Exercise! - Met w/ PT, now im discouraged and confused

04-25-2007, 03:46 PM
Today I met up with a Personal Trainer at Golds Gym, and u know he took all my measurements and all that good stuff, and I knew the results werent going to be good, but basically I feel like some of the things that I have been doin these past 3 months are no good even though I have been loosing and building endurance. I workout 5-6 days a week and do atleast 25-45 minutes of cardio, 3 days with weigh training, and i'll admit thats something that I need guidance on, cuz I want something thats going to challenge my muscles to wrk and burn. He basically said that I dont need to be doing that much cardio everyday, and that I need to focus on resistance. My major problems areas are my abs, hips and inner thighs. I get all these different sources, magazines, the forums, and this trainer telling me things, and I dont know what to do. I know the trainers are trying to make a sale and get that money so of course they say that " you really need this, because ur heading for some major major health problems", but do i really need a trainer??? Yes I will admit I do need to to work on my weight training so i wont be sooo flabby, but for one I cant afford it, and two I have come accross many of people who have been successful without a Personal Trainer. He also mentioned that I needed to switch up my workout so I could see results instead of doing the same thing over and over again.

For you guys out there that have lost 50lbs or more what did you accomodate in your exercise to loose soo much weight.

I have come along way in these three months with my exercise, I think atleast, I never used to sweat when i did cardio, now im sweating bullets after 10 minutes. Thats another thing, I feel like im not working hard enough if im not drenched in sweat.......thats another reason why I push for soo much cardio.

As far as nutrition he told me the basic, eat 5-6 small meals, try to have most of the protein in the morning, and if im eating carb stuff like bread, pasta etc, have that during the day too, and in the evenings do the fish. Thats pretty much easy for me to accomodate for myself.

my goal is to loose 70-80lbs by the end of the year, and I know I can do it, its safe and possible, im only 21 and have no health issues or bone joint problems either. I'm just carrying soooo much fat on my body...

Ladies please help me, cuz you guys are normal and dont have the mind set of a personal trainer, atleast not quite yet!!! lol

I know they are good to have, but I also know that they're trying to make a sale....

Sorry this is soooo long!!!

04-25-2007, 04:12 PM
Hi Angela85,

Please go into the Goals forum and read Meg's story. I think you will find her story very inspiring. Her trainer gave her very different advice and his advice worked for her! And, if you've not already done so, maybe you should start visiting the weight lifting site here. I dont post there, but I've read the posts and they seem to have really good advice for everyone. Hang in there....you'll get some answers soon!

PS. regarding the sweating...I've heard that sweating is a sign that you're getting more in-shape....so, sweat away!

04-25-2007, 04:30 PM
Angela, I was thinking maybe you might want to post this in the exercise forum. I think you will get a lot more responses. If you want me to move it, let me know either through a PM or just a reply here.

You're obviously doing something right, many things right in fact. It says you've lost 41 lbs, is that in the 3 months you've been talking about? Cause that is awesome.

I think you need to find what works for yourself. You don't need supplements or anything like that in order to lose weight, IMO. If you are happy with your routine and obviously you are successful, stick with it, perhaps switching things up a bit from time to time. Our bodies get used to things all too quickly. It sounds like you have a good eating plan in place. Which is IMO, is first and foremost in any weightloss plan. You need to decide what's best for you, through trial and error and what you are capable of sticking with. You're off to a great start. Keep up the good work.

04-25-2007, 04:40 PM
yes robin can you please move it to the exercise section...thanks u!!!!

04-25-2007, 04:52 PM
Please go into the Goals forum and read Meg's story.

Even better yet ... Meg will come to you! :D

Hi Angela! I'm a former fat chick and now am a NASM certified personal trainer and nope, I'm not trying to sell you anything. :lol:

In my opinion, both weightlifting and cardio are essential for fat loss. Cardio is your big calorie burner and my advice to clients is at least 30 minutes, 5 - 6 times a week. It sounds exactly like what you're doing, so keep it up!

