Private Trainer -- Yes or No?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2007 10:26 AM GMT
    I'm not sure if this was in the right forum or not, so please feel free to move it.

    Anyway, I'm a slender 18yo twink who has been thinking of joining a gym. Right now, I'm pretty petite (5'8, ~120 pounds). I'm really not looking to bulk up anyway, just tone pretty seriously. Should I consider getting a private trainer, or is there a better way to achieve what I'm looking for?

    And just for reference, here is what I look like now (well, a few months ago, anyway):


    And here is more-or-less what I'm looking to achieve (although I do understand that my genetics may feel differently):


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2007 4:16 PM GMT
    Hey man, you aren't too far off your goal. I think it would be a wise investment for a personal trainer-if you've got the resources. If you've never been in a gym before your time and money would be better spent if you had some guidence. A word of caution though... you have to find a trainer that has your goals in mind, alot of trainers out there just spit out cookie cutter routines and may not take the time to really teach you what you need to know and what you should be feeling/doing while u are in the gym. Good luck!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 14, 2007 11:17 PM GMT
    My two cents: I would definitely recommend a trainer for a short period of time if you're new to training. I see so many guys doing so many things incorrectly at the gym. It's amazing how much a good trainer can help - I had been working out for many years and had totally plateaud, and a trainer I hired for just a couple of months really pushed me to about three levels higher in my training. That said, "trainers" are a dime a dozen - as many guys I see training incorrectly at the gym, I also see trainers who don't seem to know a clue what they're doing. I've had other trainers recommend things to me that I would consider dangerous or just plain stupid.

    Like finding just about any good professional, the best way to find a good trainer is through friends or acquaintances. If you don't know any friends who use trainers, try finding one of the better gyms in your town and ask there.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 15, 2007 2:02 AM GMT
    I believe that a personal trainer is a good investment for any one just starting or wanting to learn proper bodybuilding form,and the right nutritional ways to build their body. But make sure you have a trainer that is in the buisness for the right reason, that being the clients best interest.watching how he or she trains others and themselves is one other way to also tell. I have and have had trainers, and also I am one myself. I love it! It's not all about the money.And there are those in the gym that will help you if you can't afford the cost,just watch and ask!Just don't ask during their routine.

  • Thirdbeach

    Posts: 1367

    Jan 15, 2007 3:16 AM GMT
    I would reccommend getting help to get you started in the right direction.
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    Jan 15, 2007 2:17 PM GMT
    If you do, make sure they are someone you can communicate well with and connect with. I once made the mistake of hiring someone that did not connect well with myself and what I was wanting to do. It was such a waste of time and money and really my fault for not requesting someone else.
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    Jan 15, 2007 4:56 PM GMT
    I agree with manenuff. I have been training people a long time. Check out qualifications too. I'm a trainer, but even we need help sometimes. My trainer is ex-mil and I've learned stuff from him too.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 16, 2007 4:48 PM GMT
    A personal trainer is a MUST if you are just starting out! You will succeed much more quickly if you have someone to show you the ropes and proper form on exercises. Look for a properly certified trainer (ACE, ACSM...) and if you don't like the PT, shop around. A good PT, btw, will sit down with you on your first visit and discuss your goals, past injuries, limitations, etc. No half-decent trainer would throw you into a workout before seeing what you are capable of; there might/should be a fitness assessment before your first "official" workout.
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    Jan 25, 2007 4:46 PM GMT
    I just finished my 5th session of a 10 session "pack" i got at my gym here in Boston. It was VERY helpful. He taught me a bunch of stuff I never thought to do and it also forces you to "report" to somone each week.
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    Jan 25, 2007 9:20 PM GMT
    Most people would waste their money on supplements but you are taking the sensible approach of looking at a personal trainer. Well done its a breath of fresh air to read that on fitness forums nowadays.

    Get the training right, get the diet right and save yourself years of trying to achieve what you are after.

    make sure that your trainer gives you a sound nutritional plan that suits your current eating habits and I dont mean all junk food what I mean is: if you prefer to eat lots of meat and few carbs then a diet that goes that route or vice versa both in moderation.

  • luvs2travel

    Posts: 94

    Feb 11, 2007 8:10 PM GMT
    An experienced trainer is worth every cent. I worked out stupidly for years and have injuries to show for it. When I began working with a trainer, I was able to understand the physiology of muscle building, the importance of correct posture and form and found a new motivation.

    It is easy to fall into a rut with training. It's also easy to find a crappy trainer. Make sure you do your homework, make sure he/she is qualified and most importantly, that you have a good rapport and can discuss different forms of training. Ask about their experience and how they can help you. Talk to other clients to find out how good they really are.

    I have used a trainer on and off for the last 2 years for different reason and find it's one of the best investments I have ever made.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Feb 11, 2007 8:20 PM GMT
    I agree that if you have the financial resources, hire a competent, certified (not just "certified" by the gym, like Gold's) personal trainer. It really got me going in the right direction, and got me confident to go to the gym and workout without having sand kicked in my face by all the guys who are on this website... :-) Just kidding.

    It was a great investment. And, as triguy points out, it will teach you the proper techniques (I shudder everytime I see guys do lat pulldowns behind their neck) both to get you to your goals, and to prevent injury.

    Good luck and have fun, because it is fun.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 08, 2007 6:21 PM GMT
    A personal trainer can be helpful when you first get started. Trainers can be very expensive, so making sure you have someone that is qualified, and who cares about what your goals are. As someone else previously mentioned, make sure you're able to get along with your trainer.

