I’ve always wanted to go “undercover.” Put on a trench coat, dark glasses, a big hat and then have a pin or a broach that looks totally unsuspecting but is secretly a high-tech camera capturing scandalous affairs. Gawd, that would be fun. So, naturally, when I received a free personal training session coupon in the mail from 24 Hour Fitness, I thought, “Yes! This is my big chance!” Granted, wearing a trench coat, dark glasses and a big hat would draw more attention to me in a club than wearing non-assuming workout clothes and the FBGs have no hidden cameras at HQ (yet) let alone ones that look like a broach, I was still psyched. Pulitzer Prize here I come.
I scheduled my appointment for 10 a.m. on a Friday. Not a busy time, by any means, as I hated to take up my victim’s, um, I mean personal trainer’s time since I had no intention of buying a session after the free one. (I feel kind of bad for this, but it’s for the good of the public, right?)
He started me off on free weights, doing some compound moves. We do a squat/overhead-press move, followed by hip lifts/chest presses on the ball. Next it was on to the freestanding cable crossover machine, which oddly resembles a torture device even to me, where I did rows while standing one-legged on a Bosu ball. Next came squats on the Bosu, followed by walking lunges with bicep curls and then planks and side raises on the ball. He cued well, corrected my form when needed and gave an appropriate number of “good jobs.”
I will say though that even from the very beginning, his moves and weights were way too hard and heavy for the person I said I was. Twenty reps of squats plus overhead presses? Um, that’s HARD. Plus, towards the end of our session, he asked me about my interest in purchasing sessions. When I said that I probably wouldn’tbuy but would enthusiastically refer my friends and family to him, he turned sour. Quickly. His good looks couldn’t cover up the fact that he was pissed that he wasn’t making money off of me.Before I left, I asked him how long I could do the workout before needing to switch to a new one to continue seeing results. He told me that ideally I need to change my workout every time. Read: YOU MUST WORK OUT WITH ME. Then, I asked him to show me how to set up the torture device up for my height in case I come in and it’s not set correctly. That was like pulling teeth. He gave me a quick demo of the machine that was far from helpful. Read: YOU MUST WORK OUT WITH ME.
(Beware. Rant coming.)
Why do so many fitness professionals continue to keep their clients in their dark? It’s almost as if they feel that if they actually enable people to work out on their own that they’ll be out of work. Which is completely short sighted in my opinion. If your job is to train someone on fitness, then the client better learn something. As a trainer myself, I want my clients to learn and fly away like little birds with their new knowledge and lead healthy lives. I do not want them to depend on me forever. I understand that people have bills to pay, but when your intentions are to really make money—not help people—it shows. People don’t like being sold. I didn’t like being sold. And, for the record, referrals are a great way to make money in any business.
(End of rant.)I have no doubt that if I spent my hard-earned dollars with Andy, I’d get some hella hard workouts and get some great results. I did push myself much harder with him around then on my own. Not to mention that not all trainers operate with money as their numero uno objective. Andy also taught me that I should stick to blogging and leave the undercover investigations to Dateline.
Do you have any experiences with a trainer good or bad? Are you a trainer and have wrestled with teaching/making a living? Have you ever gone undercover? Share your experience in the comments below! —JennPhoto grabbed from http://www.flickr.com/photos/schnappi/2321628609/.