View Full Version : Please help: what is wrong with this picture?
06-14-2004, 08:06 AM
Can someone please help me figure out what is going wrong with my workout?
I switched trainers, which is when the problem started.
My previous trainer had me working a double split... legs/shoulder/back and chest/bi/tri... M/T Legs T/F chest; doing about a 1 hour 1 hr 15 minute workout (10 minutes of that is abs). Our focus was on toning with a secondary emphasis on strength.
It was working great. I competed in April (figure), the judges told me I need more lats and shoulder. My trainer kept the double split pattern, but changed our exercises a little so that we were doing sets of 15/12/12/10
My trainer moved. (start crying now)
My new trainer refused to work with the double split. Said that since we were going for hypertrophy, we needed to do one body part a day, once a week, and that we would do 30 minute workouts. As an example... we do 4 sets of 10 reps bench press, then 4 sets of 10 incline press, then 100 reps light weight on the Nautilus machine or with an EZ bar to completely exhaust the muscle. Has me eating 70 grams of low glycemic index carbs 3 hrs pre workout, 150 calories of high glycemic index carbs during the workout.
I am losing muscle, losing strength, and getting fat... 10 lbs in 4 weeks. I went from a size 2 to the high side of a size 6 pants.
I went from "almost there" to "not even close" in one month and I could just cry, especially since I am contractually obligated to stick with this trainer for about $2,000 additional training time. I am trying to get my money back on the contract, but think I am stuck.
Anybody with any ideas of what is going wrong, please advise. I am desperate.
ask people to PM you, NEVER post your email please
06-14-2004, 08:46 AM
Ok, it sounds to me as though you have two distinct problems, one of which is fairly easily solved and other of which is more complicated.
1. Your routine/diet - If what your old trainer had you doing was working, why not go back to it?
2. The contract with the new trainer - I don't know enugh about what it would take to get you out of your contract but it seems to me that since you can prove that you have lost muscle, gained fat, etc., with the new guy, you have a good basis for a refund. Is this something you paid for up front or is it on your credit card? If it's on your credit card, perhaps you can do a chargeback. Also, is this trainer independent or did you find him/her through your gym? If the latter, you can complain to the gym. Last but not least, what does your trainer say is the reason for your loss of strength, etc.?
06-14-2004, 11:42 AM
Good questions, good advice.
The only option I can work with is option #1. I unfortunately hooked into a very slick marketing program without a lot of substance. I got sucked into a hard sell that has a lot of legal language behind it. I have tcheck my contract, but I think I would need to chop my arm off or move to Mexico in order to void the contract. My gym won't get in the middle. I paid with a check so my husband wouldnt lose it when the credit card bill came due. The training company claims to have many more trainers if I am unhappy with the one I have. Unfortunately, he is their best. I think it all boils down to... I'm stuck.
I specifically stated that I wanted a workout similar in structure to what I was doing, but wanted to put focus on building mass in my lats and shoulders. That's why I could cry... I told them I wanted something very specific and I am not getting what I wanted, and at $60 an hour, I should be. The boss-trainer gave me the "we're the experts... we'll decide what's right for you" speech when I complained about the FIRST guy, who only was interested in hurting me to prove he was more of a man than me. That's how I ended up with their "#1 competition-readiness guy". I'm sure the other bozos they have working for them would only hurt me badly. I got hurt yesterday, in fact.
What the trainer says makes good sense, but it seems like a man's workout and it also doesn't seem appropriate for my age... I am 44. I was hoping someone could give me a fact check on those points before I start screaming. If I am stuck with this guy for another $2,000 of workouts, it won't help if he hates me, which he will if I start screaming.
I discussed my concerns with my trainer yesterday. He says that atrophy sets in after 6-7 days. OK, fine... but he missed my point that this isn't working for me. I tried to structure the conversation to be respectful of his experience by saying that the 30 minute workout times were not working with my schedule; his solution was to simply add 2 days together to get to an hour workout. He isn't seeing the problem because, in his view, he is doing everything "correctly".
I asked for diet advice when we started... he gave me his advice, I unfortunately took it. Adding 500+ calories to my daily diet while cutting my workout times is unquestionably where the weight came from.... his original guidance was "you will gain some weight but don't worry about that... we'll deal with that later". It takes me about 3 months to shed 10 lbs. I am worrying about it, now. When I told him that I am gaining about 2 1/2 lbs a week, he asked me about my calorie intake. I told him that fueling up for a 1 hour workout and doing a 30 minute workout may be promoting muscle growth, but it is putting on a lot more fat than muscle.
