Weight and Resistance Training - Ladies, I need you...

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02-07-2008, 10:44 AM
LWL, I need your insights.

Okay, let me premise this by saying my period should be coming anytime in the next week, so I don't know if my emotionality and perspective is purely hormonal or not.

But...here goes.

I'm loathing the group training and we've only trained 2x (plus 1 assessment).

First day, we did a circuit that included a lot of sprints, sort of a boot camp style workout and it was okay, out of the 4 of us, I was the second slowest and this as you know upset me, but the faster women are 180 and 211 and I carry 286. That day made me emotional for that, and also because of how I was being treated. My trainer was focused on everyone but me and when I did gesture "are we going to do that again" he jokingly took off his name tag "master trainer" and said you want this? That really upset me, and then the team teased me, who remembers about what, and I didn't find it funny at all.

Yesterday I rested (1x a week). Today was lower legs.

What workout? Seriously, what workout? I feel like I got zip out of today. WTF am I paying for? I thought in group training I'd get "trained". Nope. Again, he focused completely on the others (2 who are new to training overall). I was left to my own devices to figure out how much weight to use and only gleaned how many reps. No interaction with him at all. We did abductors, inductors, quads, smith machine weighted squats, lunges, and a few things using bands, the bosu, and the barbell, followed by 10 minutes of stretches.

I feel I cannot even honestly claim a 20 minute workout in my Fitday records. On the squats, I tried to ask him how much weight I needed (he always did this for me) and I still don't know how much I used today, but I know I could have done 50 more. I tried to tell him that it felt like nothing.

On the abductors, et. all, I pretty much could do almost the whole stack and felt like it was barely work. On the quads (weighted legs, raise feet to level with knee), it was okay.

Then I didn't hear that he wanted that followed by lunges and so a teammate told me. After round 2 of the machines, no one did more lunges and then I got crap for not doing them, but no one said anything to me and when I said to my trainer "but you didn't say", he and a teammate gave me crap.

I followed up with 15 minutes on the treadmill on a steep incline and 5 minutes really deep rows, but whoopdedooo.

WTF am I paying for? I mean, I could take another boot camp and get the same thing for free.

When we train 1-1, I swear we do more, work harder, rest MUCH less. I am not happy at all and don't know whether I should say something today, give it one more session and then tell him during assessment, or what. And how do I say it without him taking it as harsh criticism or making me look needy. Frankly, I would NEVER do group training again.

I guess I expected he'd have a variety of levels of the same exercises, in other words have me do the advanced and others an intro exercise. I never thought that we'd be wasting time in between and he'd let it. I've thought to send him a note today and just say "anyway we can step things up for me?" but does that even convey enough. Ultimately, today felt like nothing, waste of time, barely a workout. And a total waste of money, time, and a session.

It is critical of him, unfortunately. I think he's a great trainer, and a good boot camp instructor, but group training, well what the heck is he thinking! I mean, sure he might be thinking I know what to do or will figure it out, well, that is not what I expected and paid for.

If this continues, WTF am I going to get out of it just for myself for how I'm trying to change my body?

I want to cry. This cost me $999. I usually pay $1400 for 1-1 training. I did this to win the free training (worth $1400), but now am doubting it was worth it. I don't have $999 to waste. It was paid expecting more of the same, but just with a group and therefore the discount.


02-07-2008, 11:04 AM

I am sorry to hear you are having so much trouble with your personal trainer. I would definitely talk to him and tell him you aren't feeling challenged.

Also are you using mostly machines? I'd be a bit concerned about that because machines are good for beginners but I think doing freestyle/free weights really is the way to go. (abductor/adductor machine?! I wouldn't touch those)

Of course that is just my advice. Definitely talk to him and say that you are concerned that you aren't getting much of a workout and that you aren't enjoying the group exercise as much as you thought you would.

02-07-2008, 11:21 AM
I would definitely arrange to meet with him outside of the class & talk to him about this. Especially for that kind of money. If it doesn't change ask if it would be possible for you to pay the difference & continue on with private sessions maybe.

Good luck - I hope this works out for you.

