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Trainer or Go it Alone?


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So I joined a gym last month and the membership came with a few personal trainer sessions.

 

So far they've been nice, the trainer's nice and I haven't had to dig into my pocket beyond my membership for them.

 

Well we're coming to the end of the free ones and I sit down and they tell me how much they are going to be per session... $70 per 50 min training session.

 

The trainer looks at me with a straight face and says "I think we should do 2 a week". My jaw dropped. Yeah I'm spending $140 a WEEK!?!? I don't think so.

 

Of course through the session today she commented on how important a trainer is to make sure you do everything correctly (position/etc) and that they can mix it up for you... blah blah blah.

 

So I figured I'd check in with my new Vegan Bodybuilding buddies and get some advice.

 

How much value is there in working with a trainer. If motivation isn't an issue (and right now it's not an issue at all) is going it alone a better way to do it?

 

Thoughts/suggestions/etc warmly welcomed.

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I think most trainers are worthless. Not all of them but if you can motivate yourself don't bother. Most of them give the same cookie cutter advice that everyone else does because for the most part it works. Which means you can get everything you need online, here at the forum, books or simply talking to people at the gym. I think trainers are best for people who need extra motivation(if the trainer is motivational), or are trying and are near being world class athletes.

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When I first started lifting weights I got a routine from bodybuilding.com. I then looked at their exercise guide to get an idea of form. I did it at my college gym according to what I had read and did pretty good in the beginning. My form was shitty on things like the squat for awhile, but as time went on I got pointers from some of the other BB'ers at the gym and now my form is great on most exercises and decent on some, which could still use a little work.

 

If you have the motivation, I don't think the trainer is worth it at all. It's better to train at a gym that has serious BB'ers who are regulars, who over time you schmooze with if BBing is your thing. They'll help you out for free and probably better than a personal trainer.

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Save your money!

The basis of the trainer hype going on right now is that training is complicated. It's not. It can turn complicated if you're 2:nd in the world in your field and want to reach #1 but I'm guessing that's not the case.

 

Here's what's up:

1. Eat whole foods.

2. Push yourself to the limit in the gym with every set you do.

3. Read bodybuilding magazines with a huge pinch of salt.

4. Find a way to enjoy it or you will quit. If you quit the trainer will be even more a waste of money.

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For me, I work out of my home, so there's too many distractions to get a good uninterrupted workout. I like going to the gym because it's the only time of the day which I am truly out of the office. Which makes it easier for me to be motivated to do it

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I believe seeing a GOOD trainer at first, and then once in a while is a good idea for someone who doesn't have any kind of education on the human anatomy (or anyone else for that matter). Often I come across people who have poor techniques and also people who could maybe get results a bit faster if they just had a change here and there. I've also come across people who has been weightlifting for a few years and has hardly had any results at all even though they thought they were doing everything by the book. By then it could be a good idea to let someone experienced have a glance at your program and technique once in a while.

The worst thing for me is to come across people that have absolutely no idea of what they are doing and might end up severely hurt!!!

During "cheating" for example, the performer should have 100% controll of the entire movement and even though it looks like they're "swinging" the weight, they are in controll (or should be, even though I personally find cheating stupid, ask someone to spot instead). So many people watch the big guys doing this, think that's how it's supposed to be done, and follow. With, in the worst cases, horrible injures as a result!

 

A PT can be a good tool, but unless you totally lack knowledge and inspiration, I don't see a need for one on a regular basis. But that's my opinion!

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The money issue all depends on how well the trainer is on not bullshitting you and how well his training is for your goals.

 

The trainer should not set his/her own goals for you. Also, if they tell you what you want to hear then book it!

 

I give no-BS advice even though the owner of my studio gives falsities all the time. I try to be encouraging but at the same time I dont lie about anything when it comes to fitness and what it takes to achieve realistic goals.

 

Also, make sure the PT practices what they preach. I have been maintaining under 4%bf right now for over 2 months now and my clients can see it (even though they tell me I eat too much fruit and not enough protein. Lol, but yet, they come to me for advice and their training)

 

A good trainer can make a big difference in your beginning quest of working out, but a bad one can make you not want to trust another one.

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I've always wanted to get a PT but most will probably blame diet and want me to consume meat etc.. so I have stayed away until I find a local Veg PT. That to me might be worth it to get started ...

 

 

I tell mine to quit eating meat! their response: " i couldnt ever give up meat!"

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I've always wanted to get a PT but most will probably blame diet and want me to consume meat etc.. so I have stayed away until I find a local Veg PT. That to me might be worth it to get started ...