If anybody wants to know the name of the national company, let me know by PM.... they lied to me about what they can deliver. I am afraid to post it publicly.
Does anybody have an axe I can use to chop my arm off?
06-14-2004, 01:03 PM
Are there specific terms in this contract regarding what services
this trainer is obligated to provide? If terms such as "better physical condition, better overall health or measurable fat loss/muscle gain I would say that they are in breach of contract. If no specific terms are listed, you can always tell the trainer that if he can not design a program that works for you or can't or won't find someone who can, you want a full refund. Threaten legal action, threaten to flame them to hell in this and other boards and
stand your ground. You are the customer, you are ALWAYS
RIGHT!!!!!! They may be causing injury to you with a poor program, that makes them liable. Stand firm and make your demands known to whoever is responsible. Places like this give all
personal trainers a bad rep. Please keep us posted!!!
06-14-2004, 01:14 PM
They ARE causing me injury. The 100 rep burnout re-injured my shoulder... when the chest burns out, the arms and shoulder try to help, and *voila!* reinjured shoulder, just like magic. Instead of my chest buring, my shoulder is on fire... from a chest workout.
A good trainer would have observed the rotation and stopped the exercise before I got hurt... I am one of those people who won't give up, so someone who doesn't know what they are doing WILL hurt me... I always try to do the work and get past my internal mental barriers. So I suppose I "own" some fault for that, but...
06-14-2004, 01:15 PM
Before I blast these people, does anybody have any thoughts on whether his approach is wrong for women, or women in a masters age category?
06-14-2004, 01:25 PM
I agree with Tom.
And you have my sympathy.
One more question: Are you sure your trainer is their best? By this I mean, he may be what they consider their best, but perhaps they have someone on staff who they think less of but you will think more of?
As for whether the approach is wrong, I'm not sure how qualified I am to say. I am your age (45) but I am not training to compete. I was doing a full body workout 2x week and fairly recently (April) switched to a 3-day split of Chest/Triceps; Legs/Shoulders; Back/Biceps, with 2 days of cardio based on what I'd read on this site. I am working in the range of 3 sets of 8 reps, where I am pretty much to failure on the last rep. I have not gained weight with the change, nor have I lost any muscle. OTOH, I can't say I have gained much mass either. But I am not genetically gifted and I am trying to go it alone as far as designing a program. I do know that many women on these boards use a 3-day split and see success. (Actually, at some point when this crisis is over, I'd love to hear why you think the two-day full-body workout was better). So I don't think there is anything inherently wrong in what your trainer is doing. That said, it could be wrong for you, as I understand that it is a bit of trial and error to find the optimum plan for any individual.
Back to your other problem -- go over your contract with a fine tooth comb and, if necessary, take legal action. Take pictures of your current condition and have them ready, along with pictures of your previous condition. Document your injuries. The idea of spending $2K and getting advice that creates injury is crazy. I think, with perserverence, you shoul dbe able to prevail with these people.
06-14-2004, 05:19 PM
Even though I believe men and women can train the same, I also believe there is no such thing as a one size fits all program.
I've had good results with 3/day splits in the past, but lately find myself having more success with an upper/lower body split.
When it comes to health and fitness we're all snowflakes. :P
This trainer obviously doesn't understand that.
I hope you're able to find something within your contract that will allow you to get out of it. Otherwise you might want to cut your losses, stop using their services and rely on what you learned from the last trainer. Losing that much money will suck, but it will suck more to continue the path you're on. You don't want to risk getting an injury.
06-14-2004, 06:34 PM
Hello Riotgirl..........I may be able to offer you some suggestions. Does your contract state this trainer specifically? If so, this is of no import. Your first step is to put in writing your entire list of complaints. Be very specific. Your injury in and of itself is cause. Look closely at your contract, does it outline specifically what your goals are...............as a rule, this is not the case. If this trainer is employed by the gym, you may request a new trainer. Period! You are not bound to the trainer you are bound to the contract. Now on to this trainer's methods. Scary. What he has outlined for you is specific to NOTHING. I have no idea where he attained his certification (you might want to make absolutely sure he is certified), but his training methods leave much to be desired. This is not hypertrophy specific training..........this is not any kind of training I have ever heard of. Period. I would suggest that you stop training with him immediately to prevent fruther injury (in other words.....injury=llawsuit). Make it VERY clear to the powers that be that you will seek medical attention as a direct result of this trainers inability and lack of knowledge. Be firm! I hope this has helped a little and good luck!
