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  1. #1
    Registered User itsbeentoolong's Avatar
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    Personal Trainer vs Going Solo

    I am going to be starting one or the other tomorrow. I have worked with the personal trainer once before, but only gave him a week out of paying for a month, which I sometimes regret. This personal trainer doesn't work out of a conventional gym with conventional weights, but had me doing things like pushing/pulling a huge metal sleigh with a giant rope, running down a long field a few times with weights at the end of a rope, and various other exercises that won't keep me bored that's for sure. It definitely seems intense and he's got quite a few long-lifed clientsI have seen how guys look after 3 months and it's amazing. I am about 330lbs (guessing.. I'll know tomorrow) full of body fat. I don't want to lose weight too fast, which I fear, which is why I was considering going solo, but I feel that would be taking the easy way out.

    The pt also doesn't emphasize any special dieting just to eat as much protein as possible and vegetables. I think his philosophy may be you are going to burn enough calories and work your muscles enough so that dieting isn't that important (this is just a guess... or he may not have wanted that to be my main focus at the time -just to get in decent shape to be pushed harder). Now, either way I do plan on changing my diet, I may not be able to eat the most calories required/desired, but I'll be doing my best eating every few hours with tunas, fish, veggies, red meat here and there, oatmeal, etc. I'm still reresearching, but wanted some opinions if I could get some.
    Thanks and glad to be back.
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  2. #2
    Banned truushot's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    I am going to be starting one or the other tomorrow. I have worked with the personal trainer once before, but only gave him a week out of paying for a month, which I sometimes regret. This personal trainer doesn't work out of a conventional gym with conventional weights, but had me doing things like pushing/pulling a huge metal sleigh with a giant rope, running down a long field a few times with weights at the end of a rope, and various other exercises that won't keep me bored that's for sure. It definitely seems intense and he's got quite a few long-lifed clientsI have seen how guys look after 3 months and it's amazing. I am about 330lbs (guessing.. I'll know tomorrow) full of body fat. I don't want to lose weight too fast, which I fear, which is why I was considering going solo, but I feel that would be taking the easy way out.

    The pt also doesn't emphasize any special dieting just to eat as much protein as possible and vegetables. I think his philosophy may be you are going to burn enough calories and work your muscles enough so that dieting isn't that important (this is just a guess... or he may not have wanted that to be my main focus at the time -just to get in decent shape to be pushed harder). Now, either way I do plan on changing my diet, I may not be able to eat the most calories required/desired, but I'll be doing my best eating every few hours with tunas, fish, veggies, red meat here and there, oatmeal, etc. I'm still reresearching, but wanted some opinions if I could get some.
    Thanks and glad to be back.
    What ever motivates you to lose weight. Is it necessary? No. You can aware yourself of how to eat correctly. What macros are. What your TDEE. How much you should eat. All the information is at the top of this forum. Teach yourself. No trainer will be there for the rest of your life. You don't need to eat every few hours. You don't need to do crazy/unusual exercises to be or get healthy. A gym has all the equipment you need. You can do it without a gym.
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  3. #3
    Registered User j00cey's Avatar
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    hey brah, if i were you id start by using the personal trainer ( if the money isn't a problem ) just because he will make you work hard! and push your limits whereas you might not do that, don't be afraid of losing weight to fast at the weight you are at right now!, another thing regarding eating, find your maintenance cals ( what you need to eat to stay the same weight ) if you haven't done so already and take around 20% ( or 500cals ) off of that, then start tracking how much you eat religiously, if you keep eating under your maintenance you will lose weight. ill link you some good sites for cal tracking and one so you can find you TDEE.

    read this thread to understand macros, and to find your TDEE ~ http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showth...hp?t=121703981
    And this is the site i use to keep track of my cal intake ~ http://www.myfitnesspal.com/

    hope i helped and don't quit OP will be worth it in the end!! GOODLUCK!
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  4. #4
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    Nothing wrong with going with a personal trainer, especially if you seem to require external motivation/accountability and/or are completely clueless on the training aspect.

