100 lb. Club - the blues with personal trainer - long

07-23-2009, 12:57 PM
As I have written over the last several weeks, I started seeing a personal trainer and while there have been many changes in my body I love and I like having her there at the gym, there has been many frustrations as well.

On tuesday we did an entire 1 hr session of eliptical, stepper, and treadmill. Prior to hiring the trainer, I had done several 1+ hrs on the treadmill doing HIIT, hills, or random cardio routine. Once with the trainer, she got me off the treadmill to the eliptical and stepper, starting out with 5 mins each and moving up. Prior to tuesday, during my own sessions I had gotten up to doing 15 mins on each the eliptical and stepper in the same session so doing 20 mins on each of the machines was not a stretch or something that I needed the coaching or encouragement.

So after the session, I asked her what she was looking for and her answer was that we did it because she said so and she's the trainer (I wrote alot more in that email asking alot of whys). This has resulted in me feeling like this trainer doesn't trust me. We've had a few email exchanges and have yet to conclude if we will meet on Friday (which was to be our last session of the bundle purchased).

Since her response to why the aerobic work out, I have been very emotionally down. It was very hard for me to go to the gym today and I didn't even make it through the routine before I said f**** to myself and left. I have not binged, which is a plus - but actually, I've kinda had to force myself to eat. I can't quite figure out why am I having such an emotional roller coaster response to all this and what I need to do to pull myself out of the funk. It all just kinda feels pointless (at the moment). Part of me knows it is not - just seems hard to hold onto that feeling.

07-23-2009, 01:26 PM
You've lost such a lot and you've done such a lot of hard work in the gym, (you put me to shame, I haven't been in a month. :( ) don't let the bad manners of an employee put you off.
If you can manage to do it, without feeding her into the working parts of the treadmill, maybe it would be good to keep the last appointment, never let it be said, either by her or by you on a bad day, that you couldn't commit to a whole programme. After that, I'd pick another trainer for sure. You're paying her not to be lippy with you. 'Because I say so' is bullying, and I'm down on bullying at the moment!

07-23-2009, 01:33 PM
Here is my thought process with trainers. Although they are there for encouragement, we must remember that they get PAID to do this. I have noticed several of the trainers at my gym out and about and they act like they dont even know me, like they are better than me, but when I see them at the gym, they are all smiles (hoping that I would renew my package). Not in all cases, but in many, they have this high and mighty attitude. I would not let her "because I said so" attitude get to you. I honestly feel that you may have even been ripped off. At our gym, the trainers are not allowed to do cardio machines with their clients. Their clients are required to do 10 minutes on the treadmill as a warm up PRIOR to their scheduled session and then when their session starts, they work on the weight machines or strength training (pilates, lunges, sit-ups, stretching, etc.). Then, when your NOT working with your trainer, they give you homework, like 1 hr on the eliptical, 30 on the stair climber, etc.

Dont let this chick get to you. You have obviously been very successful in your weight loss journey and if given the choice, I would not renew with her. She is having the opposite affect on you that a trainer should. The only reason you should want to "strangle" your trainer is because they gave you a kick-butt work out. Ya know?

07-23-2009, 01:34 PM
I worked with a personal trainer for bunch of sessions at the beginning of the year. I was at your weight when I started with him too. He was pretty decent at explaining to me why he chose certain routines, though he obviously KNEW the stuff better than he could explain it. I'm not sure why you think it's a matter of trust with your trainer, unless it's her letting down your trust in her by not doing the job you wanted.

ie, and I'm just throwing this out there, you may be feeling down because you saw using the trainer as a way to take charge, then she deflated your bubble a bit by being testy. I say don't let blips with who is basically a stranger you're paying for a service get you down. You really are in charge, and can see her, or someone else, or whatever you want to do. It's your money, and you get to spend it how you see fit.

I was so happy I did that work with the trainer, I gave him a bonus and felt, even though we didn't have a great rapport, that I got quite a lot from the experience. I consider it a great decision on my part.

Good luck!!! and congrats on doing it in the first place! For me it was a very big deal.

07-23-2009, 01:44 PM

A gym membership isn't in our budget and definately not a personal trainer, so I have no experience, but I think luckylindy hit it pretty much right on. I have noticed even on the videos I do that most of the "trainers" are quite stuck on themselves, and have that I'm better than you attitude... yuck.

07-23-2009, 02:15 PM
I also have little experience (well none) with trainers. However, from what I've heard from other people, having them watch/encourage you during cardio isn't likely the best use of your training dollars. Unless you specifically asked for that.

07-23-2009, 02:20 PM
Maybe I'm dense... but I don't get what the problem is? :dunno:

You hired a trainer to guide your workouts, and that's what the trainer is doing! There are reasons for what the trainer suggests, but you don't need to have every single thing explained to you.

I think it's easy for folks to have unrealistic expectations of what a trainer is there for. They are there to put you through a workout and maybe to give you tips for your non-trainer sessions. That's it! The trainer is not your girlfriend, not your parent, not your role model. Presumably you sat down with the trainer at the beginning and listed some goals, and the trainer has a plan for helping you with those goals.

It's not that the trainer doesn't trust you! And even if it were, who cares! Your trainer doesn't have to trust you. Do you expect your dental hygienist to trust you? Your nail technician? Your haircutter?

I think you must be having unrealistic expectations of what this relationship is, or you wouldn't be so emotional. You must think the trainer thinks you're doing it wrong--but you didn't say that that's what she said.

Don't let this become an excuse for failing to follow through on your exercise and weight loss plan... Keep going and working out...