06-14-2004, 07:00 PM
Can you please help me identify what you find to be the problem in this workout?
This was just the chest, but his arm, shoulder, and back routines all share the same elements: 4-5 sets of 10 reps, all the same weight, 20 seconds max between reps, 3 exercises, finish with a 4th exercise done to the point you can't do anymore, take 10 seconds, then do 50 more reps.
The contract is with the company, not the trainer. There are no specific goals in the contract, other than that I pay them lots of money until the time is up.
I really need to be specific with him because they are not going to let me out of the contract without a huge fight, and he really is the best of the 7. If all I get out of him for my money is a spot while I am benching, then that's the way it is, I guess.
The other look like they eat lettuce for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and have the personality of a piece of paper, and couldn't motivate a horny goat to mate. I am not kidding... they come up to you while you are working out and accost you. I wouldn't work out with any of them.
Believe it or not, they are all certified. The one that told several people (including his boss) that he wanted to hurt me has an NSCA certification, a masters degree, and worked at Cleveland Clinic. His paperwork was impeccable, but he was clueless... His idea of working me out on legs was to put max weight on the squat bar, then when I was on the 12th rep, told me to go to 20. Thought I should do 4 sets of that, and was surpirsied when I told him no, I didn't need to hurt myself to prove a point... his response was "if you were a guy, you would..." Then follow that with 6 steps of walking lunges. ????? Clue bus, passing by...
I guess it is my mistake for being so anxious to improve that I didn't consider my options carefully and let myself be pressured into a bad decision... even tho it felt wrong. Biggest mistake I made.
I plan to document everything. I have competition photos, and I will get photos of me now, plus medical documentation. Very good advice :)
06-14-2004, 07:29 PM
My goodness! I have no idea where he's coming from in this. Again, this training is specific to NOTHING! The only difference between training a man a woman, as a rule, but not always, is weight. Reps, sets, tempo, intensity, rest.........it's all the same. I cannot believe he made that comment! WRITE IT DOWN! This is all part and parcel of the inadequat training you're receiving. As far as his certification, education, etc...........it's all air. If his training methods have no substance, they are useless. I hold a BS in Kinesiology, but, if I didn't keep a constant vigil on the ever changing factors, I would be redundant and dangerous! The number one priority for any trainer is the client.........Period. We are there to motivate and initiate..........progress is what we want, not to impede. Tell this arrogant SOB EXACTLY what you expect and settle for NOTHING LESS! You can do it! Look what you've done already! Your a competitor, don't forget that and don't let him take it away from you! Let me try to break down what I see as being wring with this routine. Number one, using the same weight for all muscle groups.........as an example, how can he find it possible that the deltoids can handle the same weight as the pectorals? Completely different movements and stress...........fast twitch vs. slow twitch, too many differences to mention! 4-5 sets @ 10 reps each is overtraining. 4-5 sets at 4-6, this I can possibly see. Better is 2-3 sets, 4-6 reps, max weight. You are way past adaptation. You don't need the higher rep range unless you are doing HST (this is a subject unto itself). As far as I can tell, at this point with his methods your gains will be few, your propensity for injury high. Make it very clear to him that you want a change............now.
06-15-2004, 04:28 AM
He sounds like a mysogonist.
06-15-2004, 05:03 AM
This situation is INTOLERABLE!!! You'd do it if you were a guy???
You're not a guy, WTF was this moron thinking? These trainers
(and I hesitate to use the word trainer here) are responsible for
your well being first and foremost. Any certification course that
trainers go through deals with contraindications to exercise such
as general health, prior or existing injuries, medical issues etc.
These people sound like they did no interview with you at all.
Plus this routine they are having you do just isn't working for you.
If that's not an indication to change the format I don't know what
is. I can't believe these guys. Get a new trainer at once if possible
or get a refund from these people. It's not just your money, it's
your health!!! Good luck!!!!!!
06-15-2004, 03:11 PM
I am taking all the advice offered, including that of my doctor. I am scheduled to see orthopedics; until then, I am not allowed to weight train for at least 4 weeks and may need to start physical therapy first.
I am contacting the company for a refund on the sessions I haven't used. There is a clause where you forfeit 50% of your payment, so I stand to lose about $1300, but that is better than getting hurt again. I will be providing them documentation about the injury, and also about the moron trainer who was fired. Hopefully, they will see fit to refund the remainder, as well. I will post a follow up to how that resolves.
Fortunately, I have JMManion photos of me in April, and I will be taking me, today, pix after I log off.