02-07-2008, 11:30 AM
Re: machines, we rarely use them. Sometimes for variety and maybe a pulley type, otherwise the only "machines" have been cages and slant boards. Most of our workouts have been free weights.

I feel like if I say something, he'll react negatively, but today made me feel like pulling out of the Challenge just to get the workout I'm used to. First one wasn't bad as sprints wind me, but today sucked. Period.

I mean, can't a trainer multitask and work with the whole team? SHouldn't they consider what each member needs? Of course the answer should be yes.

I'm thinking I'm going to text and say "...today really didn't challenge me at all and seemed like a very minimal workout (20m out of the 60). Can we change that?"

02-07-2008, 12:09 PM
Trainers, what if you got this email?

Hey, I need to let you know, I’m not happy with how the group training is going at all. Maybe I misunderstood what group would be like, but I feel like there’s no training for me and I’m barely challenged. Compared to what we’ve been doing, this was Easy Pass (fewer exercises, fewer reps, just no challenge). Frankly, I'm beginning to regret the expense and feel I would have been better off paying more to continue one on one, even if it meant I couldn’t participate in the Challenge. This feels like a bit of a waste of time and money, neither of which I have a ton of. While I understand someone new to working out or to you needs a ton of direction, we all do and to our individual levels. I guess I thought somehow it would still have the elements of our 1-1 at least with regard to challenge, intensity and actual time working out. It has none of that for me and I can’t begin to express my upset and frustration.

Today I was really upset (like ready to leave the Challenge) by how much lack of working out there was. I understand camaraderie, and want all in the group to make gains, but I didn't pay for a coffee clatch and it’s mostly chat and just a little work. That’s not what I wanted out of this. Today was just way too light and I feel like if this continues I won’t make any strides whatsoever, besides feeling what we’re doing I could do on my own with classes and a to do list.

Granted, I'm judging based on two sessions, and the first was more of a challenge, as sprint circuits are for me, but I think it's only right for me to share with you where my head is at.

I only did this to try to win the challenge, forget saving money (after this, I don’t think I’d ever group train again.) Compared to what we normally do, it was like ¼ the workout. I really feel like I barely got a 20 minute workout and it didn’t challenge me at all and feel anxious to make up for the lack of workout today if I can.

Can we find a better balance and fast?

02-07-2008, 12:31 PM
JG, if I got that email from a client, I'd want to sit down, talk it over, and fix the problem. I think you presented your feelings and frustrations honestly and in a rational, non-emotional way. Your concerns need to be addressed.

By its nature, group training is very different from individual training. The trainer is constrained by the different ability/skill levels and has to teach to the lowest common denominator. And it's more difficult to devote individual attention to a client. It may be unfair, but perhaps your trainer thinks that you need less attention because you're more experienced than the others in the group?

I think Lifeguard has a good idea in seeing if you can switch back to one-on-one training. I suspect that you're not going to be satisfied with group workouts after experiencing your customary challenging and intense individual training.

Good luck and let us know what happens! :hug:

02-07-2008, 12:35 PM
I was waiting on you, Meg. I haven't sent the email yet. Wanted your opinion.

You k now, I voiced this concern to him before I signed up and he didn't address it. I should have taken that as a warning sign. I really just got the sense from him that the reason this would be good for me is that I'd be competitive and therefore try to get more out of myself. That much is true. But had I known the lack of workout? : P I would have just paid for more 1-1.

Right now, I'm feeling like it works for him and the others, just not me. And hey, he's probably happy as isn't he making more money out of one session? Well, FK that. Sorry, I am sooo peeved.

I've revised the email and it's below. Gonna send it and not wait until Saturday.


Hey, I need to drop a bombshell, I’m sorry. I need to let you know I’m not happy with how the group training is going at all.

Maybe I misunderstood what group would be like, but I feel like there’s no training for me and I’m barely challenged. You may remember that this was a concern I voiced to you before signing up. Compared to what we’ve been doing, this was Easy Pass (fewer exercises, fewer reps, just no challenge). I could have easily doubled the weights on the Smith cage, done the whole stack on the abductors, tripled the situps, etc. I tried just doing more…like when a teammate was sluggish I joined them in their last 10, on top of my own.