As you get more advanced doing cardio (in other words, when it starts getting easier), think about adding in some interval training. If you haven't run into that before, it's moderate intensity cardio (70 - 85% of your max heart rate) with quick high intensity bursts (85 - 90% of max HR). A number of recent studies show that we burn more fat that way and it elevates our metabolisms for the rest of the day, so we're burning more calories all day. :carrot:

Weightlifting (or resistance training, same thing) is equally important for weight loss. If we lose weight without exercising with weights, studies show that up to 40% is lost muscle and that's a bad thing. Muscle is the calorie burner in our bodies (think of it as little furnaces :) ) and the less muscle we have, the lower our metabolisms are and the fewer calories we need in a day to maintain. Without resistance exercise (weightlifting), you'll get to goal with a low metabolism and a body that looks like jello - and who wants that? With weightlifting, you'll be smaller and tighter, with a faster metabolism.

To keep your metabolism running high during and after weight loss, you want to be sustaining and even building muscle mass. And we do that by lifting weights or using weight machines. We all have problem areas but we can't spot reduce, unfortunately. So my recommendation is to start with a full-body workout, three times a week. Pick an exercise for each of the muscle groups - legs, back, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs - and do 2 - 3 sets of 12 - 15 reps for each exercise.

I worked with a personal trainer and highly recommend it, if only to learn basic form and how to put a program together. But if that's out of the question, there are some good sites listed in the 'stickys' in the Ladies Who Lift forum to give you ideas about putting together a workout if you can't afford a trainer. I especially want to direct you to Exrx.net (http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html) and Fitsite (http://www.fitsite.com/anatomy.cfm) because they have little videos demonstrating how to do each exercise correctly.

I've blabbed on long enough -- I hope this helps a bit and be sure to ask questions if I wasn't clear. :)

04-25-2007, 04:58 PM
Thank you sooo much meg!!!! This might sound wierd but when I saw that you replied to me....I got excited, like a celebrity replying to fan mail.......Heck, I guess we can say that you are 3FC CELEB!!! Thank you soo much for the advice, he charges 50 bucks and hr. but u are a trainer so what is an ok amount of time to meet with him a week while im in this stage, so i can get an idea of this cost.

Thank you!!!!!!!!!

04-25-2007, 05:11 PM
Aw, you're very sweet but I don't want to be a celebrity. :o

My suggestion is to think about what you want to get from your sessions with the trainer and then tell him. He's going to try to put you on his program but you're the consumer here, so you need to be in charge and tell him exactly what you want to get for your money. Don't sign any contract or give him any money until you're confident that he understands your needs and goals and is willing to help you meet them.

The traditional way to work out with a personal trainer is to get together two or three times a week. I'm sure that's what your trainer will push for, but it can be very expensive.

There are several alternatives:

I had a client who I met with only once a week. Each week I gave her three workouts (all neatly typed up) for her to do on her own. We spent our hour together learning the exercises and going over proper form. Then she did the three workouts on her own time. Then we'd meet again the next Saturday morning and set up a plan for the following week. That way I was able to teach her dozens of exercises and how to use all the equipment in the gym without her having to pay for three sessions a week.

I had another client who I met with for 5 or 6 sessions initially to teach him the basics. Then we got together once a month for me to change up his program and touch base with how he was doing.

Maybe something like that would fit your budget better?

04-25-2007, 05:26 PM
yea that sounds like it would fit better with my budget, but i think i would feel better with a woman trainer, but the guy i have now is assigned to me, because my job (work at a bank) is doing a business development with them, so im guessing he was assigned to my company. It was just the first day, so i guess i shouldnt judge is overall training abilities on this one session.

04-25-2007, 05:28 PM

I'm glad you started this thread. I've been considering adding weights to my workouts. I know next to nothing about them. I used a few machines at Curves, but don't want to go to a gym and do something wrong. That's a sure fire injury begging to happen.

Spirit, aka Meg, thank you for answering her questions. I had some of the same ones. Also, I'm curious as to what is a fair amount. Does it vary from gym to gym all across the country?

