Monday, December 7, 2009

2 years and still no results?

I was having a chat with some friends the other day about the previous posting and the interesting topic on personal training in the gym came up. We were sharing some stories and I told my friends about some personal trainers who have been training some clients for over 2 years now, and they look the same today as they did 2 years back. I am not kidding.

One of my friends was shocked by this and said it’s impossible, as long as you are doing some amount of a workout, you are bound to see some results, so it is unbelievable that this is happening. He probably did see some results, but not enough for it to be noticeable. They are not extremely obese, but a little bit on the chubby side and have a pretty obvious belly problem.

I agree that after 2 years of training and no results, something is wrong somewhere. So, I have listed down several reasons as to why people don’t see results even though they have been with a personal trainer for 2 years.

1) No Progress – Lots of people start a routine and forget that they have to keep challenging themselves. For some reason, the personal trainer I am talking about has stopped increasing the resistance and making it more challenging. Maybe the client has some injury which prevents him from doing more, I can only guess at this moment
2) You are what you eat – This old saying is so true when it comes to fitness. Yes, the trainer has 1 full hour to train this person, but then for the next 23 hours, the trainer has no control. This is one of the limitations of personal training. It is missing that very important nutrition part. If you eat a lot of unhealthy food, 1 hour of training 3 times a week will only be a scratch in terms of impact. This guy could be drinking 4 to 5 times a week for all I know, hence the training has little or no effect
3) Burn Out – Burn out is very real and not just something in the mind. If you keep doing the same exercises everyday, eventually your body adapts and you will stop seeing results. This is why it is important to mix and match from time to time to confuse the body and keep seeing results.
4) The Personal Trainer really does not know what they are doing. Now I hate to say that, but you must admit, this is another posibility. Sometimes I see personal trainers doing stupid exercises and I wonder where they even got this idea from. Oh well.

So why do these clients stick with the Personal trainers if they are not seeing results? One person told me that sometimes these clients just want some one to talk to as they feel lonely. If you ask me, at about RM 100 per hour, that’s a very expensive price to pay just to have someone to talk to. I don’t know.

So what do you guys think. Please share your thoughts and look forward to hearing your comments.

PS: Please take a moment to answer the poll on the right. Since we are on the topic of personal trainers, I want to know, what is the most important quality that a personal trainer should have. So share your thoughts there too.


Aizan Suhaira said...

Want someone to talk to? Find a gym buddy.

Wanna see results? Get a PT.

When I first hired a PT, the trainer asked me whether I was being pushed too hard and whether the workouts need to be toned down a bit.

It's a funny question to me. Because the PT's job IS to push you hard, to make you know that you're stronger than you think you are.

Apparently some clients complain that a workout regime is way too intense. Which is bull, I think. The PT knows what he/she is doing. If you don't wanna be pushed, then don't spend it on PT sessions.

Aizan Suhaira said...

Aiyoh sorry. I meant to write, "if you don't wanna be pushed, then don't spend your money on PT sessions".

Slip of the finger :P

Rajan said...

Aizan: Good point. Yes, PTs are there to motivate you and push you to your point of failure, but at the same time need to ensure you do not get injured. I think problem is, a lot of PTs do not know what they are doing, which is why i see them prescirbing funny exercises.

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Kerp (Ph.D) said...

sounds like if you're a good listener then you're a qualified PT, no? What's in a name anyway? Hire a beefcake to train you as that may produce some result. I mean, it has proven on him at least.

Rajan said...

Kerp: let's see what the survey says about PTs who are good listeners. So far the score is 0.

I was going to say, if you pay me RM 50 an hour, i will listen to any problem you have and even pretend to be interested. :-)

anfield devotee said...

RM50 per hour? Slut . . .

Rajan said...

AD: Hehehehe...I am sure you wouldn't mind either.

or maybe i should put in a more applicable means of transaction for you....2 beers per hour. hehehehehe

premo said...

Most of the of clientele of PTs at my gym seem to be older women. Now this might shed some light on the lonely housewife myth - i guess they are just in need of some attention or they need some tips on working out.

The guys and gals at the gym who seem to make the most improvement over the years are those who are self disciplined. And really thats all it takes. Make frens, do research, compare notes, try diff diet plans. Ultimately its up to you and how bad you want it.

Rajan said...

Premo: Great advice dude. That is all it comes down to really. I think all of us are aware what foods are good for us and what foods are bad, but i guess everyone is still looking for that miracle cure or magic bullet.

KevL said...

Don't know if anyone has said this but.. PTs aren't your regular workout buddies, neither are they spotters but I've seen plenty who are like that (that 1 hour PT session is usually just used for training and that's it). I've got a workout body who is already doing the above mentioned work and he's much, much, much stronger than 80-90% of the PTs in my gym (not to mention his physique is also better. oh and he's a better 'teacher' too when it comes to form). PTs job scope covers a wide range of things (not limited to) like: providing proper training in terms of what to do/how to do based on a client's fitness goals; teaching a client about nutrition and NOT just treating it like casual talk but make sure their words strike an impact in the client; monitor progress in terms of strength, physique and nutrition (that's where the food log comes into play, if necessary). A PT is also supposed to continually communicate with a client to find out about his/her progress.

That's my opinion of what a PT should be.