit, a PT can get you over that initial hurdle. I remember my first trip on the bike weighing 200lbs thinking that I wasn't sure I could keep going!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008, 6:46 PM

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6:46...while your points are valid, most of the remedial-type of advice can be obtained for free by taking a fitness class that's just included in your gym membership. You tell the instructor that you're new to the class and they're usually pretty good at paying special attention to your form and progress.

My workouts tend to line up with the following useless PT sessions, which I just watch for entertainment:

1. The whiney little middle-aged woman who hogs 3 machines for 20 minutes each while she talks her trainer's ear off. Yup, she does 9 actual sets of lifting in an hour while the trainer nods and smiles like a puppet. For $65/hr.

2. Mr. Heavyweight Bodybuilder Trainer who just walks around looking good as much as possible in the middle of his sessions without even instructing his client to do anything while he's off strutting. I've never seen anyone take so long to open a window. His client looks pissed but she never says anything to him.

Monday, March 17, 2008, 8:16 PM

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i think that everone has individual needs.

some people have never worked out before and they feel comfortale starting with walking as cardio. and what theyre paying for is the motivation. the pt is showing them literally how to go for a walk and that if you keep your pace p and hit some hill, it truly can be cardio.

pt's also have to tailor to what it takes to keep people interested. maybe those overweight clients came in and said, we are so bored, we dont want to just do the treadmill or weight machines. so the trainer is teaching them the newest and most interesting exercises they know. my dad works out with a trainer, and has for a very long time--years. and he has remained out of shape. ver overweight, in fact. its bc of his diet, not bc he trainer isnt doing a good job and m dad would be the first to admit that. my dad doesnt want to get on the treadmill for an hour, he wants to be challenged mentally and physically.

Monday, March 17, 2008, 9:15 PM

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I would like to get a personal trainer because I would actually like to see a result from weight training, and think that a good one could help.

I did have a personal trainer one time, and ended up very disappointed. She would not give me the same exercise twice so i was never able to have a routine that i could do on my onw, despite my asking. I know her reason was that if I get a routine on my own I would come to her. But I am not rich, and she should have been more interested in my being able to have results rather than getting $60 a week out of me. Then I mentioned once that i had thought about taking ballet lessons again and she said she would teach me. After all - she had just taken 1 class in her life over the summer. Wow!

I kind of gym hop - looking for deals and less crowds and have observed some PT I would never want to be with. One woman who spnet the whole time with every client she had talking about herself.

One trainer who would have the client do a set - then they would walk around the track so he could say hello and stop to talk to everyone he saw along the way. Mr. Popularity - not on my dime.

I have observed one who I think would be really good. He is no nonsense and pushes his client. And his rates aren't bad at all. I just don't think I am fit enough for him. He might kill me!

Never satisfied, never satisfied.

Monday, March 17, 2008, 10:02 PM

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8:16 now that is what I am talking about!
I just want to hear if other people see the same thing.
I go to the gym by myself and go nuts lifting heavy weights for 30 mins and then run for 40 mins until my clothes are drenched with sweat and then I see all of these middle aged people with poochy bellies that have been coming to the gym for a year and a half and look no different and they are doing a couple of exotic excersies with like no weight and then walking around the track at a snails pace and their personal trainer is like right there! I have lost 40 pounds in that year and a half. Why don't the trainers tell them, look, change your diet, get on this eliptical and don't get off until you are sweaty and gross?

Do other people see that??

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 10:18 AM

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My personal trainer only does weight training and interval cardio with myself and my BF. He is fantastic and makes us work out so much it's almost too much and its fantastic. He basically says we must do cardio 3 other times of the week, other than the 2 times I see him. I think ppl need to do your home work and find someone who wants what you want.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 10:34 AM

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I totally agree! The only consistent PT customers I see are "older" women (and I'm careful to use that term because I'm 38 and some would consider me old!) and they're barely doing anything while their trainer sits there doodling on their clipboards! I think where I live it's very cool and trendy, and a sign of your success to use a trainer... moms who wear makeup to the gym while little Logan and Kelsey play in the daycare room....when all anyone needs to do is run on that treadmill like someone's chasing you with a whip!!! A ball and some free weights won't do anything for you if the only time you use it is during that one session/week!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 11:28 AM

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lifting buddy model

I just wonder if a lot of people would be better off with something like a "lifting buddy" which like in college is someone who lifts right along with you switching off with you exercise for exercise, making sure the weight is maxed out for you, challenging you to get that one last rep, struggling as they spot you, checking your form, moving things along, keeping the pace up b/c they are there to work out too and generally just making you push the max weight in the minumum time. Now that is a personal trainer! The current personal trainer model seems inferior to this type of relationship. I had a huge guy from my office come and lift with me for one week (he punked out after that) but still that was a killer week!


Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 9:06 PM

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Lifting weights will help build muscle which burns fat, and you need more than 4 basic compund lifts to get the most benefit from that. Cardio is great, I love running, but it's lifting weight that really has helped me. (and yes I am a female)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 9:16 PM

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At my gym I notice that a lot of people do cardio on their own and then do weights, core, strength stuff with a trainer. They are still doing cardio, just not paying someone to watch them run for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 9:44 PM

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I've seen a lot of people make progress with their trainers at our gym. Their workouts look pretty good and they must be doing well with the eating and other workouts on their own, but I'm sure like any profession - you've got people in the business who are better than others.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008, 11:01 PM

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5:55 pm - can I ask how many times a week you met wth your trainer?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008, 8:16 PM

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How many times a week did you go to the gym before you started working with your trainer?

Thursday, March 20, 2008, 4:40 PM

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Personal Trainers

I think finding a PT is a lot like finding a relator, you have to find one that fits your personality and understands your goals. The first PT I had did not take my request that he not burst into my space w/o any kind of notice seriously and treated me like I needed a drill sergant (sp?) He also did not like me to ask questions and write things down. Luckily, he went out of town and I got hooked up with another trainer who could not be more perfect. He understands how to communicate w/ me w/o making me feel uncomfortable and finds my questions and desire to learn refreshing. I can't afford much, so I meet with him for just 30 minutes every three weeks. In that session, he teaches me a strength training routine, writing it down for me with helpful reminders (e.g. keep your elbows in, etc.). Most importantly, he teaches me how to ramp the exercises up (wt. and number) so that I can progress w/o coming to him each week. He also advises me about cardio activities, warm-up and cool downs. He is also available for questions outside of our meeting time (in case I forget something we went over.) Most importantly, I feel he is responsive to my concerns and goals and genuinely wants me to succeed.

My advice: if you don't love your personal trainer, you haven't found the right fit.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 1:35 PM

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I have been working out with a personal trainer twice a week for over a year now. In that time, I have lost 45 pounds, going on 50. The cardio work is mine, and I do it, I either run on the treadmill (started walking though) or use the elliptical. When I work out with my trainer, it is for several reasons--my trainer is more knowledgible than most--(he also owns the gym I go to) but first, I need the accountability. Sometimes it gets me to the gym when I just don't feel like it! He also is great about stretching me out or massaging me after a particularly hard session when I am tight or sore afterwards...
However, there are MANY trainers that I see in my gym that I would NOT work with, ever. My favorite is the one who struts around like he is the man, and only works with young, cute girls with large boobs. But there is also the one that works with the older ladies, but doesn't pay attention to them, because he is busy watching the young cute girls with large boobs. I don't know how those people don't notice or care what jerks these guys are. I also love the ones who will take the fan off of you while you are having a kick a** cardio session, and put it on their client, like you aren't even there.
But my trainer is my special splurge to myself, and even though whenever I thank him for his help, he modestly says, "you are the one doing the work", it is just more interesting and fun to be on this journey with his help. And oh, by the way, as the weight goes away, I have muscles where I never thought possible!! It is so exciting. :-) Morale to the story--trainers have their place, but they are just a tool, like a piece of equipment--if you stroll on the treadmill talking on the cell phone, you will get out of it what you put into it. Just my humble opinion...

Friday, March 21, 2008, 1:38 PM

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I have worked out with a few different personal trainers. I was genrally happy with the results. I have worked out for years but was wanting to focus on building serious muscle and developed injuried lifting so much weight on my own. I started working out with one trainer and saw results but the injuries only got worse. I switched to another trainer and actually started out lifting significantly LESS weight. The injuries healed and I am starting to lift more weight but he tells me I will never bench press 100 lbs again. It took some time to get my head around that but I now realize the previous trainer was all about helping me meet my goals at any cost. My current trainer told me what I didn;t want to hear. But it was sound advice.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 5:02 PM

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Personal Trainers Suck

You are right in a sense, but really are overstating and being prejudiced. I am a personal trainer, and too get really pissed off to see other so called "personal trainers" do things that make me say to myself, "what the hell?" There are very knowledgable, qualified, quality trainers out there and there are people that call themselves trainers. Then you have to realize too that most of the time you see your so called "trainers" ar your meat market money market gyms. Not all personal trainers suck, yes some do, and some shouldn't call themselves trainers nor are some even qualified to really say they are. Just like with anything else, go on a good referral. Not to promote myelf, but just for an example, look at my website - My clients pics and testimonials speak for themselves. I am not one of those trainers that suck. I'm not offended by your comment, just want you to know that there are good trainers out there that can help you.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 8:35 PM

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How can you make such a general statement about all personal trainers? just show alot of ignorance in doing so. Oh, so you taught gymnastics so you know personal training. If you knew so much you wouldn't be looking for help. So, if you have a bad experience with one Dr., do all Doctors suck? It is a very prejudiced statement! Come on, really...or are you just looking for someone that can really help you? If so, that's ok, but watch your tongue young lady!

