Experience with personal trainers

  • hornyy_rabbit

    Posts: 39

    May 15, 2013 10:23 PM GMT
    Hey guys,

    at the moment, I am searching for a personal trainer. Yesterday, I had an interview with one and I'm planning to have interviews with three more and then to decide.

    I'm a bit special in a way that I got problems with low back pain and also problems with my right knee cartillage - it is a bit damaged

    I just wanna ask you:

    1. based on what/how you chose a personal trainer?
    2. what is your experience with personal trainers?

    Share your stories, I read a lot of articles on how to choose a good one but I'd like to hear from you...

    Thanks icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 15, 2013 10:45 PM GMT
    I have had 2 personal trainers:

    1. Chose him because he came up to me and started chatting/sales pitching a few weeks after I started coming to the gym seriously. He gave me a good routine which I used for about 9 months (yes I know you aren't meant to do them that long). I was happy with him.

    2. I already knew him for a while beforehand because he used to do classes. He started the sales pitch one day when I had some spare cash burning a hole in my bank account. He immediately identified that my diet was shocking and got me to do a food diary. Also his sessions were very intense, one time I was nearly sick and another time I nearly fainted. But, he knew that I wanted an intense session. Once again, he was very good.

    They each gave me a free session first which made the decision easier. I am a cheapskate so I only bought 4 or 5 sessions but I might sign up with number 2 again soon. I wish I was rich enough to be able to use a trainer every day!

    Most of the people who use personal trainers don't seem to work that hard, they will whinge and say "why are you so mean?" or things like that. If someone is not ready for a tough workout I don't think they will make the most of having a trainer.
  • Varanus

    Posts: 58

    May 16, 2013 3:11 AM GMT
    PT's are great for newbs as it often takes away the confusion of how to use this and that and whats the correct form for this and that lift etc.

    Just chat with a few and see who you personally feel comfortable with and just let them get a feel of what your personal goals are and where you want to be within say 6-12 months.
    One thing I'd be doing before getting a PT is going to see a dietician to get your diet balanced out as your food intake is what will define your results in the gym overall.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 17, 2013 3:41 AM GMT
    Because my volume training workouts are so long by necessity (health issues preclude intensity) I often observe trainers putting three clients in a row through identical workouts, often involving stability balls, light dumbbells and rubber bands ("functional training" which can be done at home). Be sure that whoever you choose sets up a program designed specifically for you that takes into account your injuries.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 18, 2013 12:34 AM GMT
    Look for one with NASM certification. They really know their stuff. He or she will know how to keep you safe from back and knee injuries.

    I agree PTs are great for people not used to working out. They show you how to safely use equipment, exercises you might never have known about and create a program addressing your personal goals (endurance, hypertrophy, etc.).

    I've been with mine for 17 months and he has absolutely changed my life!

    Good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 18, 2013 12:38 AM GMT
    Be careful with trainers and be very picky. I would stay away from trainers that don't allow you to try them out first (make you sign for a workout package right away) I gave one trainer the boot back in December and stayed away from it since then. The guy had me jumping straight into heavy workouts without stretching, warming up or anything. Plus never seemed to interested in what we were doing, did not really talk and was always looking around. If his attention is not 100% on you, you are wasting your money.

    Told the manager..not sure what happened with him.
  • Joeyphx444

    Posts: 2382

    May 18, 2013 12:48 AM GMT
    mrazor99 saidPlus never seemed to interested in what we were doing, did not really talk and was always looking around. If his attention is not 100% on you, you are wasting your money.


    I see this ALL the time at the gyms I have been to with the PTs there
    Try to find an independent PT, the ones that are employed by the gym are horrible and their turnover is high
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 18, 2013 12:51 AM GMT
    I LOVE my personal trainer and have no regret whatsoever. Just told him this week that when I win the lottery, he goes on retainer for the rest of my life!

    I have to say, after doing all the research, asking all the questions, getting the first free session, it was obvious who got my money. I signed up for 12 months, twice a week.

    He pushes me HARD. My workouts are never the same. He cares and makes sure I'm doing everything correctly. He's also a nutritionist which has been huge.

