Weight and Resistance Training - The hardest part

View Full Version : The hardest part

01-06-2009, 11:52 AM
for me is speaking my mind! (Shocking I know, you wouldnt think so from my posts)

Anyway, I hired a personal trainer at my gym. I have a less than ideal amount of time for weight training. ("I choose to allocate this amount of time to weight training") I am hiring a personal trainer to help me get the most out of the time I do have. I want an efficient routine that kicks my ***. And when I DO have a session with the trainer, I had better be doing way more than I can do on my own.


When I interviewed the trainer, I thought he was the guy, but I had my first real session yesterday and WTF? Cardio? Hello do you not HEAR me? I do enough cardio a week to make Meg and Mel cry catabolism. Dont freaking give me MORE. "We'll look at weights next session"

And nutrition advice etc.

Clearly he was going with the "99.99% of my clients are here to lose weight and this is what I do - interval cardio with light weights - get them started moving"blah blah. He kept talking about my aerobic fitness and bringing my heart rate down (I'll admit it was oddly elevated yesterday, probably from my race on Sunday...sometimes I'll have lingering HR elevation). It was like anything i did outside the gym didnt count.

But did I open my mouth. No. I smiled and nodded like I was seriously going to be able to find the time to add 3 more hours of cardio a week.

How hard is it to say "I am hiring you for strength training. Period. I'll worry about the rest".

Apparently hard.

01-06-2009, 12:10 PM
I can call him for you if you want me too.

If it helps I do remind my trainer from time to time that my time in the gym is to lift weights, go heavy, etc., and that my cardio is outside the gym.

Maybe write down your goals. He probably does have some basic assumptions about women who sign up to lift weights. Time to bust those assumptions in the nose! Speak up, lady!

01-06-2009, 01:08 PM
Ennay, I can relate, not to dealing with a PT, but the speaking up part. If it helps, do it over the phone, or send him an email. You seem pretty good with written words, so maybe that's a way you can get your point across. It's probably a good idea to do this before your next session, because if you don't, he may have prepared something totally inappropriate for you, like all machines or little pink DB "toning" exercises...shudder!

01-06-2009, 01:20 PM
I wished he had email, but I did call him. It was a short phone call, we'll see how Monday goes.

Yeah yesterday he had me warmup and gave me some weird interval advice based on the first 20 seconds being my "normal pace" (normal for the first 20 seconds yes)

The first sign of doom was the 3 lb dumbells and the reebok aerobics step. Seriously?

The problem I am having is I thought I was clear during the "free assessment" I got with him when I decided to shell out the $$ to buy 6 sessions. From the gym, but the other good trainer is always booked at the time I can go and the other 2 trainers ...well...so far their sessions seem to be along the lines of "try this and tell me if you think you might want to do that" and "OK you do as many of those as you can while I go over here and do my own lifting"

01-06-2009, 03:43 PM
Oh Ennay.:hug: You must feel like you have not been heard by this trainer.

I really don't think that you should have to this yourself but since you have paid the money and only have four sessions left you need to maximize the time for your satisfaction. Since you have already described your workout needs and he still didn't get the point, I would then suggest to him some "Crossfit" style routines. You could take a look at some of these videos online and through youtube. Write down the things from the videos you would like to learn and ask him to put together a routine that my emulate this type of training. If they have internet access at the gym send him to the site and watch it with him if need be.

When I worked with one of the trainers at my gym your experience was my fear. I decided before the first session to make a list of the types of lifts I wanted to learn and gave her the index card at the beginning of the session. A couple of the exercises she did know and or couldn't physically do. That's okay, we all have strengths in different areas. But at the end of the five sessions I got most of what I wanted because my expectations were written on paper. I have a difficult time with "on the spot" thinking. For me it was much more effective to have researched what I wanted and have it written down to share ahead of time. :^:

:rolleyes: A step and three pound dumbbells. Really.

He is coming off as no better than an informercial video from your post. :hug:

I do hope that this turns around. You have every right to learn what it is you want to learn. I really think that it is okay to tell him how and what you want to learn.

01-06-2009, 03:50 PM
The first sign of doom was the 3 lb dumbells and the reebok aerobics step. Seriously?

That makes me weep.

To be fair to him, that is probably what most women expect. I second Lydia's ideas about specific exercises. Look on stumptuous or break out New Rules of Weight Lifting. Tell him: I want to do squats or deadlifts or bench presses, and hopefully he'll start to get a clue.

What are your weightlifting goals?

ETA: What do people do with 3 lb dumbbells and a reebok step? My 16 yo DD does dumbbell step ups with 2 25-lb dumbbells and a step that is almost mid-thigh high. Egads!