    I had a great trainer but he was always under preassure from gym management to make sure his clients were renewing their trainer services. As a result, he was great as far as listening to my needs, teaching me safe lifting and form, making me stick to a healthy diet and always ending our sessions with discussions and setting new goals. But at the same time, he'd always be asking me to pay more for other services. I'd see the gym managers tallking to him about upselling me and other members on tanning packages, diet suppliment programs and extending his services. He always felt badly about doing it, but it got to the point where I felt too pressured.

    The most inmportant things I learned from my trainer was the importance of stretching, warming up and cooling down, how to workout safely, using correct form and learning how to listen to your body.

    I know there are great trainers out there that truly care for their clients and not all trainers are like the one I experienced. Good luck to you.

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    Mar 25, 2007 9:44 PM GMT
    Great information! Where is the best place to find a personal trainer and what things should I be looking for in a trainer?
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    Mar 25, 2007 10:42 PM GMT
    This whole questions is double-sided.

    At a gym like 24 Hour Fitness, the "trainer" is expected to "recommend" a certain level of supplements (nutrition stuff) to the "client." Some of the trainers are exceptionally clueless, and it's a numbers game. Some are qualified, but have to make a living, so they still succumbs to the pressures of a gym like that. I.e., you don't get what's in your best interest, but, rather what has higher margins.

    Other gyms, like LA Fitness, have their trainers on a hourly basis, without incentive tied to "supplement" sales. That's certainly more ethically, but, you still can run into clueless trainers.

    Now, here's something you should know...especially if you are looking for excuses on why you failed: 1. 120 at 5'8" isn't petite, it's starving. 2. No one at the gym gives a rat's tiny behind what you look like. Many experienced lifters are more than happy to help a newbie, if you don't come off as a complete low esteem loser. 3. It's not rocket science. Watch others that are good at it and use common sense. 4. Nobody said it wouldn't be hard from time to time (e.g. competitive bodybuilding), but, in general, it should make you feel good and isn't all that hard. It's a lifestyle. 5. You can't make gains if you are anorexic, and can't or won't eat. Nutrition is so very much part of sports science, and, believe me, it IS science. 6. Learn about pain. There's good pain, telling you that you worked a muscle / trained hard, and that's bad pain. There's a fine line. If you want to make gains, likely there will be some pain involved the way. In can guide you in your training effort and keep you from making bad judgments.

    I have been lifting for 31 years. I've also studied my craft, at great length. I don't like training people because most refuse to set themselves up for success. If you hire a trainer, dont' make them a crutch for your own insecurity. Give yourself permission to like yourself, and things will come together. I have two trainers (Sagi Kalev - on the cover of Muscle and Fitness more than any man alive -, and Jesse Levya - Texas State Champion Middleweight - and they are extreme valuable in my training. They pick up on things I missed, and are constantly giving me sound advice.

    Here's all my glory...

    Set a goal; come up with a plan for success; train smart; have a good work ethic; eat; study; rest; ask folks; come to like yourself..and finally, learn patience and diligence. And...PICK UP YOUR WEIGHTS...

    Like I said, most big guys / fit guys are happy to mentor others if you don't turn them off with extremely low esteem.

    Good luck.
  • atxclimber

    Posts: 480

    Mar 25, 2007 11:32 PM GMT
    Oh, come on, Chuck, 120 lbs at 5'8" isn't exceptionally low weight. From your photo, cc132, you look pretty much like an ectomorph - low body fat, but also narrower shoulders, slighter build, and presumably it takes a fair amount of work to put on muscle mass.

    I'll echo the sentiment of others: weightlifting is a physical activity with skill and technique just like any other, so a good trainer is particularly useful in teaching you good form, as well as other possibilities like offering motivation (you have to show up and answer to someone every week), anatomical education (learning about all the different muscle groups, and exercises that variously target them), and offer a perhaps-gentler way to show up to a gym if you're new at it.

    Chuck, I dunno about relying on other people working out for advice; certainly they can give you tips and helpful information, but aren't about to stop a workout and provide in-depth training most of the time, I'd think. Anyway with climbing it's like that: You can get beta and quick demonstrations on bouldering problems from higher-level climbers, but they're not going to stand there and teach you what a knee-drop is and how to safely do one for twenty minutes. I think trainers offer a different benefit over just asking for tips from people working out.

    And I dunno about all that low-self-esteem stuff; I'm sure that's not entirely uncommon with gay guys in gyms, but in cc132's case he just sounds like a guy with maybe some slight trepidation, wanting to learn his way around a gym. Nothing wrong with that.
  • Starboard

    Posts: 242

    Mar 25, 2007 11:57 PM GMT
    If you have fitness goals that you either are unsure of how to achieve on your own, or cannot achieve on your own, a trainer is worth the investment. If you are out of shape, unfit, insecure, unhealthy, or WHATEVER, getting yourself to the gym will be a great step towards fixing everything at the same time. I'm reasonably athletic and have been working out for years but still find a lot of value in working out with a trainer 1-2x per week. As others have said, there's a science to finding a balance and incorporating exercise and nutrition into your life in order to achieve a specific fitness goal -- there are many resources out there for you, and a good trainer is one of them.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Mar 27, 2007 9:48 PM GMT
    Hiring a trainer for 5 weeks, just once a week was the best thing I ever did for myself. Learning proper form can prevent injuries. And they're usually hot! ;o)