Frankly, I'm beginning to regret the expense and feel I would have been better off paying more to continue one on one, even if it meant I couldn’t participate in the Challenge. This feels like a waste of time and money, neither of which I have much of (which exacerbates my current upset as every hour and every dollar is a huge investment for me). While I understand someone new to working out or to you needs a ton of direction (and believe me, I understand that and expected it), we all do and to our individual levels. I guess I thought somehow it would still have the elements of our 1-1 at least with regard to challenge, intensity, you directing the challenge level for us, and actual time working out. It has none of that for me and I can’t begin to express my upset and frustration.

Today I was really upset (like ready to leave the Challenge) by how much lack of working out there was. I understand camaraderie (I have to admit, though, I feel none of that in return), and truly want all in the group to make gains, but I didn't pay for a coffee clatch and it’s mostly chat and just a little work. That’s not what I wanted out of this. Today was just way too light and I feel like it was no different than being given a to do list to workout on my own, figure out my own weights, or participate in a class. I worry if this continues I won’t make any strides whatsoever, and that’s most important to me, why I began training in the first place.

Granted, I'm judging based on two sessions, and the first was more of a challenge, as sprint circuits are for me, but I think it's only right for me to share with you where my head is at so you can adjust (either my head or the workout) if possible. Maybe I’m missing something or misunderstanding things, but by telling you, at least you can address it. Who knows, maybe you intended this to be light and tomorrow will be intense???

I only did this to try to win the challenge, forget saving money (after this, I don’t think I’d ever group train again other than a boot camp or class). Compared to what we normally do, it was like ¼ the workout. I really feel like I barely got a 20 minute workout and it didn’t challenge me at all and feel anxious to make up for the lack of workout today if I can.

Can we find a better balance and fast, please? I want to finish out what I started, be there with the team I brought together, but I need some changes, -----. I hope you understand.

02-07-2008, 12:57 PM
Good revisions, JG! Your email is crystal clear about your expectations and experiences so far, so the ball is in your trainer's court. None of us ever want to feel like we're going backwards and your frustration is totally understandable. I really hope that this can be resolved to your benefit. You've made way too much progress to stall out now. :)

02-07-2008, 01:01 PM
Okay, email goes in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...

02-07-2008, 03:15 PM
Coming late to this, but I think it's a great expression of your concerns, without whining or getting too emotional. I would be hugely upset if I paid that much to get training - even in a group - and basically got minimal attention. Heck, my DH is in a group skating class and still gets some 1-1 attention from the instructor, and you have only 4 people? I hope things get better. :)

02-07-2008, 04:16 PM
I agree with all the others, but I will add that if you're feeling unchallenged by your workout, the first step is to ADD MORE WEIGHT! That is something you can do without the help of a trainer. :)

02-07-2008, 07:03 PM
Well, he didn't take it well at all. Felt attacked and that I was making accusations. He cannot hear that I'm saying I got no focus, he thinks I want favoritsm. He accused me of poor sportsmanship and thinks he prepared me for this, which he didn't.

Anyway, this ended up being a terrible day. I went to the doctor and now I'm having a whole bunch of tests, plus have a partial diagnosis on something and I just needed his reaction like a hole in the head. I'll detail the diagnosis down the line when things are more concrete.

02-07-2008, 07:03 PM
Oh, as for add more weight...well one was the hole stack and the other I had no sense of what weights were right for me. That's stuff he always did for me.

02-07-2008, 07:45 PM
Sorry you're having a bad day and sorry he didn't take it in a good way. Hopefully you can get some resolution.

02-08-2008, 03:32 PM
I too am sorry this happened. I've never done "group training" although I take a couple of strength classes and use free weights and the Y. I did hire a personal trainer for 3 sessions at my house. At the time, it felt like a great investment. It's still good for me to have the printouts of the routines--I take it w/me to gym and use it there. Still, I know I'm slacking a bit and could be pushing myself harder.

In any case, I learned that personal rapport and being very clear about my goals (w/myself and w/my trainer) helped it work.

I hope you can resolve this situation in a way that feels good for you.

02-08-2008, 07:12 PM
Any resolution?