Friday, March 21, 2008, 8:40 PM

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All gymnastics coaches suck!

I had this coach that had me trying to do cart wheels and I was so embarassed! Hec, I never was able to do it in gym class so what made her think I could now? Man, she sucks, so do all gymnastics coaches.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 8:44 PM

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Umm, about your advice, you would fit under the dumb ass personal trainer category that you're bitching about. What about nutrition? So, all I need to do is huff and puff on a treadmill and do some compound exercises, hmmm...are you sure about that?

Friday, March 21, 2008, 8:47 PM

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Be glad you weren't wasting your money on a bad personal trainer. Your observance is very smart, and you're right, only THOSE personal trainers suck. I see trainers that suck, yes, and trainers that are good. The funny thing is too, that I see trainers that know better that LET their clients do things wrong and just stand there and let the clock tick more or less. It's a shame, and I'm sorry that there are personal trainers out there that really make a bad name for the few that really are good and that do CARE. I would be glad to help and/or guide you if you want/need it -

Friday, March 21, 2008, 9:19 PM

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For your "assumptious" reason, I am now working with a personal trainer for the 2nd time in my life, yah. Yes, I am very cautious of who I let train "mm-wah." Me, I am of excelent body and mind and cannot let any person of low intelligence or experience train my body. I am of fit body and mind and expect one to be a role model for me and show me the way to go. A girl like my trainer show me the way to be a pro, you know, the only way to go mon.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 9:28 PM

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Sucky Trainers

What about sucky clients? A trainer is with a client for an hour at the most, and what about the rest of the week that they are on their own? A trainer is a tool, a guide, and if you pick a blind guide you will be led to cottage cheese.

Friday, March 21, 2008, 10:12 PM

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Well I certainly don't want to pay a personal trainer $60 an hour to have him tell everyone what a dud I am. No more personal trainers for me!

Friday, March 21, 2008, 10:13 PM

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Most trainers do suck, honestly, but there are some out there that are good. As a trainer myself I don't come across very many people that I would use as a trainer. Most of your bigger commercial gyms won't have qualified, experienced trainers. The sad thing is they can call themselves a trainer and give personal trainers in general a bad reputation. The good, experienced and qualified trainers usually work out of a private studio or they have their own training facility.

Saturday, March 22, 2008, 6:33 AM

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Ha ha

I think 8:40 / 8:44 / 8:47 is so funny, of course I am overstating my case to generate conversation which I have done. A good personal trainer like 8:35 / 9:19 doesn't get offended, just talks about what good trainers should do.
I just get a little upset when I see someone's grandma in there with a PT and realize they would be better off just keeping it simple but having more effort.

oh... and yes I do think basic cardio and basic weights are exactly what an out of shape and inexperienced person should do in the gym at least for quite a while (along with a healthy and calorie controlled diet, but we weren't talking about that aspect were we?) :)


Monday, March 24, 2008, 10:25 AM

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It honestly sounds like you would really make a good personal trainer. There are good trainers, but unfortunately you obviously haven't seen any yet. There might not be any good, experienced, quality trainers where you workout at. You do have to consider that you have no idea what each person/client's goals are, likes, dislikes, etc. and if they have specail needs/requests, etc. Some clients ask me to show them certain moves, etc. - I'm sure to the observer they might think why am I having this lady do this exercise. I do get your point and know what you mean though. When it comes to clients still being out of shape after several months, it comes down to the client listening and following the trainer's advice. Then it comes down to the advice their given, if any. Nutrtition is 80% of how someone looks. You can easily undo all your efforts in the gym with poor nutrtion and eating habits. You would think that as expensive as it is to have a personal trainer, that you would listen and take their advice...but noooo, it's not a common practice among clients. Don't I wish. They are few and far between just like finding a good personal trainer.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008, 2:15 PM

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austrlain institute of fitness

I couldn't agree me they show all their clients these bullshit exercise to make their clients look good but all the clients look exaclty the same 6 months later even fatter. I was overweight and trained myslelf stuck to all the basic exercises did a lot of cardio and workout with a mate who had been training for years never did one of these bullshit course like the AIF courses which is a big scam and nothing but a money making buisness in fact institues like this should be shut down

All the stuff they teach on the course is useless you just go out their and train who thinks about what plane or what they teach you on these pathetic courses that the personal trainers go on if you want to do shoulders or back or stomach or chest, legs just use the machine and free weights and cardio machines the treadmill, bike cross trainers, steppers. Personal trainers are just like used car saleman most of them can't even train themselves save your money get a mate to train with get some music and start running forget personal trainers

Thursday, January 08, 2009, 10:05 PM

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