 

I think its a good way to change minds though. If you say I'm not going to listen to your diet advice and only the training and you keep improving they can't just pretend that its a fluke.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I've found that I have had better luck with a workout partner/friend for motivation than someone who doesnt really know me that well like a trainer. Assuming you know how to do the basics, and are motivated, I think you are better off exploring your limits on your own for a while...then reassess.

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I've found that I have had better luck with a workout partner/friend for motivation than someone who doesnt really know me that well like a trainer. Assuming you know how to do the basics, and are motivated, I think you are better off exploring your limits on your own for a while...then reassess.

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Just a quick update. Going on my own has been fantastic!! I weighted in today at 192!! That's down 7lbs from my high of 199. Most of it lost after I quit using the trainer

 

Wow, That's fantasic I'm very happy for you. Screw the trainer and stick with us, where youe friends!

I was just kidding about the screw part ! Unless you're suffering from an injury or you don't know what the heck you're doing. a really good qualified trainer with an aweseom back ground.. I recomaned. I have one! From my accident. She's build a lot of strenght in my shoulder, back and core ! She taught me better form etc...... And oops I took a hard hit at the track yesturday. I think I have to go back to physio.

What are your goals?

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O.K., here's my 2-cents, from someone who is a trainer. I must admit, at this point, I'm a little afraid of commenting after all the trainer bashing.....LOL

 

Two points:

 

1. A trainer is very important for a beginner. Have you witnessed a beginner work out with weights? You want to talk about scary! Most are an accident waiting to happen. I think it is smart for all beginners to at least take a session or two with a trainer to go over the basics. Reading about exercises or watching a video is not the same as having me standing next to you helping you. Sorry, but there's no comparison.

 

Have the trainer set up a nice safe program and then perform it on your own for 4-6 weeks. Then touch base with the trainer after you feel that the routine is no longer effective (most people will accomodate to their workout program in about 4 weeks).

 

2. I train alot of athletes and we get together multiple times per week. Athletes will most of the time have self motivation, however we work alot of specialized movements for strength, power, etc. I feel that athletes benefit greatly from working with a trainer regularly in the off season.

 

Well, there's a trainers perspective. God Bless!

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drjoe

 

Totally fair points. My problem was that the trainer I had was much more biased towards machine and bodyweight exercises. She didn't want to show me dumbbell / barbell stuff. I actually think some gym trainers shy away from them because they'd rather have people on machines (less likely they'll get injured and have issues).

 

There are a lot of resources online which show body position and such for exercises and I've asked other people who are training about body position and such when I've been unsure.

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drjoe

 

Totally fair points. My problem was that the trainer I had was much more biased towards machine and bodyweight exercises. She didn't want to show me dumbbell / barbell stuff. I actually think some gym trainers shy away from them because they'd rather have people on machines (less likely they'll get injured and have issues).

 

There are a lot of resources online which show body position and such for exercises and I've asked other people who are training about body position and such when I've been unsure.

 

Best of luck to you with your training! Glad everything is going great.

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  • 1 month later...

I actually enjoy having a personal trainer but mostly because she and I gossip the entire time while working out and she never let's me quit. My sessions are coming to an end this October and although I have seen results I will not continue to see her. I think I needed it in the beginning because I had no idea how hard to even push myself. I wasn't even sure what I was capable of doing! I had been out of the gym and away from exercise for so long that I really needed that extra bit of motivation from an outside party. Now that I am feeling better, have lost my fear of being in the gym *alone* and know how to do most of the exercises properly I don't feel like I need to pay for help anymore =) I did have a pleasant experience and my trainer has helped me but in the end she has been like training wheels and I'm ready to ride the bike on my own!

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As a personal trainer wannabe, I'm getting certified next year. I think having a trainer can help motivate you, and also help you to maintain good form in your exercises, so that you don't injure yourself. I myself have had good and bad trainers. I first started with no exercise knowledge, so I definitely needed a trainer. When I knew enough to make my way through a decent workout I stopped using one. My first two trainers( they switched schedules a lot), were what inspired me to want to become a trainer myself. I used to live in the free weights room, but now my favorite area is the group fitness classes. Here it's like you have your own trainer, although you have to share the person with the rest of the room. Anyway I take a couple weight training classes a week, and with the trainers motivation to do those last few reps I always get a good workout. When I'm on my own it's too easy to say that I've done enough, and to stop early. Well that's my opinion anyway, thanks for the interesting topic.

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I started working out on my old SAD diet, and learnt everything online, I used to visit bodybuilding.com also but the guys on that forum are nutritionally ignorant and think you need to eat meat, so I've left those guys.

 

I packed on 22 pounds of muscle in 6 months (my goal was to gain, not loose, weight).

 

There's also this awesome website with animations of every exercise, it's really, really great:

http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

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