In defense of your trainer, I've learned from experience that it is VERY hard to train more than one person at a time, especially if they are at different levels of experience, size or strength. Two people who are similar is quite doable, but 3 is really tough to coordinate equipment, adjust weights, and keep everybody busy. That's why group fitness and personal training are so different.

I hope he let you apply the money to individual sessions. From what you've said, I don't think you are going to be happy in a group session.


02-08-2008, 08:24 PM
The only resolution will be to talk tomorrow. I don't intend to stop what I started.

Today we had an exchange of emails. He blames me for poor sportsmanship for my first email and thinks I want favoritism. I think in an attempt to be fair minded he's gone overkill and left me to my own devices. I tried to point that out and he turns it back on me. Apparently, he's never wrong and always right and I just need to learn that.

Well, I'm an adult and I'm used to calling someone on the mat when they're being myopic.

I only did the challenge and the group training because he thought it would be best for me. I asked him questions, voiced my concern originally about fear of not getting enough out of it, questions he then had avoided.

We are in a bad spot--totally not on the same page. He's been terribly hard on me and I don't mean trainer hard for motivation--I mean like he doesn't listen to me or like me.

For instance, for months he hounded me to jump right into the exercise, now in group when I do that, he doesn't indicate "on my count" so I do it the way he taught me and now he's mad that I didn't wait for the group.

So I wrote him saying, "Just say on my count" and I'll know what you want. He then turns it around that I'm trying to "lead" the group.

So I've emotionally shut down from him because maybe if I say nothing he'll be okay with me, only then I get "you're distancing yourself from me."

I can't seem to make him happy. I can't seem to have a normal communication with him.

It's a mess.

We talk tomorrow and I'm dreading it.

The irony is the things I'm complaining about the group is noticing of their own volition and calling him on it. Maybe he'll learn.

02-08-2008, 08:27 PM
JG, at this point I would suggest 1. going back to one-on-one training and 2. with a new trainer. Your relationship with your trainer has clearly broken down, group training is not working for you, and this is way too much drama for anyone to have to deal with, honestly. You need an intense, focused program designed to meet YOUR needs, with a trainer who is working with you and not against you. Don't let this spiral out of control into derailing your progress. We're all rooting for you! :cheer:

02-08-2008, 08:59 PM
I'm glad Meg said it first but I was going to suggest the same thing(s). First, group training is clearly not for you and, given the money you've spent, I would see if there's a way to turn that into some sort of gym "credit". Second, I think it might be time for a new trainer. Your conversations have that emotional aspect of a "relationship" (friendship or otherwise) gone bad. That doesn't mean that it's beyond repair or that a good conversation could not clear it all up, but I fear that you're losing out on the training aspect while all this is going on.

I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear and it's just my opinion anyway. :hug: I really hope things get better for you.

02-08-2008, 09:37 PM
JG: I am so sorry this is happening to you. :hug: Hang in there. In the bigger picture your journey toward a healthier and fitter you is much longer than this challenge and the reward which only you can give to yourself is so much greater. :hug:

02-08-2008, 10:42 PM
I have to agree with Meg. It was a trainer like that who caused me to leave the gym last winter. Totally a my-way-is-it type of guy. No questions allowed or answered. It was ridiculous.

Hope you are able to come to a resolution to your favor.

02-09-2008, 09:45 PM
We didn't talk today. We met as a group, during a group talk he made eye contact with everone a lot, once with me and in that brief moment he quickly looked away. Then he made a joke...and this is something I'm taking great umbrage at, I was the butt of it. It wasn't bad, but the problem is, the group is following suit. So he sets the tone, they follow and the group I got together gangs up on me.

During that discussion I shared with the group how I get around the eating 5-6x a day, careful to not step on his toes as the trainer. Another member gives advice on the topic (not her forte) and yet is she reprimanded for trying to take over? No.

So, after session I went to him and said, "We really need to get on the same page." Well, you just have to realize this is a group, "But ***, you make eye contact with everyone but me." He disagrees. "I also need you to know you set the tone and I don't appreciate being made fun of." What? "Well, like handing me your Master Trainer name tag." That wasn't teasing, I was mad. What he was mad about was me in a gesture asking if we were going to run the course a second time. Are you fkng kidding me???? It was an actual question, not trying to lead the group?