Thanks for the comments about over-training... that is kind of what I thought, also, but was afraid I might be wrong. The weakness in my previous program was that we didn't do enough mass building... not enough heavy weight, low rep exercises... but this is too far the other way. At least I will be able to take that lesson into my next session... once my shoulder heals.
At this point, I doubt I will be competing in October, but a lesson learned the hard way I guess is a lesson learned.
It is some consolation that the guy who made the "if you were a guy..." comment was fired mostly becayse of how he treated me, and his comments about "hurting me" that he also was stupid enough to make to his manager.
06-19-2004, 09:09 PM
Hope everything works out for a 100% refund and quick recovery for your shoulder!
06-24-2004, 10:28 AM
What a Horror story!
First trainer fired for gross negligience.
Second trainer undoes hard earned competition body and injures you.
Have you asked for all your money back? Yes, all your money back. You payed for results and got nothing. You are entitled to all your money back.
Is your Husband involved? Have him ask for a refund. Take the trainers to small claims court if necessary. Withe the threats and firings, any judge would rule in your favor. Threaten to get a lawyer and sue for much more, including damages and loss of wifely duties, etc, etc. We all work too hard for our money to give it away to bull**** artists like this.
then, get a good trainer, and never pay more that a few sessions at a time.
And put everything on a credit card. The protection you get is well worth having your spouse complain a little bit about it.
07-22-2004, 06:19 PM
Everybody asked me to post the resolution of this. The man I spoke to with the training firm, Mr. Dorian Gallagher, gave me permission to tell the story.
So far, this is what happened. I asked the company, "Body of Change" for my money back. Of the $2,597 I paid in cash, up front, I requested a refund of $2184, which paid them for 3 sessions provided an documentation and administration allowance.
"Body of Change" refused my request. Dorian told me I had 2 choices. I could terminate my contract and forfeit 50% of the balance on my account I forfeit $1,092. Yes, you read it right. I lose $1,092. Or, I could continue working with their staff.
I said I wanted to sever the agreement amicably, especially since I have an 18 month membership at the club and don't want unpleasant relationships. I agreed to pay my own medical bills and not pursue further in court. Dorian Gallagher told me "we apologize for your inconvenience, but..." and went back to the only 2 choices story.
He told me that "Body of Change" training staff were all competent and as proof, told the "we have pictures..." story. I wish I would have told him if "Body of Change" was so great, "Body of Change" wouldn't need to rip off my money to make money. But I bit my tongue and reminded him that I have JMManion competition pictures from April 2004, and "Body of Change" representative (Jason) told me "Body of Change" had the skills and staff to get my desired improvements for the October 2004 show. Then, "Body of Change" proceeded to ruin my body in 4 weeks. I advised Dorian it wasn't fair to sell me competitive athlete services when their claim that their trainers have competition readiness experience was not true. He stuck to his guns on the refund.
I reminded Dorian I talk to many people, and would not be inclined to say anything negative if they simply refunded all of my money. Dorian told me the 2 choices story again. I advised Dorian I would sue for the balance, invite my insurance company to subrogate their company for their share of my medical bills, and would provide an accurate accounting of this story to anyone who asked, and that the cost to "Body of Change" would be much higher than the simple refund I requested. Dorian told me that was ok with him but he would not be refunding my money.
So, per my discussion with Mr. Dorian Gallagher, the personal training company "Body of Change" ripped me off for over $1,000 and injured me.
"Body of Change" does not care at all about the health of their clients... neither Mr. Gallagher nor Ms. Rachel Ramirez ever expressed any concern over my well-being, only an interest in keeping my money. Jason ("Body of Change" manager) and his training staff also expressed no interest or concern for my health. Once Jason learned I had injured myself, his only interest was in collecting information about me in order to deny me a refund.
Curious that "Body of Change" bills itself as a "total fitness company" with no actual interest in the health or fitness of their clients.
"Body of Change" operates out of Fitworks Fitness Centers. Understandably, Fitworks staff refuse to discuss "Body of Change" trainers or business practices with Fitworks customers.
Please pass the word on about "Body of Change" business practices. Regardless of whether their trainers are good or not...
"Body of Change" business practices are unfair.
07-22-2004, 06:35 PM
Not only is Body of Change a rip off company, David Silversteen is a dangerous trainer.
David Silversteen is the NSCA certified trainer who bragged about wanting to hurt me.
His NSCA credentials should be revoked.