    But keep in mind:
    1) You won't always be training under with a personal trainer, so you will have to be able to summon the motivation by yourself eventually.
    2) If all you get from your trainer is motivation to push around heavy objects, like the sled, you are missing out IMO. Learning proper form on many of the classical lifts will allow you to do them by yourself at just about any gym, or maybe even at home. Learning standard resistance training and some sensible progression strategies has the possibility of helping you out long-term. And not only do I find it not boring, my gym time is probably my favorite time of the day, kind of meditative.
    3) The PT probably doesn't emphasize diet because he is a PT, not a nutritionist or dietitian or whatever. Or he figures that eating healthy for now has to be a significant improvement over what got you fat. But the reality of it, in terms of weight management, is that diet is basically EVERYTHING. You won't always have some guy riding you to bust ass, you won't always be burning 500+ calories per day working out. You need to eventually get some grasp of this, and there is no time like the present. This doesn't mean you will have to count calories for the rest of your life, it means that you know what to do when you start getting too fat for your liking.

    Cliffs: If I was going to pay some guy to help me lose weight, get healthy, and look better, I'd want to get more out of it than just temporary accountability. You want to be able to get something that you can employ down the road, on your own time, in a variety of environments. Diet and a working knowledge of basic resistance training are the two most important tools imo.
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  5. #5
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    As mentioned above several times, you can use one to start out with for motivation and accountability, but we can also be here for all of that. Biggest thing I've found on this forum is knowledge and inspiration and all of it for free. There were some good links above j00cey that you should check out. There are also some good workout programs on here.

    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=998224
    If you do decide to do it on your own I would HIGHLY suggest doing that workout. Read through it and it explains and gives example of every lift for you to teach yourself. Also don't be afraid to ask the people working at the gym for a spot and then maybe ask them if the form looked good and you can get free teachings on proper form and an extra set of eyes on you.
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  6. #6
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    There are just so many terrible personal trainers out there that it's difficult to recommend trying one. You're quite likely to get some jackass that'll have you doing barbell squats on a bosu ball.
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    Never had a personal trainer in my life. Between the experienced older guys on this site and YouTube videos, I have all the resources I need. Not to mention, 90% of the personal trainers you run across in commercial gyms believe in absolutes and will less you to believe in many misconceptions. That doesn't mean they won't work, but they typically believe their way is the only way and anything that worka outside their methods is due to luck or genetics...
    I'm a cybernetic organism, living tissue under metal endoskeleton.

    And yeah...i bulk even if i've got love handles, U MAD?
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  8. #8
    Registered User itsbeentoolong's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies guys. I do believe for the initial start up and motivation I am going with the PT. His style almost reminds me of a HITT with weights of some sorts, but I've seen it work, mainly bulking guys up. I've only seen one guy as big as myself there and he stuck with it.

    With eating, that's going to be a challenge. I'm sure eating the required amount of calories is going to expensive at my weight. I was planning to stick with chicken, tuna, oatmeals, veggies, fruits, and nuts. I still have reading to do on nutrition though. For now, I am just trying to focus on eating small meals every few hours and staying away from the sugar and processed foods. I'm coming from drinking 2 liters almost daily and pastries. So, I'm sure just making regular changes to my diet will get me in the right direction. I just didn't want there to be too much of a deficit causing me to loose the weight too fast and end up with a ton of loose skin. That'd be a nightmare, but what can ya do.
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys. I do believe for the initial start up and motivation I am going with the PT. His style almost reminds me of a HITT with weights of some sorts, but I've seen it work, mainly bulking guys up. I've only seen one guy as big as myself there and he stuck with it.

    With eating, that's going to be a challenge. I'm sure eating the required amount of calories is going to expensive at my weight. I was planning to stick with chicken, tuna, oatmeals, veggies, fruits, and nuts. I still have reading to do on nutrition though. For now, I am just trying to focus on eating small meals every few hours and staying away from the sugar and processed foods. I'm coming from drinking 2 liters almost daily and pastries. So, I'm sure just making regular changes to my diet will get me in the right direction. I just didn't want there to be too much of a deficit causing me to loose the weight too fast and end up with a ton of loose skin. That'd be a nightmare, but what can ya do.
    How the hell did you get to 330 if you cannot afford food? Save your money, learn to do it yourself. You'll be far better off then with some donk PT teaching you bs that you cannot do on your own. You would need to pay the PT or someone else 10 hours or more JUST to learn how to eat correctly. It is free to read the stickies....