I'm feeling like just breathing is making him unhappy. If I say, "I can't hear you over the music," he responds, What, am I speaking German? or worse, accuses me of delay tactics. Another tells him she can't hear and he turns the music down. If when he says on the mat, I ask which way, stomach, back, or butt, he thinks I'm delaying, but others say to him, be specific and he is.

I just don't understand this, how our dynamic has deteriorated and why. And it should be simple, you dialogue, clear the air, and be done with it. Instead, I'm feeling like my being there is a problem for him.

I mean, I later found out that when I indicated to a teammate that he wanted our hands going in a different position, that was me "taking over." Fine, I can try to avoid that (dumb, if you ask me), and I can even say, I'm sorry that offended you, it wasn't my intent. But he's gone from being my confidant who always made me feel good to feeling like I'm just a bother.

And today, when after 1 week I post a 5.6 weight loss, which is usually what I lose in a month, he responds with surprise, but no pride, no questions. Considering I've had such a tough time and weight is flying off, you'd think he'd want to know? You'd think since I've told him I'm having a health crisis he might ask what's up. He can't be done with me soon enough.

Now, people can say you're paying for this, go get what you deserve, and you shouldn't be so upset for a professional relationship. But 1) I'm committed to the competition, my team, and I still believe in his training and how it's helped me, I just don't think another has what he has, and 2)we had a connection as friends and I hate to just say goodbye because of a bad patch. I'd rather fix things, and get back to normal.

He won't let us. I try to confront, it gets worse.

I think I have to muttle through the 2 months, pray to God to heal the friendship and professional rapport, and act like I'm not hurt.

But I am.

And I thought adults are supposed to go to each other and deal with things maturely. That's all I was trying to do. I mean, you guys read the email, you didn't red flag it. It's almost like I can't say a word.

But I'm sad. I'm sad my friend and mentor is so bothered by me and we've lost where we were. I just want that space back.

I'm dealing with a huge personal crisis, and I can't even share that with him, how can I when I feel I can't trust him anymore with my deep self?

02-09-2008, 10:19 PM
So sorry. About your health condition and relationship breakdown. Like pp mentioned above I couldn't handle it either if I felt my trainer was "against" me. I applaud you for not wanting to quit what you started, but at the same time I wonder if the next few weeks are just going to be torture for you.:( When you speak of your connection as friends, were you friends before you started training with him? You are much more emotionally bonded with your trainer that I ever will be with mine. I didn't meet him until my pre-personal training session. Yeah, we're friends (and actually his wife might start watching my 2 girls 2 days a week), but in a limited sense of the word.

Anyways, CONGRATULATIONS on the GREAT weight loss this week!!!!!! That's what I'm talking about!!

02-09-2008, 10:29 PM
And I thought adults are supposed to go to each other and deal with things maturely.

Gosh, even married people can't do that, and that's why there's that little thing called divorce. Which makes them act even less maturely, somehow.

I think it's time to start playing the Boyz2Men song, "End of the Road" as the background music to your workout. Somehow though, I can see you telling him you're moving on to another trainer and taking away his meal ticket, and he would still react without much interest, like he did on your weightloss. Does he know you've left his nutrition plan, and are on Atkins yourself? That could be bugging him as well, and if he doesn't know and thinks you're still on his plan and he finds out later.....well yeah, I could see that majorly bugging him too. Why not get a trainer closer to work or home so you can eliminate the awful commuting time and early rising? It seems that would make sense right about now.........

I KNOW you say you've got a special bond and history with him with all you've been thru, but honestly sweety, he's not treating you like it's the same for him or means anything to him. I think it's time to start the rest of your journey with someone else who can reciprocate on the connection you want to build with a trainer. All this stuff about feeling like a bother to him, just sounds so much like a bad romance gone sour. In the dating scene, if the guy doesn't have enough guts to break up with you, he just treats you like sh** and hopes you go away on your own. Of course he won't quit you - you bring him too much money & a whole freaking team to add to his book on top of it! Even if he can't stand you as a person, he should treat you more kindly for the business you're bringing. If you're not even getting civility at this point, why torture yourself in the hopes that things will get better? It can't get better unless both want it to & it sounds like he has pretty much checked out. Or taken the money and run.

