“Please don’t be too hard on me.”
So she walks up to the training desk and says, “I haven’t worked out since last October because “Bruiser” (not his real name) was too hard on me. Sometimes my heart would beat too fast and I had a hard time breathing. I just want to sort of work out, but not too hard. I don’t like to be sore, either.”
I’m sure the look on my face was priceless. I gathered myself and opened her training book. Sure enough, she had trained with “Bruiser” several months ago. I then read that this 40-year-old , moderately overweight lady had used “Lumpy” (also not his real name) last week for her first training session back. Lumpy is not a very good trainer. I asked, “What did you like about your workout with Lumpy?” “Oh, he was easy… and funny.” Funny? Oh, gawd! As I perused the notes from her workout with Lumpy, I saw that he only had her lift one set of about seven exercises, all at the lowest weight possible. I’m talking 5 lbs., 10 lbs., maybe a couple of 15 lb. loads. Are you kidding? I have a 73-year-old female client that lifts about ten times this much, very impressive loads for her age and size.
As I continued my probe, I uncovered that she wants to “lose about 45 lbs. over the next year”. Okay, that’s reasonable. I also learned that she was disappointed that she had not seen good results in the past. But, when I asked her at what intensity, on a scale of 1 – 10, she would like to work out, she said “oh, a four… maybe a five.” She only plans on working out three days per week, including cardio workouts. I was straight up and honest, “That’s not going to happen. I think you’ll be frustrated at your lack of progress and you will probably quit again. If you choose me as a trainer, you are going to do what I instruct you to do, knowing that the workouts will be designed for you to meet your goals. I am in charge, not you.” I didn’t wait to see the look on her face or hear a response, I just walked away and said, “Follow me.” She complied.
For the next twenty-five minutes, I took her through a pretty good legs workout. I had her heart pumping hard, breathing hard and her muscles were burning as I took her to failure with each exercise. When we were done, I asked, “So, what did you think?” “That was hard,” she replied. Then I told her that the workout I just put her through was what she asked for, a five – on my scale. “Wow! I must really be out of shape!” Ya think? I then told her, “It wasn’t that Bruiser was too hard on you, it was that you couldn’t handle even moderate workouts because of your current physical condition. You didn’t give it enough time because you want the benefits of working out without actually doing the work it takes to succeed.” I continued, “If you want to work with Lumpy and not see results, that’s up to you. But, if you want to put in the time and effort, then I hope to see you next week.” The ball’s in her court to make a choice.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
I don’t get it. Why would anyone pay so much money to join a gym, pay for a personal trainer, and then not want to work hard to reach their goals? Okay, they don’t like discomfort. I get it. Neither do I, but it’s part of the game. There are times I can’t breathe and feel like I’m about to pass out. Sometimes I strain or sprain something while working out. My muscles burn like hell at times. And, yes, I’ve puked in the gym. And there is NEVER a day that some part of my body is not sore. When you put stress on muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments, you are going to be sore. That’s why I take a rest day once a week, to heal. I’m even sore on my days off. No pain, no gain… right? RIGHT!
Know What You Are Doing
Besides avoiding discomfort, the majority of people that join a gym for the first time don’t get the results they hoped due to lack the proper knowledge. They don’t know how to use the equipment properly. They don’t know know what most of the equipment does. And they don’t know how to work out effectively. By that, I mean that they don’t have a plan. They work the wrong body parts. They either lift too much weight, or too little. They overwork certain body parts and under-work others. Before you know it, they stop coming to the gym because they either injure themselves or don’t see any results.
Fueling Your Body
Another reason that people fail is they don’t know how to eat properly. I have an older client that nearly passed out the other day because he had been fasting for three days. Seriously, if you are going to go to the gym to work out, you’ve got to fuel your body with the proper carbs, proteins and good fat. Then there was the client that had to stop ten minutes into her workout because she was going to vomit. She had come to the gym straight from having just finishing eating dinner about 15 minutes prior to her appointment. And guess what she had for dinner? …Pizza! She said the cheese was making her nauseous. Oh, really?
Get Professional Help
Yes, hire a personal trainer. I am a personal trainer and even I use a personal trainer. Why? Because of the reasons above. I need to be pushed and taken out of my comfort zone. I want to get the most out of my workouts. I need to be breathing hard and having my heart rate elevated. When I work with another personal trainer, I gain knowledge. I always learn something new whether it’s a new exercise, a new piece of equipment, or a new technique. I also learn about nutrition. It’s important to take a look online at places like FitnessGoal for to have a better understanding of what your nutrition should look like, and a personal trainer can help with this. While a personal trainer really can’t design meal plans, they can give you basic information and guidelines that will help you prepare for your workouts, motivate you to eat healthy, and hold you accountable. If you are looking for a designed meal plan, you might want to check out a program like Fitness Muscle Meals, as they can deliver healthy, customised meals to your door, meaning that you don’t have to design your own nutrition plan.
Don’t Waste My Time
I don’t want to be your personal trainer if you aren’t going to work hard. I have a right to fire you for “lack of effort”. Don’t waist your money, your time, or my time. Oh, and don’t expect me to whip out my magic want and transform you into some incredible physical specimen. It will take both of us working really hard together to do that over time.
Last night, I had a client that confirmed why I made this career change to be a personal trainer. After the session was over, this very nice 18-year-old girl who wants to lose about 35 lbs before she starts interviewing for jobs was concerned that I was getting paid enough and that the money she was paying the gym was actually going to me. “I hope they pay you well. You busted my butt and that’s good. You’re a really good trainer and deserve to get paid.” Wow!
If you aren’t seeing results, take a personal inventory to see where you are falling short. Elevate your game and you will start seeing results in just a few short weeks.
To Your Health!