01-06-2009, 04:00 PM
Clearly, your only remaining option is to scoff when he hands you the dumbells and proceed to hoist him over your head and do squats.

Or you can go with Lydia's suggestion- smarter for sure, but not as entertaining ;)

01-06-2009, 04:06 PM
Clearly, your only remaining option is to scoff when he hands you the dumbells and proceed to hoist him over your head and do squats.



01-06-2009, 04:32 PM
Oh geez. "You know, step ups are pretty basic and I really already know how to do those, can we move on to something new?" might work.

Let's see, at $40/session times 6, $240...... I'm thinking I would fly Mel out to give me a training program and put her in a hotel for 3 days and get 3 sessions - 2 weights, one cardio. DONE!

01-06-2009, 08:09 PM
Oh geez. "You know, step ups are pretty basic and I really already know how to do those, can we move on to something new?" might work.


"Oh are you going to use the step to block the 3lb dumbell that I'm about to throw at your head?" might work even better.

Tell him your goals and if he can't give you a clear explanation as to how his program will work towards those goals, then find someone else.

01-07-2009, 02:29 AM
Next time, tell him this straight to his face: "Train me as if I were your MALE client, not your female client." That will imply that you feel he is capable of training you how you would like to be trained, and that you are not the typical female client who wants to "tone and shape."

01-07-2009, 03:38 AM
3 lb DBs and a step... :rofl:

That reminds me of a conversation I was having with a friend of mine who is a BB type, except he doesn't compete that I know of. I had maxed out what I could hold for DB step-ups at 45 lb DBs. I asked him if he'd used straps or gloves and could he recommend one or the other to help with my problem. I needed more weight, but couldn't grip anything heavier. He just did NOT get it at all. His advice was, "you're going too heavy...go back to 10 pounders." I'm like, "huh? I'm not talking about curls...I'm talking about step-ups, for LEGS???" Still no clue what I was talking about, lol.

Poor E, sounds like you got the newb trainer. :hug: If he can't give you a butt-kicking workout, does he at least have some experience with Oly lifts or something useful? Just trying to think how you can salvage it.

01-07-2009, 08:37 AM
I have a few "Lift Heavy or Go Home" t-shirts left....

Speak up!!!!

Good luck, ennay :)

01-07-2009, 11:43 AM
It sounds like you signed up for the sessions with the gym, and then they gave you whoever was available. So I think you should take your complaints to management.

01-15-2009, 09:37 PM
OH, no I picked my trainer BECAUSE I have seen him kick women's asses. Believe me the other options were not pretty - I refuse to use a trainer who can't get herself in shape.

I think he just forgot who I was between our initial meeting and the first session. Our first 2 attempts to meet had gotten snowed out so it was over a month. He's actually the most experienced trainer there - an older guy. But our gym is 99.95% little old ladies and people who wandered in and have never worked out before. I probably blurred into the housewife masses. He just needed a kick in the head to straighten him out.

Second session went much better. He still struggles a bit with the concept of "Yeah...I know waiting a few more hours between my running and weights would be ideal. But not possible - let it go"

Why I hired him was to shake up my routine and give me new ideas. I didnt want to go in and say "teach me X", cause if I know what X is I already know how to do it. But my weights education was from a couple decades ago when isolation was king and no weight workout less than 2 hours was possible. While I have moved beyond that, I know there are better techniques.

I wasnt as sore as I wanted to be after Monday's session but today I worked out on my own and combined what he gave me with some of my own and kicked my own ***. Two weeks until our next session and then I think I'll have him about once every 4-6 weeks to freshen things up.

Only problem I had today is on thursdays the gym is deserted and he had me doing progressively heavier sets and I got stuck without a spotter on bench and had to roll the bar off of me. Seriously not a soul in the whole room. I felt like an idiot because I was worried going in to the set that I would get stuck but I went for 1 more rep anyway. DOH! I know better.

So next time I am in I am going to figure out "equivalent" cable chest press and use that for the two heaviest sets when I am alone. Cable seems the closest to free weights of the machines. I'd do dumbbell but I am not sure I could get them in position on my own. That last set is damn near 1repmax

01-16-2009, 08:16 AM
I got stuck without a spotter on bench and had to roll the bar off of me. Seriously not a soul in the whole room.

Ugh! That's an awful feeling! Do you know how to "kick up" dumbells? Start by sitting on the end of the bend with the dbs vertically on your knees (and gripping them to go into a press position". rock slightly forward, then, lie back with tight abs, as you push your knees up and use the knee momentum to push the dumbbells into the up position. It's not as complicated as this explanation sounds!

I'm glad the trainer worked out for you even if it took some prodding.