Bottom line is, you wouldn't put up with a friend treating you this way, so why should you put up with it from someone you're paying?

02-10-2008, 01:26 PM
I agree, this is just way too much drama and emotional engagement with your trainer. If the trainer and/or the group training is making you unhappy, then you need to demand a refund and quit doing it. It makes no sense to keep up with it if it results in all this drama and torment. Trade him in for a different trainer or buy some training books and be your own trainer.

02-10-2008, 06:15 PM
In case anyone is interested, here's the end of it:

***, this is the last email or conversation I will have on the subject of the strain between us, but I felt you were owed at least the knowledge of my perspective on things, to do with it what you will, understand it or ignore it.

I am terribly upset over the deterioration of our training relationship. It should not be like this. It should be that there is trust and friendliness and not this wall that I feel. I have tried to talk with you, to come to some mutual understanding and put it behind us, but that clearly continued to make things worse. I am upset over this because of the friendliness and trust I did once feel and the bond others said they saw. I am mostly upset as I feel how significant this is and how it threatens the potential of continuing to work together toward my goal and for me that means a potential loss of a mentor and a skilled trainer, one whom I feel is uniquely positioned to help me and whose knowledge I admire as it has transformed my body.

I tried to talk with you. I tried to be direct and clear and communicate my feelings and needs with respect. I did what I could to put things on the table. I thought I was doing right, not expecting someone to know what I need unless I share it. I don’t know if it’s the timing of what you’re dealing with personally, or if what I’m dealing with in my personal life, if all that somehow muttled things up. Perhaps it was bad timing. For that I am sorry. I just want you to know that I struggled to find a way to with kindness and respect address an issue head on.

Yesterday I believe was unfortunate as it showed just how strained our training relationship is, but perhaps in seeing that we can fix it. Ultimately, that’s what I want, what I was striving toward. I do not wish to turn to another trainer or leave the gym because of strain. If you haven’t figured out by now, I’m a tear the bandaid off type of person—confront a situation and fix it and move forward. And to me, little is beyond repair, so I put effort into the fix and not just walk away from it.

But I can’t fix it alone and certainly not when I’m dismissed.

So, this email, long as it is already is the only means I have—share my perspective, let you do with it what you will.

***, I ask that you try for a moment to just hear me and not get defensive and ignore what my experience is. Accept that this is what I’ve experienced, as I am trying to for you.

You said yesterday that you were really angry so that’s why those two times you handed me your trainer tag. I am sorry that anything I’ve done has brought you to anger. I accept that a situation made you feel disrespected. But I do feel that it was the interpretation of my actions and not my intention. You feel I’ve tried to lead the group. I am stunned by that, have analyzed what those situations were. Ian, the first time you did that with the tag, I had simply motioned my question to you, “Are we going to do that a second time?” It was a question. A question I had inside me. Not an intent to lead the group but prepare my mind and body to face a repeated, now harder challenge. I don’t know what the second time was that offended you, but I believe it might have been when a teammate didn’t hear your direction on a movement and I told her what the movement was. Again, an innocuous situation and a traditional response.

But you took it differently. Only thing I can say is I have always respected your knowledge and subsequent leadership and not intended any of my actions to counter that. Even yesterday, I was very careful to not interject into the conversation about nutrition any advice, just a trick I use for myself for eating frequently. I noticed Merrill overstepped with advice and you didn’t take umbrage, so I feel you do so uniquely from me and I am very confused by that.

I don’t know what other thoughts you may be having that have created issues for you with me, but my heart is always open to mending this training relationship and if you wish to discuss it, please let me know. You can call me anytime (home phone as cell phone is still busted).

