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  1. #1
    Registered User solonsfury's Avatar
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    Exclamation Questions about using a personal trainer

    I’m not sure if this is the right forum but I thought I might be able to get some advice here.

    I’m 37 5’10” 175ish.

    5 years ago I weighed 304 lbs, was addicted to drugs, horribly depressed, and had just been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I decide I needed to do something about my weight, so I went on a low carb diet and over 2 years dropped down to 225, doing no exercise, just watching what I ate. I still had a prescription drug problem, still had a lot of problems, I moved to Savannah, my drug problem got a lot worse with the introduction of methamphetamines. Obviously did no exercise, but because of the drugs, dropped my weight all the way down to 175, and was amazed that I could actually lose weight, even though I was ridiculously unhealthy. I ended up getting into a wreck, went to rehab, gained about 50 lbs, but kept drinking alcohol and doing a few soft drugs, never touched meth or prescription drugs again. Nine months after leaving rehab, I decided I had to drop the alcohol and everything and take substance abuse recovery seriously. Fast forward to this past January, my weight had crept up again to 240, my diabetes had gotten worse, and my doctor put my on a daily injection that also slightly helped with appetite control. The cost of that medicine scared me into deciding I needed to lose weight again. So I went back to the low carb thing. I lost about 35 lbs over six months, still no exercising. In July after hitting a weight loss plateau, I decided I needed to start walking every morning, so I went every day to a local park early in the morning to walk. I did about a month of walking three miles daily, and increased it to 5 miles a day with a couple minutes of jogging interspersed during each mile. I guess I was pushing myself too much, ended up getting a stress fracture in my tibia and was told to stop jogging for a while, which I did but I kept walking. The weight loss was going really good, I was religious about exercising every morning and dropped my weight all the way down to 170.

    I knew I needed to start going to a gym but was really nervous about doing it. I grew up as a fat kid that never liked sports, never did much of anything physical, and was very intimidated by going to a gym. I decided maybe I should get a personal trainer to show me the ropes in a gym, and more than anything educate and motivate me to improve my health. So two months ago I found a local small gym on Facebook, and contacted the owner about hoping to continue to transform my body. She suggested I meet with a trainer of hers. I went in one day after work, he spent about 20 minutes with me doing a few things, then after I was done with him the owner came over with me and asked how it went. It seemed ok, I’d never really worked with anyone but I had nothing to base it on, I’d not gone anywhere else, so I asked about the costs and packages and everything.

    I was desperate. I knew I wanted to build muscle and get into a routine of going to a gym and get my body into the best possible shape ever. I thought this getting a trainer would be a good thing. I impulsively signed up for three times a week, 7am for like six months. I got a little concerned because it didn’t seem like the owner and the trainer had the best relationship. She remarked something about how my trainer isn’t too nice in the morning. I flippantly said, maybe this is what I need. Anyway I talked with him a little about what I was eating, he made some suggestions on changing to a few things. I felt internally really pumped up about continuing my transformation. I decided I’d move things up a notch, do everything with him every morning, continue on the walking 5 miles every morning, and also do five miles after work every day, plus do everything with him three days a week, and really watch what I was eating, log it all into my fitness pal, and see what I could do, within two weeks I’d lost about 12-15 lbs but one morning felt really weak with him. He said I really needed to slow down on the cardio, maybe eat a little more. So I dropped all the walking in the evenings, are more, kept going to see him,I’ve put on 15 lbs since but my YUNMAI scale is showing it was all fat. I do feel a little stronger though, I was actually able to jog an entire mile on Thanksgiving day without stopping,first time in my life I’ve ever done that, and then Saturday decided to push that a little more and jogged two miles without stopping. I was really proud of myself.

    Here’s my problem. I feel like I’ve started binging on food more lately. Often it’s usually healthy food that I’m binging on, but not always. I’ve expressed my concerns with him but haven’t gotten much feedback or support on what to do other than eating three to four boiled eggs in the morning in addition to everything else I eat. Several mornings he’s showed up 5-10 minutes late. That really bothers me because I’m in a rush to make sure I get to work on time in the morning, shower and do all that. Normally we only work together for about 30-35 minutes. I pay about $500 a month for three days a week. It’s a lot of money for me. But I don’t mind that as much as I don’t feel like I’m getting much value from him. He shows me which weights to do, counts my reps, we do different body parts each day of the week. But he’s never written down anything, doesn’t keep track of what weights we’re doing, doesn’t ask me how my weight-loss or nutrition is going, doesn’t ask me much of anything. Doesn’t really seem to attempt to motivate me. It just seems like he’s there to count my reps and just physically be there each morning.
    I’m starting a new job on Monday. I told him we’re going to need to change my schedule and I hinted that I’d prefer we do it earlier each morning. He didn’t really say much to that. I’m guessing he’ll talk with me about it tomorrow or Friday. If he often can’t get there on time at 7 am, I’m not sure he’ll be able to get there at 6 or 6:15 am.

