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Keep my trainer or move on?

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Old 07-17-2013, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Keep my trainer or move on?

I saw the sticky on personal trainers, and that was very helpful...but I'm hoping for some advice too.

I've been working out with a personal trainer for almost 2 months now. But....there have been some issues popping up. And I'm thinking about "letting him go," at least temporarily.

Background: I meet with him 3 times a week, 45 minutes each session.

Pros:
-I am seeing results, although they are sort of slow. That's partially on me and what I do on the days I don't see him.
-He comes to my apartment gym and works out with me there, or we work out at a local high school (he teaches there, so we're able to use the facilities).
This was a huge factor for me because I don't belong to a gym. Didn't want to pay the extra cost.
-He's teaching me exercises to do on my own, like resistance bands, and gives me 'homework' to do on the days I don't meet with him.

Cons:
-He's late fairly regularly. We still go the full 45 minutes, but many times I'm downstairs in the lobby of my apartment complex for 10-15 minutes, waiting for him.
-Lately, he's checking his phone a lot/texting during the sessions. I understand he's trying to schedule with other clients, but there are times he mis-counts my reps because of this!
-At least twice, when we were working out at the school, he forgot his keys to the gym area....so we had to adjust the workout.
-Sometimes he's a bit chatty. I have to step in and say "okay, what's next?" because otherwise he'd go off on a story. I don't care if he chats while we're doing treadmill stuff or things like that, but other times I want to just get the exercise finished with.
-He's had to cancel/reschedule at the last minute a few times.
-He used to say over and over how he thought machines weren't great for seeing results....and then the other day he had me doing some exercises on the machines!

...thoughts? I've never used a personal trainer before. With him, I feel like I'm paying "professional" rates (about $40 a session) but getting less than professional performance from him.

I have 5 more sessions left that I've already paid for. After they're finished, I'm thinking about telling him that I want to take a break (tempted to say for financial reasons, because I don't want to entirely burn the bridge).

help? If I stop working out with him, I'm just going to have to try it out on my own. There's a gym near me, but I think their trainer sessions are $75 per session and I can't swing that PLUS a gym membership. I'll just have to make a workout plan for myself and be really diligent sticking to it.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Why not say something to him now, instead of being unhappy for 5 more sessions? Based on what you've written and in my opinion, his behavior is unprofessional and you are not getting what you paid for.
There must be a nice way to tell him that he needs to at least be on time and more focused on you during your session. There are few calls/texts that can't wait for 45 minutes.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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I think he is being extremely unprofessional. There is absolutely no reason for him to use his phone during a session you pay $40 for, other than a family emergency. No excuse for being late multiple times, especially 15 minutes late! Does he have a degree in kinesiology or something similar?
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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If I were you, I'd finish the 5 sessions and let him know that you're taking a break. I'd then find a new trainer and let them know why you had to stop with the old one and then the new trainer would make sure not to repeat those mistakes. I also don't believe in paying for anyone in advance because I like to be in control of when I stop but I know a lot of people expect payment.

Or, you could let him know that you don't feel he's giving you his full attention. As far as being on time, you can ask him to text you when he's downstairs and then he can wait for you, his paying client. Talking on the phone, you could ask him to only pick up if it's an emergency. But for me, that would be an awkward conversation and I"m not very confrontational.

One more thing...if you're like me (non-confrontational), you might let him know those cons over an email.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:28 PM   #5
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Heh. I would have "let him go" based on ONE of the con list, let alone all of those.

The problem that's I've had lately with private trainers (not part of my gym, working away from the gym) is the chatty thing. I am an extrovert and I have a job in outreach so I am always "on" but training is the time I want to be "off" and working hard.
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:31 PM   #6
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As a trainer, I can fully say that there is no excuse for his behavior! You are paying for his time and expertise, NOT for him to schedule other clients. I balance clients at 2 gyms, an at home client, and a bootcamp, and I keep my phone away from me during my sessions! Plus, IMO, being late is just not an option, unless there is a rare emergency. He needs to schedule his time better.

I know that I personally believe that machines are good for specific purposes, not as a be-all and end-all to your workout. He shouldn't have discounted them completely if he later used them...confusing much?

As for the talking thing, I admit I do that, too. He is trying to make your workout more personable and comfortable. However, it is YOUR workout and it should be done according to you. I know I would not be offended if a client said to me "I notice that I work harder when we don't talk a lot. Could we really focus on the workout today? I want to really push myself". Even if it is all him talking, saying it this way should call attention to that fact without making it feel like you are putting him on blast. I know that I would immediately realize that it was me who was talking too much, and I would shut my trap!

Other than those things, it does sound like he is a good trainer. The fact that he is teaching you things to do on your own and gives you homework speaks to the fact that he cares about you and your goals. He wants you to be successful on your own, if that is what you choose.

I say give him the next few sessions to change his habits. Be up front. Say how much you enjoy his teaching, but his time management and texting is very off putting for you.