    Eating the good stuff isn't difficult or any more expensive then eating crap. You'll probably find that you can eat for less and since you need to eat a lot less... profit.

    Losing weight is 80-90 percent calorie control.

    Jimmies, slightly rustled.
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  10. #10
    Registered User itsbeentoolong's Avatar
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    Using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula I arrived at 2,482 cals per day. So, cutting that 500+ cals won't be too bad for me. I usually eat one big meal a day and not much at that, so shouldn't be too bad at all guys. Thanks!
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    Registered User itsbeentoolong's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by truushot View Post
    How the hell did you get to 330 if you cannot afford food? Save your money, learn to do it yourself. You'll be far better off then with some donk PT teaching you bs that you cannot do on your own. You would need to pay the PT or someone else 10 hours or more JUST to learn how to eat correctly. It is free to read the stickies....

    Eating the good stuff isn't difficult or any more expensive then eating crap. You'll probably find that you can eat for less and since you need to eat a lot less... profit.
    I used to be 285 regularly, until a doctor put me on some BS medicine that jacked my weight up in 3 months time. I since have quit that medicine, so need to work back down and get healthy once and for all. I would only eat 1 healthy meal a day + soda + dessert + slow metabolism = fatty. The diet part won't be that hard for me. It's the motivation to drive and do these tough workouts. I've been big my whole life though, so no excuses other than being lazy, not working out, and eating enough of the right foods. But better late than never.
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  12. #12
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    Using the Mifflin-St Jeor formula I arrived at 2,482 cals per day. So, cutting that 500+ cals won't be too bad for me. I usually eat one big meal a day and not much at that, so shouldn't be too bad at all guys. Thanks!
    HUH??

    Your RMR at your stats guessing your age at 35, thinking you sit on your ass all day comes out to over 2900 calories.

    Eat at 2300 calories.

    Eggs, egg whites
    Chicken, Turkey, Lean Red Meat
    Veggies
    Fruit
    Veggies
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  13. #13
    Registered User HipsterPat's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    Thanks for the replies guys. I do believe for the initial start up and motivation I am going with the PT. His style almost reminds me of a HITT with weights of some sorts, but I've seen it work, mainly bulking guys up. I've only seen one guy as big as myself there and he stuck with it.

    With eating, that's going to be a challenge. I'm sure eating the required amount of calories is going to expensive at my weight. I was planning to stick with chicken, tuna, oatmeals, veggies, fruits, and nuts. I still have reading to do on nutrition though. For now, I am just trying to focus on eating small meals every few hours and staying away from the sugar and processed foods. I'm coming from drinking 2 liters almost daily and pastries. So, I'm sure just making regular changes to my diet will get me in the right direction. I just didn't want there to be too much of a deficit causing me to loose the weight too fast and end up with a ton of loose skin. That'd be a nightmare, but what can ya do.
    I think that a personal trainer is the best option for you. Having someone to keep you accountable is priceless. I have been doing it by myself for the past 4 months, but I know I could have made at least 30% more progress with a pt because I won't eat an extra pb&j or something at 4am, if I know I have to be honest about my diet with a pt. About the loose skin, it doesn't matter how fast or slow you lose weight, it won't make a difference. It's a myth. You'll have stretch marks too, forever. Think of them as reminders of the person you used to be, reminders of the person you never want to come back to. It's good that you have a pt, because he'll keep you motivated and on track. I think that for you, an 18month plan to get fit is reasonable. Good luck to you in the future, stick with it and remember, that it's only one day at a time.. Also, if you buy in bulk, you can eat healthy on a budget. I eat about $20-$25 a day on average on a 2,000cal/day diet, including expensive diet sodas and buying salads outside home... That's not too expensive.
    Threw away athletic and academic scholarships. Bipolar II disorder. Recovering alcoholic. Recovering from an eating disorder. Getting my life back on track. My fitness is a good place to start this journey.