    Honestly I’m wondering if I should find another gym and trainer. It seems like half the treadmills at the gym don’t work properly, and that is frustrating.

    I don’t feel like I’m getting much value out of working with him. I appreciate having someone there that tells me what to do, however I’m really looking for someone who is more of a coach, educated me on why we’re doing what we’re doing. Someone that kinda proactively asks me how my nutrition is going. Someone that sets goals and measures my progress.
    I’m thinking maybe he’s too busy there, sounds like he often has 8 clients a day during the week and then does scuba instruction on the weekend. He seems tired often.

    Seems like a nice guy, but I’m not sure I’m getting the best value I can get for my money. I’m also concerned about how do I get out of a contact where I’ve agreed to use him for four more months.

    Are my expectations too high? Should I try going to other trainers here in Savannah? I know I shouldn’t have picked the first person I met, but I did and now I’m wondering if I could get more out of this experience by going elsewhere. What do you guys think? I’m happy to answer any questions.

    If this is in the wrong spot, let me know and I’ll put it somewhere else.

    Mitch
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  2. #2
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    You are asking a lot from people. Not many of us have the time or the desire to sit and read all this.

    My advice... be more direct. In a few short sentences, ask your question and the replies will start to come in.

    But my question to you is this...Why spend this much time and energy seeking free consultation from strangers when you are paying for person to person consultation? Ask your trainer to address your concerns. If you become dissatisfied with his/her replies then your decision to stay or leave will be much easier.
    To succeed at doing what you love, you often must do many things you hate.
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  3. #3
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    I read it all and my response is the same as Ronin's: talk to the trainer.

    That said, he can't make you eat, or not eat. That's up to you.
    "A fox has many tricks, a porcupine has only one trick - but a very good one."

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  4. #4
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KyleAaron View Post
    I read it all and my response is the same as Ronin's: talk to the trainer.

    That said, he can't make you eat, or not eat. That's up to you.
    A better man than I. My eyes start to hurt after about 1000 words.
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  5. #5
    Registered User shawnrc's Avatar
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    Read all of it.

    As a trainer, I can tell you you need to be a llittle bit more direct with him. Ask him why you are doing certian things, how they help.

    As for the binge eating, as hard as t might be, I would suggest possibly try not putting yourself in positions where that would become a impulse. And if you do due to social gaherings, just verbally tell them your watching your Nutrition and can't have whatever said unhealthy food is.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Are you guys reading all this just to prove me wrong
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    Registered User shawnrc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Are you guys reading all this just to prove me wrong
    Of course not. Sorry if it sounded like i was. I just read his situation and immediatelygave my 2 cets to help.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shawnrc View Post
    Of course not. Sorry if it sounded like i was. I just read his situation and immediatelygave my 2 cets to help.
    Turned you green brother.
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    Registered User shawnrc's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    Turned you green brother.
    Thanks. Was on red because I was setting my profile up on my buddies computer when the socal fire started and had to leave to evac my family. I didn't sign off, and my buddy decided to post. And wasn't great advice either.

    Live and learn, right?
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    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shawnrc View Post
    Thanks. Was on red because I was setting my profile up on my buddies computer when the socal fire started and had to leave to evac my family. I didn't sign off, and my buddy decided to post. And wasn't great advice either.

    Live and learn, right?
    lol
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    Originally Posted by Ronin4help View Post
    lol
    Hello i am not a trainer but i read all of your story, and it's very interesting what you went through with the drug abuse and changing things for the better. good for you.

    think i am on the same boat as you kind of ( except the drug part ). in my local gym, there was a lot of trainers wanting to help for money. and i was also bad when it came to the gym not knowing what todo or where to start. after doing 2 weeks alone, I eventually hired a trainer for only 6 sessions. i did not want to spend more because each session was 60$ here. so i made a deal with this trainer, to take only 1 class per week and let him do a program for me, for 6 weeks. so he would give me stuff todo on my own. but if i have trouble i could phone him. that really helped me, so i never felt dependent on him. when the 6 weeks were over, i was pretty comfortable with most of the machines and i was pretty fit. i was reading online finding different programs i could do.