So, my experience. How can I summarize it. You know that I felt surprised by how group training was going. I tried to address that nonconfrontationally and am sorry if still you felt criticized. I just thought it would be helpful for you to know what I needed. Ultimately, if you and I had actually talked, as I had tried, about what group training would be like before it started, I would have been prepared. But I could never get you to discuss it. Had you said, be patient, the first week will be about learning the others, or prepared some advanced directives for me, or let me know I’d have to figure out my own weights—and how, this would have been a nonissue and I would have been patient. Surely you can understand my fear of backsliding?

But obviously, something more is going on for me, and it’s not just what’s going on in my personal life. I tried to explain to you yesterday two things, 1-why I felt ignored and 2-what was causing a huge problem for me. On the first, well, you may think you’re addressing all of us, but if I experienced minimal eye contact and avoidance, it was what I experienced. I’m a former teacher, I’m used to being in a position as yours and having to connect to each. Lack of eye contact tells the one not receiving it that something’s wrong between the two. It just made me feel like, “hello, I’m part of this team, too.” You may think you have kept it balanced but I think in trying to come to the group fresh, putting our training history aside, you have overcompensated. That’s my interpretation.

What else was causing the problem for me was this—you set the tone as our leader. If you make fun of me, the others follow suit. Each day somehow you have and then the group has added to it because they see you do it and view it as acceptable. What’s more hurtful is what you use as the joke. For instance, our email communication. Yes, I wrote you a lot between August and October. I was very needy and very confused about my body’s lack of reaction to all the effort. When I realized how this seemed to overwhelm you, I curtailed it and tried to keep all my emails to you simply about the work, like scheduling or other stuff. But it’s like you never forgave my need of you back then. To have this used as fodder for humor has been terribly hurtful. I feel like you’ve taken my vulnerability and punched at it.

And it’s not just that. Two other things have gotten to me. You treat me very differently than the others, making fun of stuff with me and yet showing respect to others on the same topic. When I couldn’t hear you because you mumbled or the music was too loud, you’d dismiss it with a prodding joke. When another says the same, you turn the music down. When I asked for clarification, on a movement, you accuse me of not listening, when another does, you offer the specificity I had asked for with a smile.

Do you see how this could wear down our rapport?

But one of the hardest things for me is hearing your interpretation of things. One of the great themes in my life is misperception. When someone thinks I am something I’m not or did something I didn’t do or whathaveyou, this hurts me to my core because it’s not me. When you think I’m trying to disrespect you, yet I’ve tried to only show respect…when you think I am delaying, when I’m truly just confused and asking for clarification…when you think I’m game playing when it really is that I don’t understand something…when you don’t understand my physical “dyslexia” and snap at me…and from this most recent situation—when you think this issue is about me not being the focus of your attention when that is not what’s going on at all. Oh, how that is soooo not me. Wow.

But you will think how you’re going to think, it’s just when you think I’m something I’m not, how can I trust you with my truths? I think the worst thing for me is that you were someone I trusted and felt bonded to, and to now see that I am someone you can’t make eye contact with, ignore when standing three feet away, it’s a horrible feeling. I hate it. I want to get to a point where we are getting along and I feel I can trust you again. And for me trust is what will make this training relationship continuing possible…and healthy. That’s what I want. But I feel very uncomfortable with it right now, like how can I share myself with you in ways that support our goal when I am disrespected and maligned?

I hate, hate, hate that at the end of these 8 weeks that we’re at risk for saying goodbye to each other. That’s how serious this is for me and frankly I think might be for you. I made a commitment when I chose you. You would take me to my goal. I still want that, so very much, but I need us to get back to a healthy rapport. I want to believe that is possible. That’s why in these recent emails I have tried to hand to you my perspective so you know what you’re dealing with. Oh, I could be the type of client who just looks at this as business and moves on when it’s “not working for me”, but I actually respected you more than that. I’ve tried to deal with this just between us. I could easily go to Joe or Anthony, tell them how badly I’m feeling, be moved and let that impact you. But for the bond I had felt for you, I wouldn’t do that. I’m trying to give you a chance to work on this with me and fix this directly.

I just don’t know how this got to be soooo bad. And I want what I had before—a mentor I absolutely adored and felt at ease with, a trainer who was so kindhearted and genuine, who I felt respected me even as I faced a lowest low, a trainer who shared in my joys. Training relationships I think can be purely service oriented (get in, work hard, get out) or benefit from some bonding. I want the latter because I experienced that difference.

