At my first session, I just had my measurements taken, 20 minutes on the treadmill and a print out full of a mealplan that included supplements that THEY sell! The trainer also had the nerve to tell me that on my second session, she'd "discuss" the meal plan with me. I told her I wanted to work out and learn exercise, not spend time talking to her - I'm there to lose weight, not yak with her. She said she'd spend the LAST 5 MINUTES of the session talking...but we'll see.
I've only learned - by googling this gym - that they have a TERRIBLE reputation around here. Literally HUNDREDS of dissatisfied customers have posted horrible reviews about them on countless consumer sites and I'm beginning to believe that I'm ALSO being scammed.
What exactly should my personal training session comprise? Shouldn't the trainer be there WITH me when I get on the exercise machines?
My personal training sessions are about 45-50 minutes long, I warm up on the treadmill for about 5 minutes before hand.. and then after that it's go time! He stays with my the entire time and shows me the different exercises and explains what they are doing (while I'm doing them). We do a combination of weights and cardio and core stuff. My trainer pushes me really hard. He's made me puke twice. I love it
In the beginning I remember spending some time getting measured and setting goals, taking about the meal plan and how my body was going to feel after the first couple sessions.
Give it time, I know every trainer is different with different ways of doing things
--We Do What We Have To Do So That We Can Do What We Want To Do--
Usually the first session of a personal training session is a lot of administrative type stuff. They should take your measurements, do some tests, design a workout for you, give you some eating tips, etc. I'm surprised that they would put you on the treadmill for 20 minutes though. If you aren't happy, then don't go back. I've had good personal trainers and bad personal trainers at the same gym so it does vary.
You can't out-exercise poor eating habits.
IMO, initial personal training is teaching the proper form for basic exercises, so definitely the client should be supervised. Goals, medical or physical handicaps, personal preferences and scheduling are basics that need discussion. Unless the trainer has a certificate in nutrition, meal planning and diet should be discussed in general only, but sometimes they do need talking about. You don't have to buy any supplements you don't want. A good diet is the only supplement you need.
The trainer in my gym will spend 1-3 sessions with a new client to begin with, then let her go on her own for a month or two, before going on to the next phase of the program. We have learned that when she is with a client, we save our questions for later.
Unfortunately, some gyms are in the business of selling their product(s), and the trainer is limited to that approach. If the trainer is really interested in you and helping you move towards a fitter lifestyle, this should shine through during the training sessions.
Do or don't do; there is no try (Yoda)
At the Y where I go, each new member gets 3 free training sessions. The first one was mostly administrative (weigh, measure, etc.) and then introduction to how to use the aerobic machines (treadmill, elliptical, bike, etc) and a fitness test on the treadmill. I stayed and did 20 minutes on one of those machines after the session.
The second was intro to the weight machines, with a program. Each machine was explained and the settings and initial weights were written down on my tracking sheet for me to use during my workouts.
The third session was about stretching, and they have a lot of good things, like those big balls, to use for stretching. The trainer also gave me some core exercises to do on the mat and taught the right way to stretch.
A food program was offered, but I declined it since I am doing a plan already.
So that doesn't sound that much different from what your first session was like, really. To go beyond that, I'd have to make an appointment and pay extra for a training session. I haven't felt much need to do that.
__________________ "My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama
Maybe the answer lies in whether you've paid for your personal trainer or whether this is part of the gym's free orientation. Like Jay, I got 3 free sessions when I joined a particular gym in 1993 when I knew nothing about weights or gyms for that matter. The first session was like yours, the second and third were working with me on the weight machines (which I used for about 3 months before starting with the free weights). On the other hand, I'd be pissed if I spent good money on a trainer and they're wasting my time on admin stuff when I really need someone to show me proper form and how to use the machines, and then to stand there and watch my form while I'm doing it. I would just tell the trainer next time at the start what I want, rather than letting them do what they want. And I would want someone to show me how to use the weight machines and how to do some free weight exercises.
For my training sessions, I typically warm up on the treadmill by myself for 10 minutes. The rest of the session is with my trainer, doing weights and various cardio exercises. He doesn't have me use any of the cardio machines, we do shorter, more intense cardio (sprints, jumping)--but I'm pretty advanced. My prior trainer would put me on some of the cardio machines for 5-10 min at a time, but he would stay and chat with me the whole time, even though I could clearly do the machine on my own (I always assumed part of his job was to entertain me ). My current trainer is also with me the entire time and we'll usually go a few minutes past the hour, then he stretches me out for about 5 minutes. My trainer is a little unusual in that he'll go past the hour because this means he has to go right from one client to the next, but he is young and super enthusiastic.
On days that we take measurements, etc. that takes about 10 minutes at the beginning of the session, so those sessions are shorter. But we only do that about once a month.
My first session was a freebie and the trainer was with me the whole time and I worked out the whole time. But that trainer never took my measurements and we never really talked about specific goals until many months into the training when he finally made me pick a goal weight. Some people would say I got ripped off (and my current trainer was very disappointed that my first trainer have never measured my body fat), but it didn't bother me. I don't like to set goals and the goals I had were pretty vague (e.g., I wanted to be "healthier"), so his approach worked fine for me. Neither of my trainers ever gave me a workout plan either; the workout is different every session (which is definitely one of the things I like about the training).