David came from Michigan, and was working in Ohio. I don't know where he went after leaving Body of Change.
I also did some web searching and found numerous other people who have been similarly ripped off by Body of Change. I may be dumb, but I am not alone, and if I never see the money again, it is worth it to not have those fools hurt me for life.
07-23-2004, 05:01 AM
Congrats on realizing that your health is worth more than this frustrating mess!!! Have you contacted the Consumer Protection Agency in your area? It may help and at the very least would document the situation and perhaps help to stem others from getting hurt. You may also want to contact a law school in your area for some advice as to your legal options. I wouldn't completely give up on reclaiming your losses financially. It will just take some time and a lot of questions as you find the right paths to take. In the interim, take care of your mind and body. Best wishes,
07-23-2004, 10:07 AM
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll give it a try!
Another person suggested contacting the state attorney general.
Anybody else have ideas on recovering losses, please let me know and I will follow up.
07-23-2004, 12:42 PM
Not sure what is available in your town but my local news channel does consumer protection shows on local businesses that rip people off - and frankly a female bodybuilder with before and after shots makes for some damn interesting television. Nothing hurts like bad publicity.
07-23-2004, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by RiotGirl
Not only is Body of Change a rip off company, David Silversteen is a dangerous trainer.
David Silversteen is the NSCA certified trainer who bragged about wanting to hurt me.
His NSCA credentials should be revoked.
RG - Have you written to the NSCA? If not, you should. As well as to any organization your health club is affiliated with.
07-23-2004, 09:06 PM
Good suggestion to contact NSCA. I have documented my entire experience with David... they ought to find it interesting.
I plan to write FitWorks and tell them I will not be renewing my account with them despite the convenience of their facility and quality of their equipment, and that the reason I will spend more money and drive further is that I find their affiliation with "Body of Change" odious at best.
It's really rotten that Fitworks invites that company in to their facilities to shake down their customers, then they pretend that their relationships is non-existent and claim no knowledge of their business practices or expertise. "Body of Change" would not be able to do business out of Fitworks without Fitwork's permission.
As my mother would say, "If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all". I should have taken Fitworks' refusal to comment on "Body of Change" for what it was.
07-24-2004, 05:38 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by RiotGirl
[B]Good suggestion to contact NSCA. I have documented my entire experience with David... they ought to find it interesting.
"It's really rotten that Fitworks invites that company in to their facilities to shake down their customers, then they pretend that their relationships is non-existent and claim no knowledge of their business practices or expertise. "Body of Change" would not be able to do business out of Fitworks without Fitwork's permission".......................................
Documenting your experience with this "trainer" and sending same to NSCA is a great idea. Let us know if they respond in any way.........I'm curious as to whether they would address this or not!
As far as the gym having no knowledge of "Body of Change" business practices, that is pure bunk. To prove this, look up their insurance policy (public record). I quarantee you that they have a rider on this company, thereby making them an "agent". The company that employes me is a separate entity from the facility itself, HOWEVER, the gym owners are fully aware of our business and take an interest in our business and professional practices. It's their gym on the line! Should there be a complaint filed by a client (our record is squeaky clean!) the gym owners would want full disclosure immediately! DON"T GIVE UP ON THIS ONE! You have so much documentation that they are doing nothing at this point but covering their asses. They are fully aware that you have a winning lawsuit. You have sustained an injury as a DIRECT RESULT of this trainer's inefficiency. It would not surprise me if this trainer suddenly "quit" his job. I would look into litigation, seriously. Consult a personal injury attorney. Their fees are contigent upon the outcome of the case. Even if your awarded only half of what you've paid, it's worth it to put them on strong public notice! Make their lives as miserable as you possibly can but do it legally. Good luck and keep us posted! And, I want to add a personal note of apology for what has happened to you. There are many more reputable facilities and trainers out there than not. Don't let these bottom feeders taint your future experience to such an extent that you're too afraid to hire a trainer. You now have all of this knowledge. This will lead you to the right trainer because you know all too well the wrong one!
07-24-2004, 05:52 AM
I will be looking for a new trainer as soon as I am able to resume working out.
The orthopedic guy told me yesterday that I need an additional 6-10 weeks off of my shoulder. Bummer.
I plan to make "Body of Change" as miserable as possible. I hope their company tanks. From any web reports I've read (which I should have read first...), they are thoroughly disreputable.
Thanks for the advice about the gym and insurance. I will make sure that I make plenty of noise with Fitworks. Maybe they will kick Body of Change out. I hope so... Fitworks is a nice gym these days.