Tuesday, January 22, 2013

SO Frustrated with the Fitness Industry

I am so frustrated I could cry.

This country is facing a problem of epic proportions and the people that are supposed to be helping, are making things worse and it’s seriously pissing me off.

I watch a trainer at the gym every morning do everything except pay attention to his client. He talks to other people, works out himself, or is on his phone nearly every time I look over at him. This morning, the person he was training was doing a move with dumbbells in her hand, and I literally couldn’t tell what exactly she was supposed to be doing. Maybe a bicep curl, maybe a shoulder press, I still don’t know and he just stood there and did nothing. This person is overweight, and at the gym at 6am consistently, and her trainer doesn’t care enough to correct her form. SERIOUSLY!? Do you know what is going to happen after a few months of this? She isn’t going to see results, and she will give up.

Then yesterday a friend was talking about a nutrition plan her trainer sent her. Out of curiosity, I asked her to send it to me and all I could do was laugh. He has her eating 1200 calories a day. 1200! Breakfast is toast and orange juice, and 2 of her other 5 meals are store bought bars. Of course, he has her working out on top of this so basically her body is running on empty, 24/7. So, what happens when she plateaus? Eat less? More cardio? What happens when her metabolism is so shot from this extremely low calorie diet that her body stores everything she eats? She too, will give up.



WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE!? Clients are paying money and putting trust in people that are truly only making things worse. It angers me so much to see those willing to make a change   be put on a plan that is designed to make them fail.

I of course told my friend that the plan was outrageous, and I know that's one person, but I know there are so, so many others being fed this ridiculous information.

I want to fix this so badly. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about what I could do to make this better. I don’t have the answer, yet. But my brain is far from being done thinking about it.

End rant.

43 comments:

  1. I agree, it's very frustrating...I'm always shocked when I think about my idea of fitness and nutrition now and a year and a half ago...almost completely opposite. So I guess you better get certified and help these poor people to stop being ripped off!!!!

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  2. I totally feel your pain. My boyfriend and I own our on facility where we train athletes and it amazes me how most of them don't know proper form when they come in to us but have been training for years.

    For every good trainer, there are 10 bad ones. It is so easy to get certified and call yourself a personal trainer these days that the whole industry is suffering.

    Just because someone is certified in 10 different things (like advanced bosu ball training and group fitness instruction) does not make them a good trainer.

    Certifications mean nothing these days - it's all about getting your clients results. Too bad most people don't see that.

    (end my mini rant)

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  3. I am so on board with your rant! I'm studying for my NASM certification and it pains me to see folks at the gym almost injuring themselves while trainers look on. The other day I saw a girl doing what were supposed to be push-ups while here trainer SAT nearby, this poor girl looked like she was a wet noodle flopping on the floor, I almost said something. It's so discouraging that these "experts" are not really helping people. That's their JOB! As for the food part of it, I'm lucky to have been under a trainer who has always encouraged "real food" and I can not support all of the poor advice of people consuming "low sugar, low fat, chemical laden" food. Stepping off my soapbox now!

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    1. We need more people to step on soapboxes! I think it's going to be the only way we fix this!

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  4. I am SO with you girl!!!!

    It's not even the trainers these days, it's everyone!! The second Dr. Oz totes the latest diet fad, his fans go out and purchase whatever magic pill he suggests.

    So many people are uneducated or wrongly educated when it comes to proper diet and exercise. Everyone wants a quick fix and will put their trust in anyone who suggests a simple solution.

    Don't let it frustrate you. Just know that the message you spread via your blog hits tons of people so you are making a difference!

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    1. I wish I could stop the frustration, and thank you-- I appreciate that!!

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  5. Girl, I am right there with you. I always see trainers glancing up watching tv while their client is not getting the support they pay for.

    Also I see fitness competitors post their diet plans and their meals include drinking liquid egg whites and protein shakes for 3-4 meals while the other are plain fish with green beans. Maybe a rice cake here and there. I really worry about them when their metabolism is completely ruined.

    Your rant is appreciated. xo

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  6. Address your concerns to the head of the health centre and threaten to write a letter to the CEO of your training facility if you don't see any changes ASAP.
    I see this happening all the time at the gym and I've actually called a trainer out on his game.
    A female client was bench pressing and her form was way off, he did nothing to address it or adjust her so I said something loud enough across the room to embarrass him.
    That's what you get for strutting around flaunting your "educated mind and body" and neglect your clients.
    Take it!

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    1. What did you say that was enough to embarrass him because I saw the same thing at my gym and wanted to say something too. By the way, I quit that gym due to bad management.

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  7. I couldnt agree more! Thats one reason why I started my own health and fitness business. I can help out so many people via social media and in person. Its crazy to see people get certified and then not even have the knowledge or respect to help their clients the right way. I would love to talk to you more about this! I think its something that needs to be changed and this epidemic needs to be helped. Us people who have a passion for health/fitness and helping people need to be able to help more people than just the people we can meet face to face!