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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    I used to be 285 regularly, until a doctor put me on some BS medicine that jacked my weight up in 3 months time. I since have quit that medicine, so need to work back down and get healthy once and for all. I would only eat 1 healthy meal a day + soda + dessert + slow metabolism = fatty. The diet part won't be that hard for me. It's the motivation to drive and do these tough workouts. I've been big my whole life though, so no excuses other than being lazy, not working out, and eating enough of the right foods. But better late than never.
    You a troll?

    Soda if its diet or zero calories is fine. Poor that sugary **** down the sink.
    Dessert, in moderation is fine.
    You don't have slow metabolism, it is mostly a myth.

    Good luck with your heart attack. Exercise isn't even necessary to lose weight. It is about counting calories.
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    Originally Posted by truushot View Post
    You a troll?

    Soda if its diet or zero calories is fine. Poor that sugary **** down the sink.
    Dessert, in moderation is fine.
    You don't have slow metabolism, it is mostly a myth.

    Good luck with your heart attack. Exercise isn't even necessary to lose weight. It is about counting calories.
    Im young and have made it this far and making changes so keep your heart attack to yourself. Am I troll? I am asking for help for a decision I am to make. I wasn't drinking diet soda or exercising or eating right and had medical issues, non physical related didn't I say that that all? Lighten up, not sure what your problem is. No need to be or make one an ass. Fail to see how this would be a troll attempt.
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    Your fear of losing weight too fast doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's entirely too easy to combat. If it is happening, you just eat more calorie dense foods – they are usually cheaper and tastier than chicken breast, egg whites, and broccoli. And readily available. I wish it would happen to me more often. Also, if you were really concerned about it, then it would make even more sense to make a solid effort to track calories from the start, so that you can make appropriate adjustments.

    It's not the speed of weight loss that causes the permanent skin damage, it's the stretching it as you got fat. While skin tautness does tend to lag a bit as you lose weight, ultimately, when you reach a given body composition (no matter how slowly/rapidly) and stay there for a bit, you will either have it or you won't. Yes, you want to keep as much LBM as possible when you diet (in the case of combating loose skin, to maximize internal mass), but unless you are doing some aggressive crash-dieting, I don't think excessive LBM loss will be a concern for some time in your case. Assuming training and adequate protein.
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    Originally Posted by csb5731 View Post
    Your fear of losing weight too fast doesn't make a whole lot of sense. It's entirely too easy to combat. If it is happening, you just eat more calorie dense foods – they are usually cheaper and tastier than chicken breast, egg whites, and broccoli. And readily available. I wish it would happen to me more often. Also, if you were really concerned about it, then it would make even more sense to make a solid effort to track calories from the start, so that you can make appropriate adjustments.