At the end of your sessions, just ask yourself: is this guy still worth my time and money? If not, find someone else or try it on your own. There are a LOT of trainers out there!
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Old 07-17-2013, 11:32 PM   #7
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Once I wrote out all the cons, I looked at it and was thinking "why on earth am I still working out with him?!" And it is because he pushes me and I do get results. so I've been torn (and I'm terrible at confrontation!)

The biggest issues I'm having are the delayed start times and him texting on the phone. Because those are the things happening more frequently. Although he does text to let me know when he leaves to meet me (so I have a time estimation), it's delayed.

Example: tonight we were supposed to meet at 5.30. At 5.15 I got a text that he was running late, but on his way. It's about a half hour drive for him. He didn't arrive until at least 6. He apologized....but I was waiting to start my workout!

fadedbluejeans: you make a great point. I should say something, but I have a hard time with it. (I'm a chicken)

Lecomtes: he is certified, but I don't know what his certifications are.

luckymommy: I think that's a great idea with the new trainer, if I end up getting a new one. Unfortunately, I have to pay in advance. And if I buy multiple sessions (12, for example, vs 3) there's a slight discount in the cost-per-session.

Goddess_Jessica: sometimes I don't mind the chatting! But there needs to be a balance. This is one area where I do try and speak up, because I can't expect him to read my mind for when I want to chat and when I don't.
(and I can easily do this one in a nice way)

Andrea: The odd thing is that I know a lot of his clients are on vacation right now! So his schedule is more flexible than usual....and he's late more often. I understand the chatting to make things more personable.

I think writing it all out (and getting feedback) was very helpful! Thank you all. These "cons" are not happening all the time, but some of them are way too frequent.

Will definitely consider all the advice over the next few weeks while I decide for sure what to do. Thank you thank you!
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Old 07-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #8
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The easiest thing to do is not rehire him and tell you you want a break from a trainer. But that will solve nothing. You'll need to find a trainer and he'll continue acting this way with his other clients. I think the right thing to do is address some of these issues and that way he'll have more respect for you as a client and will work harder for you. And you'll have the benefit of exercise your right to speak up to get your money's worth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiet Ballerina View Post

Cons:
-He's late fairly regularly. We still go the full 45 minutes, but many times I'm downstairs in the lobby of my apartment complex for 10-15 minutes, waiting for him. Be honest and address this with him. Say "look, I'm a very flexible person but it seems you are late almost every time we meet. I hate to be a stickler but my time is valuable, I'm making an investment to meet with a trainer and working out takes out a considerable amount of time that I could spend with my family, friends, working, etc. Please be respectful of that"
-Lately, he's checking his phone a lot/texting during the sessions. I understand he's trying to schedule with other clients, but there are times he mis-counts my reps because of this! I think this issue should come up along with the lateness issue. Our society in general is massively dangling in the arena of rudeness with this. I was at a restaurant last night and it was kind of a dark romantic place and all you could see when you looked out at the other diners was little white screens of people checking their email and texts. Remind him that you leave your phone unattended because this time is valuable to you and you wish he would extend the same courtesy.
-At least twice, when we were working out at the school, he forgot his keys to the gym area....so we had to adjust the workout. I wouldn't bring this up. I'm willing to bet that if he wasn't late and spending all his time on the phone that this really wouldn't bother you.
-Sometimes he's a bit chatty. I have to step in and say "okay, what's next?" because otherwise he'd go off on a story. I don't care if he chats while we're doing treadmill stuff or things like that, but other times I want to just get the exercise finished with. Difficult issue, maybe your personalities don't clash. But I would be upfront and say to him "My job is really demanding on me to focus hard and during my work out the only thing I want to think about is how many reps I'm doing, and generally stay alive, I'm sorry but this is my time to relax and unwind and focus on myself, please don't take it personally but I'd rather not be chatty unless I'm on the treadmill."
-He's had to cancel/reschedule at the last minute a few times. If this continues you'll have to find another trainer.
-He used to say over and over how he thought machines weren't great for seeing results....and then the other day he had me doing some exercises on the machines! They can be great for a lot of things actually. Especially when you need stability or have an injury, they're great at isolating one specific muscle group.

..
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:26 AM   #9
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I'd move on from him. Even if you use a nice excuse like you are going to try to go trainer free or whatever you want to say to let him go without actually telling him he kind of sucks...I dont think its worth actually telling him what he's doing wrong, but I would still stop using him.
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Old 07-18-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
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Wannabeskinny: Thanks so much for recommending ways to specifically talk to him. I appreciate that.
And you're right -- if it weren't for the lateness and cell phone use, him forgetting his keys wouldn't bother me much. (and it hasn't happened lately).

The thing is, I don't think his other clients are as focused (?) as I am in this process. I mean, he told me about two of his clients, a couple, and they were arguing and bickering so much during the session that he had to separate them! And he's mentioned more than once that some of his other clients cancel/don't answer the phone when he calls, etc.

Thanks GlamourGirl!

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