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  8. omgosh - thank you for the rant! i have seen trainers like you described too and its all i can do to keep from whispering to the client to RUN! and please people EAT SOME FRIGGEN FOOD!

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  9. Also agree with you and have to add - what about trainers that are not leading a healthy lifestyle themselves? Crash dieting or overtraining. Its scary out there! Thanks for blogging about this!

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  10. You are preaching to the choir. I wanted to video tape a so called trainer at my gym doing the exact same thing and send it to one of my friends who ia an actual trainer...it was shameful to watch that!

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  11. I agree that you should complain about the trainer before he/she seriously hurts one of his clients! I saw someone similar training an elderly woman and he had her attempting to lift weight she couldn't even carry. I told him to stop and expressed my concern to her that she find someone else to work with.

    I see a MAJOR difference at my gym between the "gym trainers" and the "outside trainers" that come in to use the facility. The gym trainers seem to know nothing and spend a lot of time socializing and checking themselves out in the mirror!

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    1. I should, it's a difficult situation because I feel as though it's not my place, but at the same time I have to put myself in her shoes...

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  12. Oh MAN I here on this one!! You cannot believe how often I see and here women being told to eat ridiculously low calories...next to nothing!! Here they are slaving away for hours on cardio and minimal weights so light and HORRIBLE form. It hurts me to see this too!!! I know exactly what it is to BE that girl!! Luckily my gym has two FANTASTIC trainers who are on their clients the whole time watching close, instructing and correcting. They have them on HEALTHY eating plans (notice NOT A DIET). Some of there clients have been featured in local articles on their transformations. When I was being stubborn and going through my starvation cardio craze days one of them would constantly try to guide me in the right direction (not even my personal trainer) but I was too stubborn to listen.

    Brittany, I am telling you, YOU would make an EXCEPTIONAL personal trainer and I KNOW you would help TONS of people. You honestly have the ability, charisma, character and discipline to make a difference in people's lives as a PT, and also it is VERY obvious how much you care for people and LOVE fitness.

    As always have a wonderful day and I truly appreciate you and this blog. It is motivation and inspiration...the first blog I check in the morning. I always look forward to your posts whether it be training, nutrition, information or just a rant (LOL ;0)).

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    1. Thanks Luvena, I really really appreciate people like you :)

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  13. I agree entirely. It is problem. The fitness industry is great in theory but contains a multitude of flaws, as with any industry. However when a peron's health and well being comes into play that is where the line needs to be drawn. Heck, even before this. It's down right wrong and I see it almost as client's being taken for granted because they are giving up their time and hard-earned money to work with a trainer who doesn't do much for them in return. These people are trying to take back their lives and adopt a healthy lifestyle but they are receiving such flawed information and/or lack of support that within a few months time their efforts will die off. It's sickening.

    It is hard to sit back and watch this happen. I'm working hard to get an education and a training certification so I can begin the process of actually HELPING people. I think it will take a while to make any impact on the injustry but with enough people and good motivation (like yours!) it can be done.

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  14. I would def. write a letter to the manager or person in charge of hiring the trainers and suggest they watch the training while working and see what their thoughts are on it....I have never hired a personal trainer from any of my local gyms because I know Im more knowledgeable about nutrition than a lot of them are so it would waste my hard earned money! Pls help that person before they get discouraged and give up!!!

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  15. I'm with you all on this what I don't understand is this I have asked a trainer how much do they charge he said for a half an hour is 15.00 dollars what can you do in half an hour if the person is 250lbs.What he does is have them on treadmill for 15 minutes and then do curcuit training for the remaining of time so they have 15 minutes what can you get out of 15 minutes my I'm at the gym minumuim hour and a half maybe I'm wrong but this doesn't seem right to me.I have read alot on working out even I have been to classes that last longer than 30 minutes

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  16. Brittany,
    I was one of those overweight people with a loser for a trainer,wasting my hard-earned money on him and the gym membership at that particular time. Luckily for me, I am stubborn and VERY vocal,so I told him off one night. I told him he was being very unprofessional and I might as well be trained by a monkey. He was pissed at me, but I told him,"I speak the truth and I call people on their shit". He later thanked me and agreed, but he didn't change the behavior.It is sad and it is unfortunate, but it happens more often than not. The companies that employ these idiots are accountable. If you mentioned it to his employer, maybe the poor girl will get another trainer or the present one will be counceled?
    BTW-I never noticed a difference in my physique either, which is why I cancelled my training sessions with that company.waste of time and money.I do my own thing and have noticed more of a change. I am still a work in progress.........