07-23-2009, 02:55 PM
Jay - The goal was to lose weight. What I actually requested from the trainer was to help me build non-trainer day workouts and routines and then on trainer days make sure I am keeping form, spotting me, introduce me to exercises I am unfamiliar with, and to push me abit more. If this is not a role a trainer would also fill, who would? Cuz that is what I want to hire.

Unrealistic expectations of what the relationship is - yeah I might agree. Doesn't discount my feelings.

To some degree, thanks for the kick in the pants.

07-23-2009, 02:57 PM
Thanks for the support everyone. Sure I will need more in the future :) it is a long journey.

07-23-2009, 04:05 PM
If you have been specific about what you want, and you don't believe you are getting it, and you aren't getting adequate answers from ANYONE THAT YOU ARE PAYING MONEY TO, you need to find a new provider.

Seriously -- if you took your car in for brake work, and the mechanic said SURE, and you went back and the tires had been replaced but the brakes hadn't been touched, and you asked why, and he/she said "because I'm the mechanic", you'd go somewheres else.

If you went to a hairstylist and asked for a 2 inch trim and he/she cut your hair in a Mohawk and you said "WHY" and he/she said "because I'm the hairstylist", you wouldn't be happy.

Trainers are service providers. You need a good relationship with the one you work with, but at the end of the day, it's your $$$ at stake. And if you aren't getting what you want from your trainer, find another one.

I had a similar experience -- I didn't want to pay a trainer to watch me on an elliptical. I wanted and needed core training. "Oh yes, of course" my trainer said. I agreed to do cardio between and before our sessions.

"Oh yes, I take VISA" my trainer said. And not a word of a lie, not a SINGLE session was focused on core training. And I had a core trainer before, so I KNEW what I needed: I needed stability ball work, I needed to do planks, I needed to do mat work, I needed BOSU work. I DIDN'T want to pay for supervision on the elliptical. And with my last trainer, I would go in, do the elliptical BEFORE our session, and then hit the core training work. But that is what I got. 20 minutes of supervision on an elliptical, followed by seated exercises on the weight machines -- not even free weights, where you use your accessory muscles to stabilize yourself! Which was NOT what I wanted and NOT what we agreed to.

It turned out that this trainer had a set routine no matter WHAT the client asked for. I was just another client, and what we discussed had apparently NO bearing.

I left that trainer.

You need to reassess this relationship, determine WHAT you want from a trainer, and hit the bricks and try a new one...IMHO


07-23-2009, 04:21 PM
You guys are scaring the pants off me about trainers! Never had one, but I thought maybe when I was fit enough to really help me optimize my workouts ... now I'm thinking I'm not doing so bad with my Jillian Michaels DVD and other odds and ends! :)

But I don't agree about not needing an explanation about everything and just trusting them. You have the right to have an explanation about anything you want. If that's how you want to use your hour, it's your dime. You are the customer.

And I think any trainer that would charge you to watch you on a cardio machine or other weight machines is out to lunch. Even a beginner knows you can do that yourself and you're paying the $$$ to work more efficiently in more ways/areas.

Good luck, and don't let her make you feel like you are doing something wrong. She's made an easy buck watching you do cardio and I'd be very, very surprised if she honestly does not know that.

07-23-2009, 04:32 PM
Jay - The goal was to lose weight. What I actually requested from the trainer was to help me build non-trainer day workouts and routines and then on trainer days make sure I am keeping form, spotting me, introduce me to exercises I am unfamiliar with, and to push me abit more. If this is not a role a trainer would also fill, who would? Cuz that is what I want to hire.

See, that sounds like what the trainer was doing... which is why I'm confused.

Sorry if I gave you a kick in the pants, :( but I don't want to see you getting all down and not going to the gym because you didn't like your training session. That's really not an answer!

I do agree with Kira that if you feel you are not getting what you paid for, you should not go back to that trainer. Try a different one and see if it's any better. There are plenty of them! I have had two that I liked, one that was so-so, and one that I would never use again.


07-23-2009, 05:06 PM
I've been lucky...I've had two trainers...both of whom I've liked. One was more of a drill sergeant and the other had a gentler approach but still pushed me to achieve more than I thought I could. Trainers should be instructional, motivating, encouraging and give you a kick in the arse when needed. They should ALWAYS make sure you have correct form. If you don't like that trainer, find another one. There are great ones out there, that are kind, caring, and not stuck on themselves. And I've never heard of a trainer using an hour of your session time to do cardio. I mean, 5 minutes at the beginning if you didn't warm up your muscles ahead of time...but that's the max in terms of cardio. Cardio can be done on your own time.

MsDiana 08
07-23-2009, 05:28 PM
Don't let a trainer or anyone affect you in a negative way. If you are paying them and they are not working for you, then go find another one who will.

07-23-2009, 05:35 PM
Jay - it was a good kick in the butt.. kinda like, get off your butt and quit whining. No hard feelings. I don't completely agree with what you said but it also had some merit and did help.

07-23-2009, 06:45 PM
One of the main issues is that personal training isn't a very regulated industry. Your trainer could have a college degree or a "home" degree. I'd ask for credentials next time.

07-23-2009, 07:45 PM
Wow, I don't even let my mom get away with 'because I said so':) . You are not a child. You have the right to question anyone to gain clarity. Even more so if you happen to be paying that person for their expertise.
People answer with 'because I said so' when they don't know how to articulate an answer, don't know the answer, or have no respect for the asker.

You have done an amazing job, even more points for sitting through tense training sessions.
You are obligated only to yourself. If this chick isn't adding to your life-ditch her,and move on. Don't give her anymore thought then shes worth.
I don't think you are using this as an excuse to not go to the gym. I have no doubt that you'll continue with your workouts,whether its with a new trainer or on your own!