04-25-2007, 05:28 PM
Hi Angela, I think you are doing GREAT! Keep up the good work and keep your awesome attitude!!
You will know the best of course, but it almost does sound like the PT is trying to get you to sign-up and of course that will cost money.
I am doing a class at the YMCA and feel good about the advice I've been given. My problem areas are the same as yours. I have heard no matter what area you focus on to work out, you'll lose it where it wants to come off (meaning that you can work you legs out, but may or may not lose from your legs). But keep doing what you are doing and you will lose from all over!

My trainer told me with the amount I need to lose, the most important is cardio. Cardio is what is going to burn all this excess fat the most. She told me to do cardio 5-6 days per week a minimum of 45-60 minutes. The weight training is also a great addition. Focus mostly on repetitions is what she has guided me by. She has also said it is important to vary the cardio (do elliptical, walking in street, land, etc, treadmill, bike, stepper). She said it is important to get the weight bearing in often (elliptical not as much weight bearing as walking). Another important thing with cardio is to work yourself with resistance, bike sprinting, some running. She said just make it so I'm working. If you are like me (I need to lose around the same amount) it sounds like cardio may be our best answer. I think just what you are doing is great. It is all that simple (yeah right simple :--))) math equation--burn more calories than you consume. Just what you have been doing is great, any moving is benficial. I like the spinning/cycling classses-they are HARD work.

Also I have some cards that have been helpful for weight training that I ordered (please know I have NO connection to this site) www.solotrainer.com

Best of luck and maybe the cardio 5-6 times a week for 45-60 minutes with some weight training added in is the answer for us--I am in the process of trying this. Best of luck and I think you are surely on the right track!!!:) :)

04-25-2007, 05:38 PM
50 bucks an hour sounds kind of high to me. I bought a 16 - 1 hour session pack with my trainer for $350, including an entrance and exit metabolic profile etc.

04-25-2007, 05:42 PM
Also, I'm curious as to what is a fair amount. Does it vary from gym to gym all across the country?

The price for an hour of personal training is really variable - anywhere from $30 to $100+ if you're in NYC or California or have a big name trainer.

My gym has five levels of training, with five prices, depending on the trainer's experience and credentials. But it's all negotiable! Think of it as buying a car. Tell them you can't afford it and I'll bet you'll see a price drop. ;)

My gym also runs specials - 3 sessions for $99 is common. The goal is to get you hooked and sign you up for more, of course. But it's a great way to get started. :)

What I really want to emphasize to anyone who's thinking of getting a trainer is that you're in the driver's seat. Tell the trainer what you want and expect for your money. Don't let the trainer push you around and try to make you conform to his or her goals.

I wrote this up for a friend who was thinking of getting a personal trainer - maybe it will help you?

How To Pick A Personal Trainer

Begin by looking at the trainerís certification(s). Some of the widely recognized, reputable certifications are ACE, ISSA, NASM, ACSM, and NSCS, among others. But a certification really doesn't tell you much about the person and how they would train you. So it's only a starting point.

Go into this the way you'd go into any consumer transaction. You're the customer and will be investing a fairly significant sum of money. Don't be pressured into a decision! Ballys tells us that people always buy on the basis of emotion - try not to fall into that trap. Take your time, be rational and thoughtful.

Sometimes it's a good idea to initially watch the trainers interacting with their clients (who looks bored, who's paying attention, who uses cookie cutter workouts for all their clients) and talk to existing clients. Or start off by talking to whomever is in charge of the trainers, briefly set out your goals, and ask to meet with someone who that person thinks who work compatitively with you. Specify if you'd feel more comfortable with a woman trainer.

When you meet with a potential trainer, it should be all about YOU and your goals, not about them. Don't be dazzled by someone's credentials, list of initials after their name, or being on the cover of some magazine. The first thing I always ask is: what are a client's goals - where would they like to be in six months or a year? These should be YOUR goals, not what a trainer thinks your goals should be.