    It's not the speed of weight loss that causes the permanent skin damage, it's the stretching it as you got fat. While skin tautness does tend to lag a bit as you lose weight, ultimately, when you reach a given body composition (no matter how slowly/rapidly) and stay there for a bit, you will either have it or you won't. Yes, you want to keep as much LBM as possible when you diet (in the case of combating loose skin, to maximize internal mass), but unless you are doing some aggressive crash-dieting, I don't think excessive LBM loss will be a concern for some time in your case. Assuming training and adequate protein.
    Thanks, I mean I want the weight off as quick as possible, but I just always believed if you lost weight too fast you end up with more loose skin, but what you all are saying makes sense.
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    Im young and have made it this far and making changes so keep your heart attack to yourself. Am I troll? I am asking for help for a decision I am to make. I wasn't drinking diet soda or exercising or eating right and had medical issues, non physical related didn't I say that that all? Lighten up, not sure what your problem is. No need to be or make one an ass. Fail to see how this would be a troll attempt.
    You didn't gain weight from medicine. You gained weight from sticking tasty treats and other foods in your mouth. You want to hire a trainer who's going to train you on equipment that you will have no access to after you stop training with him? So you plan on having him train you for the foreseeable future? Do you have an aversion to a gym? You seem to think that a PT is going to motivate you to lose weight. Yes he will, for the hour you spend with him. Then what? You need to teach yourself and train yourself to eat better/less. There is nothing about losing weight that you cannot do yourself with a little effort and research. Since you posted here you wanted advice, mine is don't hire that trainer. If you need a trainer do a little research and find a conventional one at a gym or with access to a gym. Teach yourself about TDEE/Calories, Macros, etc., like I said it is all free and right here in this forum. There are really no short cuts. If you can't motivate yourself you will probably fail. Good luck.
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    Originally Posted by truushot View Post
    You didn't gain weight from medicine.
    You know not what you talk of. I'd leave it at that. Thank you for your input and feedback.
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    You know not what you talk of. I'd leave it at that. Thank you for your input and feedback.
    No, he's right. Meds cannot make you gain fat. Meds can alter the variables in your energy balance equation by making you eat more (by stimulating appetite), or by making your burn fewer calories by making you feel crappy and lazy (or by subtly altering your metabolic rate through very small effects). But both of those tendencies are still under your control and you can choose to override those effects. Maybe it's a small distinction, but the point is not to give up and throw in the towel because it's something outside your control. It can still be completely inside your control, and if you are able to hold your own behavior accountable, then you have an opportunity to make a meaningful change.
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  21. #21
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    I been using a trainer since July, and he has really helped me the once a week I see him. If I have any questions he is always there, he makes fitness plans for me, and it's a big motivation for when he says how different I look when we first started. Also if you are new to weight lifting, they can really help teach you how to do everything correct. I was all over the place when I first started to bench, now I do it like a pro.
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    Originally Posted by Thrqne View Post
    I been using a trainer since July, and he has really helped me the once a week I see him. If I have any questions he is always there, he makes fitness plans for me, and it's a big motivation for when he says how different I look when we first started. Also if you are new to weight lifting, they can really help teach you how to do everything correct. I was all over the place when I first started to bench, now I do it like a pro.
    Congrats. You seem to be doing it right.
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    You know not what you talk of. I'd leave it at that. Thank you for your input and feedback.
    YOU are in denial, i'd leave it at that. We know very much of what we talk of actually. Medicine cannot magically force you to eat extra calories, only your lack of willpower can. And without actual extra calories, you cannot gain fat. So accept that you alone are the cause for your success or failure, and no one else.
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    Originally Posted by sharpieblet View Post
    YOU are in denial, i'd leave it at that. We know very much of what we talk of actually. Medicine cannot magically force you to eat extra calories, only your lack of willpower can. And without actual extra calories, you cannot gain fat. So accept that you alone are the cause for your success or failure, and no one else.
    You guys are assuming way too much. Some medicines cause water retention, while others have differing effects I can't explain it but they are symptoms. Without knowing the medicines in question your assumptions are a bit premature. All I know is my weight maintained at 285 for years, after I started on 2 certain medications, it jumped to 330 in a little over 2.5 months. Not sure what else to blame, I ate no differently. But isn't all this beside the point? Maybe I'm on the wrong forum and my kind aren't welcomed here. I have not not taken blame for being 285, which is still fat. The extra gain so quickly was because of the medicine. 1 pill doesn't fit everybody and different meds cause everyone's body to react differently.

    And I'm assuming I wasn't getting bigger is because even though I ate crap it was below my maintenance calories. Any guess is as good as mine, but I can only go by the facts, which you guys only know what I've shared. Why the attack on why... I'm asking How now. Shouldn't it be left at that rather than defending bad choices, WHICH I HAVE ALREADY STATED!
    Last edited by itsbeentoolong; 11-25-2012 at 04:06 PM.
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    I start with the personal trainer tomorrow BTW and I'll be hitting the grocery store in the morning. Thanks again for the help and leading me the right direction regarding nutrients. Most of which I have known, but it's been a rough past couple of years. So, it's serving as a reminder. One day I'll be able to hang with you guys. Wish me luck.
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    You guys are assuming way too much. Some medicines cause water retention, while others have differing effects I can't explain it but they are symptoms. Without knowing the medicines in question your assumptions are a bit premature. All I know is my weight maintained at 285 for years, after I started on 2 certain medications, it jumped to 330 in a little over 2.5 months. Not sure what else to blame, I ate no differently. But isn't all this beside the point? Maybe I'm on the wrong forum and my kind aren't welcomed here. I have not not taken blame for being 285, which is still fat. The extra gain so quickly was because of the medicine. 1 pill doesn't fit everybody and different meds cause everyone's body to react differently.