    Get going on the interviews. If you are like me, you'll know when you've found the right one.

    Good luck! You won't regret it.
  • HottJoe

    Posts: 21366

    May 18, 2013 5:31 AM GMT
    Just make sure they give good head.
  • josephmovie

    Posts: 533

    May 18, 2013 6:15 AM GMT
    Look for some who is:
    1) Around your age
    2) Trains people who get results. Keep an eye on people at the gym and see who is being trained and seeing changes
    3) Someone who actually likes you. Can't really sort that one out until you've trained together a bit.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 18, 2013 7:20 AM GMT
    josephmovie saidLook for some who is:
    1) Around your age
    2) Trains people who get results. Keep an eye on people at the gym and see who is being trained and seeing changes
    3) Someone who actually likes you. Can't really sort that one out until you've trained together a bit.



    As a PT I agree that there is a lot of turnover, but also it is not fair to those good PTs with #2) above because results are often dependent on client adherence to diet. You can train them, but you can't put the right food in their mouth at the right time. I have a client that is losing progress because he is infrequent with his sessions (like if we meet once a week and he skips out on 2-3 weeks at a time, it's like starting over). He also is "in one ear and out the other" about me trying to get him to eat more calories (and I've beat the dead horse with educational material and counseling).

    And yes, if they aren't paying attention to you, they aren't doing their job.

    Keep in mind that certifications are nothing but red tape. I'm NASM'd but compared to having degrees in the field, a certification is a joke (you just take a test pass or fail with no hint on what you missed, pay the money--prep time dependent on how much kinesiology you know already). Gyms value certifications more than degrees probably because they get sponsorships from certifying bodies for hiring those trainers.

    Some certifications are better than others (NASM, ASCM, NSCA, which also puts out the CSCS credential, the only one that requires a bachelor's). ACE is widely accepted even though it's inferior. NASM is into teaching stability exercises and is better for someone who just started out exercising, but they also do a lot of "interesting" stuff like "foam rolling/myofascial release," which is something I never learned about in the 9 years of formal time I was in school for (BS Kinesiology, M.Ed. Clinical Exercise Physiology). I don't think it does anything other than being a self massage, which just feel good to my knowledge (and I've interned with chiropractic and physical therapists). Experience working with a client with similar issues helps also, but even if they have experience doesn't mean they are doing the right stuff for it--hence education being important.

    Also regarding doing the same workouts with different clients--if the goals are the same and they are at the same level of fitness, why NOT? Furthermore, doing the same workout from workout to workout is called progressive resistance training, which builds muscle (assuming you are adding weight). Muscle confusion is something the CrossFit marketing cult has tainted our society with such that people are genuinely confused about basic principles of physiology.

    Don't hire a crossfit trainer. It's not a recognized certification among those with real fitness credentials.

    That said, I sometimes will do agility workouts outside with some clients whose goal is purely to burn calories (ie so they can eat more food). I'm not going to do a high calorie burn workout with a client who doesn't eat, and I struggle to get food in him at all. My goal in that case is low volume workouts, the same workout every week. I do what is effective rather than what is expected, and when the client thinks he knows more than me or doesn't think I know what I'm doing (and I can give sound explanations), then you need to go find a trainer that does what you expect (even if it isn't the right thing for your goals). I find it frustrating when a client does not communicate that he/she is unsatisfied even when asked and questions the efficacy of a workout just because "other people are doing X workouts [which are for different goals or sponsored by some new fitness fad such as crossfit or P90x]."

    I also find it frustrating when a client doesn't admit to muscle soreness and injures themselves. That's your own fault for lying to the trainer. If a muscle is sore, don't work that muscle until it heals. Simple. Stop trying to be macho. I get sore myself, and I take time off.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    May 18, 2013 5:49 PM GMT
    Yes, I know some that fire clients. In this case, I won't fire him because he wouldn't get along with most personal trainers. He likes to ask questions, and we relate on many levels. Since he's a student, he gets to slack near hectic times of the year understandably.