Some people really want their trainer to go over what they eat; it helps them stay accountable. My current trainer asked me what I ate during the day at every session for the first few weeks we worked together (until he figured out that I eat pretty well), but he did it while I was working out, we didn't take time out of the sessions for it. If you don't want this from your trainer, just explain that to her. I do have to say that when I've been off plan for a while (e.g., for a vacation), my trainer will sometimes ask me about what I eat and there have been times when it's been really helpful in terms of getting me back on plan.
I definitely think that you should stick it out for a few more sessions. They won't all be like your first one, in fact, it should be the exception rather than the rule, so I think it would be a mistake to make a decision based on it. I also think that in the beginning, before you and your trainer know each other well, it helps to be a little bit flexible. If you resist everything your trainer tells you to do, she may get the impression that you aren't really serious. I didn't really need my trainer to go over my meals with me, but he really wanted to do it and by letting him do it, he learned on his own that I don't need this and he appreciated more the seriousness with which I approach my calorie plan. If I had just refused to tell him what I ate, he wouldn't have figured this out and might have just thought I ate poorly (because this is far more the norm among his clients, even from people trying to lose weight). Trainers see lots and lots of clients that aren't serious, that resist everything they tell them, that whine that everything is too hard, that eat terribly, and that expect a magic cure; even in the most optimistic and enthusiastic trainer, this is bound to create some cynicism so sometimes you have to prove that you aren't that type of client. Also, you are paying for a trainer because presumably she knows more than you do about exercise, so I think it's smart to sometimes rely on her expertise, even if it isn't quite what you expected to be doing.
You're BEING ripped off, not you WERE ripped off? How many training sessions have you already paid for?
I also think that in the beginning, before you and your trainer know each other well, it helps to be a little bit flexible. If you resist everything your trainer tells you to do, she may get the impression that you aren't really serious. I didn't really need my trainer to go over my meals with me, but he really wanted to do it and by letting him do it, he learned on his own that I don't need this and he appreciated more the seriousness with which I approach my calorie plan. If I had just refused to tell him what I ate, he wouldn't have figured this out and might have just thought I ate poorly (because this is far more the norm among his clients, even from people trying to lose weight). Trainers see lots and lots of clients that aren't serious, that resist everything they tell them, that whine that everything is too hard, that eat terribly, and that expect a magic cure; even in the most optimistic and enthusiastic trainer, this is bound to create some cynicism so sometimes you have to prove that you aren't that type of client.
OTOH so what if your trainer is cynical about your motivation? You're paying her for her skills, not her belief in you. IOW you can sneer at me all you want as long as you're explaining the weight machines or putting me through a workout effectively. Frankly, if someone I was paying for gym knowledge started out trying to sell me nutritional supplements, I'd take food entirely out of the relationship too--I'll handle the meals on my own, you're here help with the gym.
A lot of those types of gyms/spas have their own house brand of supplements--even Curves does--it doesn't mean you have to buy them. I didn't see anything in Scammed's post that indicated a hard sell--they were just listed on the meal plan. You can take it or leave it.
I don't need a trainer to stand there while I do an exercise machine workout. Of course, one could always ASK the trainer to stay there, if one wanted that.
I think most places try to provide information about nutrition and such, in addition to telling you how to use the equipment. I don't see that as a drawback. Again, take it or leave it.
Maybe there's no need to be so upset. After all, the point is to go there and use the equipment, right? Anything else is kind of a side issue, IMHO.
P.S. Aquanetrocker, any trainer that worked me so hard I threw up, I would not be going back to them.
__________________ "My religion is kindness." --His Holiness the Dalai Lama
It depends: Is this a freebie that goes along with your membership? If so, they unfortunately may not give too much. Is it a group training? If so, they should be providing more. Are you paying for a personal trainer (like $30+/- per hour? If so, YEAH!
I did personal training and it was awesome. If you do not know how to work the cardio machines, then someone should teach you, but not on personal training time. For cardio, they should possibly tell you what to do (i.e. 45 min cardio 5 times a week), but NOT let you use your personal training time for it. They should stand by you the entire time and do a full body weight training workout. My trainer usually spent 35+/- minutes on lower body and 25+/- minutes on upper body. They should count reps for you, cheer you on, talk about correct form. Some days my trainer did heavy weights days, sometimes, repetition days, and other variations.
If and only if YOU want to spend the time on nutrition, the trainer could talk to you about nutrition while you are lifting. I talked to my trainer about nutrition some, but mainly while lifting. It also makes you wonder when they start trying to sell you extra stuff.
Again, if you want/need the help with cardio and nutrition, okay, but if not that trainer should be with you every second and giving your body a full weights work-out. Good luck!
My DD joined a gym with her friend. They went for several weeks before being approached by a trainer. He worked a deal with both girls. He'd do a group session with them--3 sessions for $50 and the girls split the cost. He taught them how to use each machine correctly, taught them the best way to do a workout (I think he said stretch, do weights, then do cardio and concentrate on one part of the body each workout--arms, then legs), and finally he gave them an eating plan (I didn't like his plan too much--very macrobiotic). I think what they paid for was worth it. My DD said that after the sessions, she saw a lot of improvement a lot faster.