    And I'm assuming I wasn't getting bigger is because even though I ate crap it was below my maintenance calories. Any guess is as good as mine, but I can only go by the facts, which you guys only know what I've shared. Why the attack on why... I'm asking How now. Shouldn't it be left at that rather than defending bad choices, WHICH I HAVE ALREADY STATED!
    i won't pretend that medications can occasionally cause water retention, but NOT 50 freakin' pounds of water retention. your eating habits were just slowly catching up to you and then they decided to speed up, likely due to being more sedentary then you were, or eating more. i mean, have you EVER tracked everything you ate (and i mean EVERYthing, measured/weighed/etc), on a consistent basis for months, WITHOUT going over a certain limit per day/week? if not, how can you be so sure your eating habits remained the same? the only way i could tell you if mine stayed the exact same is if they were documented in my personal cal tracking app...

    you say this is besides the point to argue, I'M saying that it is CLOSELY related to the issue at hand: accepting 100% responsibility. it's no different than the countless females who like to blame their birth control pills for gaining 20+ lbs. you simply CANNOT gain fat all of a sudden just by taking a pill. either you became even more sedentary, ate more on a weekly average, or a combination of BOTH, which all lead to surplus of cals and therefore: fat gain.

    at 5'11" and 330 lbs, you did not become obese by anyone/thing's doing but your own. you're trying to argue with us about things we have all accepted in our own paths to fat loss, you won't win that battle because you'll be arguing basic thermodynamics to do so.

    lastly, don't take our stance on this issue as a misrepresentation of our intentions. no one here wants you to fail in the least. if you keep lurking in the forums, especially the fat loss and exercise forums, you'll learn quite a bit and 'un learn' a lot of myths associated with fat loss/gain. it's not an overnight process. but some things are learned much quicker than others.
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    Ever since I got off those meds I have lost 15 lbs as of yesterday. I'm hoping it is just water weight, but I just can't deny the facts. There are a number, a ton, of people that gain weight without changing their diets.I just don't want to list the meds I was on. I haven't made the best choices in life and I'm not proud of a lot, but one day it will be a testimony. I plan to keep a journal. 50lbs in 3.5 months is ridiculous, which is what made me go back to my doctor. Like I said I maintained at 285for years even with a bad diet (maybe you can explain that), but I do know once the meds started the weight stacked on from doing nothing different eating wise. So, I'm now 315, I'm hoping it is a lot of water weight, it feels like it and some of the meds did include retention of water as side effects. Oh well, we'll see. Just don't want you guys thinking Im making excuses. I own up to it all, but I can't deny the facts and what I observed and what the doctor said.
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    Originally Posted by itsbeentoolong View Post
    Ever since I got off those meds I have lost 15 lbs as of yesterday. I'm hoping it is just water weight, but I just can't deny the facts. There are a number, a ton, of people that gain weight without changing their diets.I just don't want to list the meds I was on. I haven't made the best choices in life and I'm not proud of a lot, but one day it will be a testimony. I plan to keep a journal. 50lbs in 3.5 months is ridiculous, which is what made me go back to my doctor. Like I said I maintained at 285for years even with a bad diet (maybe you can explain that), but I do know once the meds started the weight stacked on from doing nothing different eating wise. So, I'm now 315, I'm hoping it is a lot of water weight, it feels like it and some of the meds did include retention of water as side effects. Oh well, we'll see. Just don't want you guys thinking Im making excuses. I own up to it all, but I can't deny the facts and what I observed and what the doctor said.
    Tried adding links to some different meds that do increase weight, but it won't let me since I'm new. You can easily google it and find the facts. h t t p://w w w.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20545602,00.html
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  29. #29
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    I found having a trainer as useless as tits on a hog.

    Then again the trainer I ended up with new less about fitness than I did and I found that I tend to be plenty motivated on my own.
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    Originally Posted by MCrow View Post
    I found having a trainer as useless as tits on a hog.

    Then again the trainer I ended up with new less about fitness than I did and I found that I tend to be plenty motivated on my own.
    Well, I am going to go for a solid 3 months. After that I'll reevaluate.
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