Now, after this is probably the longest email ever, I am done with this issue. I will not address it again unless it is to tell you a decision I’ve made about post-Diva training or if you wish to discuss this. I can’t think of anything more I can say. I have tried. Really tried. Tried to understand that mistakes and misinterpretations happen, that even professional relationships can get off track, that personal lives can influence our behavior (heck sure mine have, I’m dealing with huge issues outside the gym doors and that does affect everything—including my quiet on Friday—which by the way was due to a complete lack of sleep the night before—the health issues just kept me unable to sleep.)

Lastly, you had said in an email that you felt me distancing myself from you. I don’t know what to do in training other than listen now. I feel like every word I say or action I take, if not in direct response to exercise is taken incorrectly, so I don’t know what to do. Do you understand how it feels that just being yourself is pissing someone off? If I’m quiet, I’m quiet. Truly, I will be leaving this problem between us behind and hoping to find some joy and comfort come in group training, and maybe again between us. God, I hope so.

When I’ve said how I have enjoyed you—I have. But right now, I feel like that person I bonded with hasn’t been around. Others who believe we’re bonded have asked me what’s going on with you—damned if I know, other than the sad dog issue. But it does tell me others have felt you change too. We all miss you. We miss the man who had such an amazing joyful spirit and kind heart, who made you feel welcome and like he was happy to know you. I miss the trainer who would pat me on the shoulder and acknowledge me, or offer a sidehug of congratulations. I miss the uniqueness in how your spirit was so alive. If I have done anything to compromise how you once were, it is with tremendous regret as I wouldn’t have wanted for that. I wanted to be a blessing to you as I felt you were for me.

Anyway, we move on from this problem. We train together and work hard. I’ve done all I can. This issue, if not addressed by you is out there, in your hands, to do as you will. Should you feel the strain on your end is irreparable, all I can say is that the man I met in July, changed my life, brought me to a new love (of activities), guided me on an adventure, and changed a lot inside me. To him I hold deep gratitude and fondness. And respect. I hope he’s still there. He’s the reason I stayed at ****** when it was no longer convenient, he’s the reason I persevered in face of obstacles, he’s the reason this problem upsets me so because he was so loving, kind and God-filled.

The team is aware that there is a strain between us and for the benefit of the group I explained to them it’s not because of them, but just that we have an issue as friends sometimes do. I do not want this to affect others. I tried to fix it. You won’t let me. So all I can do is walk away from the hurt this has caused and just plow through. It is officially left at the door. But you can never say I didn’t try to reach out to you or explain my side or give you a chance to help fix this.

For its bad timing, as you’re dealing with your grief over your dog, I am sorry. But better things be dealt with as they happen than ignored.

I wish you so many things, peace between us being one of them.

With affection and respect,


FYI LWL, I talked with my second choice trainer and discovered they were once close and he distanced himself from her too. He's done that to at least 5 people in the gym that I know....

02-10-2008, 07:22 PM
jersey - i think you definately ned a new trainer. This isn't your first post on issues with him. You have been rational and tried to approach him as an adult. He wouldn't relate to you what group training would truely be like...and from what i see..it appears that this training is actually detromental to your emotional being, which could mess up your will to want to work out. I think you did what you could...but now its time to talk to the head haunco at the gym. Tell him you need a new trainers...and honestly express why, this may not be the first time they've had issues with hime. Also, see if you can pay the extra for one on one instead of group. Good luck!

02-10-2008, 07:40 PM
I agree that it may be time to move on, but I will stick by my commitment and finish out the 7 weeks remaining. I talked to another trainer and gave her the heads up so if I come to her, she understands. Still, I am hoping this is reparable, and will just let the chips fall.

I've never experienced something like this so it's all weird. But yes, enough drama. I will stay in the challenge and go from there. At least seeing that this isn't just with me shows me it's NOT me. At the end, if I win, I'll have 6 weeks with someone new. But if I'm lucky, we'll get back into our groove. Thanks, LWL. I won't belabor this with ya....