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  17. YUP. and just anyone can become a trainer and make money off people and not give a shit. its sad. i'm not even a trainer, yet i get so many people asking me about my routine and eating habits. you have to lead by example and hopefully people will trust in someone that actually KNOWS what they're doing and CARES. just because someone took a test doesn't mean they know what they're doing or have the best interest at heart. it pisses me off too- along with the whole undereating crap. i can rant on forever about it too, but the only thing we can do is keep educating and preaching the clean lifestyle :)

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  18. I went through not one but TWO crappy trainers before I found mine. One really wanted me on fat loss pills while the other couldn't care less about how I ate as long as I paid for my sessions. When I started with my current trainer, he put me on a healthy meal plan and had me writing a food log and I saw results like crazy!!!!No crazy pills or diet just clean eating and consistency. There are so many trainers at the gym who couldn't care less about their clients and it's very disturbing.

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  19. Haha I love how everyone's comments are "Yes! We agree too!" Because you are right. I was just thinking about this the other day. I saw on Groupon a discount for a personal training certification course. It's been something that I was thinking about, so I took a closer look. That's when I learned that there is NO consistency with certification. Which blew my mind.
    I have my Illinois Teaching Certification which is something that all teachers in IL have to take. It's the same exact test for everyone in the state. So I just couldn't wrap my head around the idea that personal trainers can just pick whatever exam they want and call themselves certified. No wonder there are so many bad trainers out there.

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  20. I just want to start off by saying I love reading your post any chance I get. I Absolutely love this blog especially!
    I am a trainer and have been for 4 years now in a gym. Before then I was an athlete in high school and in college for 2 sports. So as far as fitness goes it has been a big part of my life.
    Reading this blog I can relate my coworkers to this. I have had a fitness managers who have been certified with 24 something certification who could not deliver a proper program to their clients. At a master level trainer it was ridiculous. I had the opportunity to have taken over their clients after they have decided to leave. Exactly what you had talked about in your blog the lack of watching the client and watching form. It was even more devastating to me to find that clients programs and folders were not properly put together. After seeing their folders and realizing that in a year they have spent countless hours in the gym and money burned without having results. Like many people have said it is so easy to get a certification but it takes a lot more than just reading a book and answering questions to become a great trainer. I don't walk around acting as if I don't have anything more to learn as education is an ongoing process. But I do make sure that my clients time is spent on correcting form and making sure they understand what they are doing AND WHY.
    As far as nutrition goes I do not think that I am the best when it comes to nutrition so I make sure that I always point my client in the right direction of a nutritionist, as personal training certifications only touch a small chapter on nutrition.
    Being a certified trainer, this definitely is one of my own concerns as well. People put a lot of faith into their trainers and should get what they deserve.
    Thanks for posting this I will be using it in 1 of my meetings that I will be attending today at the gym i work at.. loved readying other peoples thoughts as well, which i will bring up to my managers to make sure our training staff doesn't fall into this category of bad trainers.

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    1. This makes me so happy! Thank you for spreading this message!

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  21. I totally agree. I am a new trainer and became one mainly to do what other trainers don't. I had many trainers and none of them paid attention to me. I eventually left them and lost 60 lbs on my own doing my own research on exercise and nutrition. Sadly so many people hire trainers that don't really care about much but their own pockets. I refuse to be one of those trainers. I do my best to educate my clients so that they can be empowered to live a healthy life on their own.

    This industry is driven so much by ego it's ridiculous. My goal has never been to make money. It's about helping people become their best by creating a healthy body, mind and spirit.

    Thanks for sharing this post. It is something that needs to be discussed. I can't wait to see where this passion leads you. :0)

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  22. No one is more frustrated by sub par fitness "pros" than true fitness pros, so I share your anger and frustration. And we have to put some responsibility on the client. Exercisers need to ask about qualifications and credentials. Even if owners, managers, and trainers all STINK up the wazoo and have no ethics (something we rarely see here in Santa Barbara, which has a very HIGH level of professionalism), if the client or member asks for qualified people, pros must respond. So what we can do once we rant and rave is help inform people to check out the people they trust their bodies to. Ask ask ask for credentials!

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  23. I love this rant and I couldn't agree more! I am not a certified personal trainer nor a certified dietitian so I never try to tell anyone what's right or wrong, as I have no training and am no professional, yet with situations as your friends, I would have gone crazy because I feel like any one who knew anything about fitness and health would know this is a crazy diet! It is sad that this is happening, because you are right many of them are wasting their money and will soon give up paying these people when they see no results and just seem themselves as doomed, never try again! When they are getting this motivation to try, and someone ruins that for them, it is ridiculous! I love your rant, as you now have me going on my own, but I completely agree it is not fair to those trying!!!