    About food and appetite issues. I find the "filling" type of food and eat those to stop my appetite from going crazy. things like oatmeal in the morning, lots of water during the day, eating meat or chicken when possible helps curb appetite while also supplying me with decent natural protein. if you have a local shop for chicken shawerma it's actually very filling and healthy.

    good luck to you..
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  12. #12
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by husseiniakram View Post
    Hello i am not a trainer but i read all of your story, and it's very interesting what you went through with the drug abuse and changing things for the better. good for you.

    think i am on the same boat as you kind of ( except the drug part ). in my local gym, there was a lot of trainers wanting to help for money. and i was also bad when it came to the gym not knowing what todo or where to start. after doing 2 weeks alone, I eventually hired a trainer for only 6 sessions. i did not want to spend more because each session was 60$ here. so i made a deal with this trainer, to take only 1 class per week and let him do a program for me, for 6 weeks. so he would give me stuff todo on my own. but if i have trouble i could phone him. that really helped me, so i never felt dependent on him. when the 6 weeks were over, i was pretty comfortable with most of the machines and i was pretty fit. i was reading online finding different programs i could do.

    About food and appetite issues. I find the "filling" type of food and eat those to stop my appetite from going crazy. things like oatmeal in the morning, lots of water during the day, eating meat or chicken when possible helps curb appetite while also supplying me with decent natural protein. if you have a local shop for chicken shawerma it's actually very filling and healthy.

    good luck to you..
    If you are not a fitness or health professional... one.. why are you in this section...and two.. why are you providing advice of any kind?
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  13. #13
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    He's sharing his experience as a client of a personal trainer. That's quite legitimate.

    And nobody can go wrong with kebab.
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  14. #14
    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Not exactly...

    "i was also bad when it came to the gym not knowing what todo or where to start"

    If people start believing that all they need to do is hire a trainer a few times a month while they do most everything else on their own then things will only get worse (for the industry), not better. Only people with a thorough comprehension of fitness should do this, not people new to fitness.
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    He accepted that he needed instruction. This is not common. 2/3 of new gym members don't accept the free initial consults offered - and it's about 1/2 of women rejecting instruction and 4/5 of men. As soon as he's accepted that he needs instruction, he's in the top 20% of male gym members.

    Could he have got better results with more? Sure. But let's not quibble over just how much instruction he asked for, or how often. He accepted he needed instruction (top 20%), and he paid for it (top 5%), and it helped him (top 2.5%, since a good part of instruction offered isn't useful). He did well.
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    Registered User Ronin4help's Avatar
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    Where are these percentages coming from? Top 20% of whom? The segment of men in general? or the segment of men who actual do need help including those who are unaware they need help? or the segment of men who know they need help but may or may not seek it?
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    Only 20% of new male gym members accept the free sessions offered. It's from among these men that any pay for further training.

    Do you think the other 80% don't need help? Would you say that 80% of those walking into a globogym know exactly what they're doing?
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    They all (100%) do not need help, that's for sure. Beyond that, its all fuzzy math that has no real relevance. I say that because I think that many of the '80%' look at the 'help' and say 'no thanks'. It's like saying, 'Eighty percent of the people that left the bar didn't need or want sex just because they left alone.' Too many variables for you to use the number as if it is tangible enough to make any solid assessments.

    The point is, you can't have it both ways. Either you sell a certain number of sessions per month because you believe it is the best way for the client to succeed or you don't. The poster claims to have had no prior experience or knowledge. He hired a trainer once a week and did most everything else on his own. He essentially said he did not depend on his trainer, found programs online and became 'pretty fit'. Well, it sounds as though he has just laid out a blueprint for the millions of other people who share these common denominators to follow. Additionally, his concept is being endorsed online by personal trainers. So, what reason does anyone have to buy more than one session a week?

    Hence, the reason this concept is bad for the industry. People start doing this and when most of them fail, they say 'Trainers don't help you get in shape. It's a waste of money.'
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