After I hear someone's goals, I then talk about how we're going to achieve them with a weekly plan of nutrition, cardio, and weights. Ask for specifics, not vague generalities. Ask questions! See how knowledgeable the trainer is about nutrition (some know nothing). You've been around the diet and fitness world long enough to evaluate what you might hear - you know what makes sense and what to run screaming from.

Look for a sense of rapport with the trainer. Is he/she easy to talk to? Does he/she understand your goals? Can you see working with this person over the long term? Would he/she make working out fun? Trust your gut instincts here.

Assuming all is clicking so far, don't even consider buying without actually working out with the trainer. You want someone who will push you but not kill you, and that's sometimes a hard line to walk. Some trainers consider it a point of honor to try to cripple all clients, which is absurd and dangerous.

Make sure the trainer is watching and correcting you as you do an exercise, not gazing around the gym. Pay attention to see if itís someone who just counts reps or someone who watches YOU and judges how hard to push. You want a trainer who can read your mind and know when to push and when to back off. When itís over, ask yourself if it was fun? Was it a better workout than you could ever achieve on your own? Did you learn anything?

Every workout should be individualized and customized to help you achieve YOUR goals. I have a huge beef with trainers who use the same workouts with all their clients, or worse, the same workouts week after week with individual clients. Like it's Leg Day and you automatically do the same routine. Boring!! I keep track of all my workouts on my computer so that we never repeat a workout Ė we rarely even repeat exercises since thereís always a way to change them up and make them new and different.

If your gym is anything like my Ballys, theyíll try to pressure you into buying a big package of sessions right off the bat. Itís usually cheaper to buy a lot at once, but my suggestion is to resist and only buy a few Ė like four or six or whatever is offered. That way you can work out with the trainer for a few weeks and have a much better sense of whether this is someone who you want to continue with over the long term.

04-25-2007, 05:54 PM
Sockmonkey, you got a really good deal! Our cheapest 16 session package is $800.

04-25-2007, 06:05 PM
I pay $240 for four sessions, and I go every two weeks. My PT just raised her rates from $220. Her hourly rate is $75, I believe, so you get a discount by buying a package. Since I'd taken my PTs classes, and I'd seen other PTs in my gym, I knew that she was the one I wanted.

That's excellent advice about making sure you're getting what you want out of it. If you decide to go with a PT, be sure and tell him/her about any health issues you might have (bad knees, shoulder, etc.) so that s/he knows how to design a program that challenges you, but won't injure you.

04-25-2007, 06:14 PM
I'm not sure if a new thread is needed for this question, but here goes...

For those of us who can't get to a GYM or afford a personal trainer, are there any recommendations someone (Meg or any other PT's) can give us as far as DVD's go? One or more that will give us that full body Strength training workout that we can just pop in and do 3 times a week? I know we'll need dumbells, bands and ankle weights too, but I really do not have the knowledge yet as what I need to be working and I'd really like to just be able to pop something in the DVD player and go until I can learn and make up my own workout.


04-25-2007, 06:20 PM
Diva, I don't know a thing about DVDs - sorry! They'd probably kick my butt! :lol:

Have you checked out our Fitness Videos forum? Hopefully someone here or there can help you get started. :)

04-25-2007, 06:23 PM
LOL, I didn't know we had a Video fitness forum....maybe I should venture out of the exercise forum more often huh? hehe... I'm gonna just copy & paste my post over there.

Thanks Meg! :hug:

04-25-2007, 09:34 PM
Aw, you're very sweet but I don't want to be a celebrity. :o

And Meg is very humble too :yes: .... Great thread and information ...

Renny Sue
04-26-2007, 05:52 AM
Honestly, forget walking away from this PT, RUN AWAY as fast as you can. ANY PT who tells you 25-45 min a day is too much dosen't know a **** of a lot, if that's exactly what he said.

I'll echo Meg on the weight loss training. I haven't lost 50lbs (not sure how many pounds I've lost!) It really helps, and while you might not lose weight immeaditly after taking it, it will give you a nice fit body.