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  24. Glad this was addressed. I used to train at a gym and would watch numerous trainers give the same plan to ALL of his clients. I saw him give a power lifting work out to an elderly woman... I discussed it with the supervisor and he switched her to me. I took the time to individualize everything. I see the other problem being that so many trainers write meal plans, when they have no idea how to create a meal plan for that person nor have any nutritional back ground. They give a basic 1200 calorie meal plan that can't possibly be stuck to for the long haul and it defeats the purpose of what you are trying to teach your clients. Life long health. The other sad side of the fitness industry that I have noticed a lot lately is the 'fitness bullying' that has been happening. Where someone's way they work out is far superior than anyone else's. If someone is there at the gym exercising whether it yoga, crossfit, swim aerobics, whatever! They are there to get healthier, so leave it alone and stop this 'holier than thou' bull crap!

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  25. It is frustrating to see stuff like this happen. I am a personal trainer, so I know the serious implications my actions can have on my clients, but some people don't care I guess. If you are noticing this behavior with this personal trainer consistently, I would report them to their supervisor, usually the fitness director of the facility. I am lucky to work with awesome trainers at my gym, but I know there are some duds out there.

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  26. I couldn't agree with you more!! There is a trainer at the gym I go to that stands there and texts while her clients are working out. Another one eats her breakfast. I sure wouldn't want to be paying someone to do what they are doing! Years and years ago I had a trainer tell me I shouldn't eat before working out because I would burn more fat. Of course I listened to that and the 1200 calories a day rule. Fat is bad was also pounded into my head. I have eaten breakfast for years and years and now love my healthy fats, but I still struggle with how many calories to eat. I lift heavy weights and do cardio, but I can't seem to shed any fat. I wonder if years and years of following bad advice messed up my metabolism. Now I see people listening to these trainers and believing everything they say is the golden rule. Very frustrating!!

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  27. I couldn't agree with you more. I experienced this with the first trainer I ever had: a plan that wasn't sustainable, a quick plateau in results and the constant question of "Why am I doing this?" I switched to another (great) trainer a few months into my fitness journey and couldn't believe the difference. My bad experience made me research and learn about proper nutrition and training for myself and now I do everything on my own. Unfortunately though, I agree with you that many people will quit before they get to this point. This makes me want to become a personal trainer, just to save even one person from being misguided in this way! Maybe we need to start a movement :)

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    1. We do! Still wrapping my brain around all this, but I want to come up with something!

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    2. I'm still thinking about this. So many possibilities and ideas swirling around in my head!

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  28. Brittany, don't forget the wonderful information you are providing to people by writing this blog! I use your recipes all the time. I have several fitness/healthy living blogs that I try to send my friends to when they tell me they need recipe and fitness ideas. Just wanted you to know that you already make a little bit of difference :)

    -Anne

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  29. Hi b I have been following you fora few weeks now and have to say am inspired!! After reading the above post I wondered if you could point me in the right direction. I too am one of these people that have just started going to the gym, sometimes with my friend (who directed me to your blog) but mostly to fitness classes such as spin,body pump,body conditioning etc as when am on my own in the gym I feel more than a little lost! I work odd hours as am a bar manager and aim to get to do at least 3/4 classes/workouts a week. If I can do more then I try, as not only are my hours odd but 3 days a week long (at least 10 to 14 hour days finishing at silly o clock in the morning) I am also at the minute trying to lose weight (a stone and a half) as well as my long-term goal being to change the way I eat forever and increase my fitness level. I too asked a a few trainers at my gym about nutrition plans while at this stage and they directed me to weight loss shakes and bars! This does not fill me up,am on my feet at work too, I get hungry and end up snacking.Now reading your post above I realise I must be running on empty and as you can imagine my body shape is changing slightly but am not losing weight, not that I own a pair of scales but my clothes don't feel any loser, my main problem being my upper body, this is where I store my fat, on my back,tummy,hips and upper arms and the places I find very hard to lose any weight and workout!! I obviously realise that we are completely different levels of fitness and training and have completely different goals but if you could advise me nutrition at my stage as I don't know where to begin and any top tips about my workouts at this stage to that would be most helpful. Hope to hear from you soon. jade x

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  30. I always ask my friends to send me meal plans their trainers give them! I tell them "You are going to STARVE and set yourself up for failure". So sad that some trainers don't realize they have people's LIVES in their hands!

    P.S Found you on Youtube and I am a blogger as well. When I have the time I've been checking up on your blog :) Let me know if you're ever in NYC! thefitgirlsdish@gmail.com

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  31. I couldn't agree more. I took a class at my gym that was new and of course a bunch of people tried it out. I'm talking about people who have never before lifted weight and were showing horrific form. I was extremely disappointed. These people were going to experience and injury for sure I thought. I ran into a girl later who said she hurt her knee. Which I want surprised because she was lunging way over her toe with weights.

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  32. Great post. Trainers should actually not be giving out nutrition advice at all. It should be a professional like a registered dietitian who has the knowledge to give a client a nutrition plan that meets their needs!

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