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What NOT to Do as a Personal Trainer

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  1. Rita @ The Giggly Bits

    Well I just had to read this, since well, that’s what I’m going to do! I’ve had so many experience like that were people just don’t listen. It was hard enough going to the gym as an obese person without being talked at. I hope that even being fresh out of school (and who knows was cert she had, they have vastly different educations behind them) I will have been people skills. That sounds like some maturity issue too, maybe when she grows up 😉

  2. Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin

    Wow that is crazy that she was so inexperienced! I wonder if you were her first client ever… I totally agree, you can’t BEG someone to come back to you, you have to make them want it. It’s so weird she didn’t ask you any questions about your routine or goals and just made them up for you! What a waste! At least it was free, though…

  3. Carbzilla

    Ugh, I’m so sorry. That sucks. I don’t know how you prevent that in the future besides tell the trainer coordinator what kind of trainer you are specifically looking for.

    FWIW, I’m on my fourth chiropractor in 4 years, and I count how many hairdressers I’ve tried. These are all very personal choices that can take some time. Hang in!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Haha! Yeah I’m with you. It means a lot to have a good relationship with doctors, hairdressers, personal trainers, etc.

  4. Carbzilla

    …and I CAN’T count how many hairdressers….

    (I actually know how to count. That’s about the highlight of my week, knowing how to count)

  5. marie

    UGH! Sorry for that terrible experience. I hated my gym and quit going because I didn’t enjoy weight training and I hated all the self-important 16 years olds working there. I’m SO glad you said something to her about your goals and your history. Ridiculous that she didn’t even ask.

    I think you’ve got the right idea doing only light weights – I’ve had better luck building lean muscle in my legs with bodyweight training and floor exercises rather than those weight machines.

  6. Becky

    I used to go to Gold’s gym, but I recently let my membership expire. I was unimpressed with their personal trainers, and I found out that at least locally they don’t actually require them to have any sort of training. They basically just have to be thin and hot. That infuriated me–someone could get seriously injured through bad guidance.

    The whole “11 lbs of body fat” thing reminds me of a cruise I took when I weighed 145 lbs. I “won” some free meeting with a training “expert” there and he said I needed to lose something like 17 lbs of body fat and that I only could lose it by taking a bath in these magical seaweed bubble bath stuff. Totally bizarre. Your story reminded me of that!

  7. Nicki

    I love my gym! I’ve had some not-so-good experiences, but so far so good at this one. My training is mellow and nice, and asks a lot of questions. HE <- Yes I asked for a him, I think the men are nicer than women when it comes to training. Maybe go back and talk to the manager and explain your situation and ask for a different trainer? P.S. I don't think you need to lose 11lbs! craziness, maybe the 3lbs that you're neurotic about, LOL, 🙂 but 11.. not so much. 🙂

  8. Lisa @ I'm an Okie

    what a little snot.

    I personally think about 80% of all trainers are worth shit. Pardon my language. A lot of places dont even require you to be certified and they are more or less salesmen and not trainers.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      That’s good to know. I had no idea!

  9. Lisa (bakebikeblog)

    oh my – I can totally relate with this. I have had quite a few ‘lame’ PT sessions over the years – where they assume I know nothing (even after I have told them I have cert III in fitness and am just looking for a killer workout to spice it up!) I had another girl who didnt even ask about my past medical / injury history – which kinda breaks the cardinal rule of personal training!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      How is that possible? Is it just laziness or utter stupidity on their part?

  10. Lori (Finding Radiance)

    My favorite part? She wrote for you to “loose” 11 pounds. That is one of my biggest pet peeves LOL

    Come on to the East Coast and I will show you the ‘scary weights’ 😀

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Haha! Yeah I forgot about that. She also spelled tendinitis wrong. But whatever.

      I’d LOVE to work out with you!! Or go on a bike ride! If you’re ever in Oregon, bring your bike. 🙂

  11. Erin

    I work out at 24 Hour, and I have tried two different trainers there. I had very similar disappointing results with both trainers. The first one basically told me I needed to lose 17 pounds (I was at the low end for BMI and at this time if I lost 15 pounds I would be underweight). She literally showed me three new exercises. The other one was disappointing because she basically told me to eat 1200 calories. She worked me out much harder, but it was so hard that I felt like I never wanted to go back. There needs to be a middle ground, and they definitely need to do more to impress us in the first session if they want repeat clients!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I feel like 24 Hour Fitness could care less about their clients. We are cattle to them. Just members to “up-sell”. Boo.

  12. Di

    I guess I’m in the minority. I’ve had two personal trainers and they’ve both been really awesome. They asked me what my goals were and what I was currently doing for workouts. I was also looking for a strength training plan so that was what I got from them. I don’t remember the first one as much since it was years ago, but my current trainer showed me how to do each exercise and then watched me do it to make sure I was doing it correctly. She explained the importance of strength and cross training while running to avoid injuries as well and I found her very helpful. Sorry that you had such a crappy experience.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m GLAD you had a good experience. What gym do you go to?

  13. Notes from the Fatty File

    Wow, what a dolt. I once had a trainer at a gym — my first time ever going to the gym, back when I was heavier — tell me I should be 115 pounds. I am 5’6″ (well, 5’5.5…) and I would look emaciated at that weight. He encouraged me to replace meals with these disgusting shakes. Gross.

    But I’ve had really great trainer experiences, too. At the all-women’s gym I joined in 2007, I had a fresh-out-of-school trainer who was really down-to-earth and realistic about what I needed for my body and super encouraging. I now do group training at my work gym with a guy who is really, really great. He has a master’s degree in health something or other and really knows what he’s talking about. Not all trainers are the same, that is for sure. I am especially wary of trainers who try to sell crap!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I’m happy you have had good experiences. I think it’s really important to have a good relationship with them.

  14. Ann

    Wow…I was thinking of trying a gym and a trainer, but now, I dunno! I think I’ll ask some folks for recommendations when I decide to give it a try:)

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Don’t let me discourage you from trying. I strongly suggest you ask friends for good recommendations!

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  18. Deb

    I started to type out a reply to this here, but it got really, really long, so its going into my post tonight. The short version is a totally agree with you. The long version… well, it’ll be posted around 9pm my time. 🙂

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