Comment of the Day: A Personal Trainer Won't Make You Skinny
Today we looked at a dumb way to pick a personal trainer, an important issue here in the United States of Blubmerica. What do us Blubmericans need to do to look good? Well, stop relying on personal trainers, suggests one commenter.
I'll undoubtedly upset some people with this, but I frankly found the whole realm of personal training to be largely designed for 1. middle-aged folks (of which I am one now) who think they can buy fitness after a lifetime of being sedentary, and 2. people who can only be motivated to go the gym by the prospect of forfeiting their $80/hour that they've already prepaid.
I don't have anything against personal trainers per se other than that one needs to acknowledge that there are clearly different schools of thought on how to go about it, which can lead to some serious difficulties. But really my issue is that its not all that complicated and people seem to think of it in such mysterious terms. And outside of sport-specific type stuff, it really isn't.
I mean, anybody who spends a few months lifting weights in a gym learns pretty quickly where your muscles are, how they work (in that they can only contract or relax and do so in opposition, generally), and what they respond to. It should follow through reasonable deduction that certain types of movements will engage certain muscles as a result. It's not really rocket science, and it it does tend to be individual in terms of feedback.
But the biggest issue I see in the gym, and this is more the case in high-end urban gyms than the lower-end muscle factory that I'm currently a denizen of, is that people simply don't work hard enough or often enough to see the results that they are inevitably there to see. I can't tell you the number of people I used to see at Reebok who literally hadn't changed body shape over the course of years, and of course I'm assuming that they would want to do so. But these were also the same people who never seemed to lift with much effort, sort of did their 30 minute walk on the treadmill, etc., and I'm sure were surprised or frustrated that things weren't changing for them.
But I guarantee that if you told them that to move the needle one needs to lift weights at least 3x a week, with increasing weights, and to burn at least 3000+ calories a week in cardio, they'd tell you that they simply aren't capable of that, which is utter bullshit. In my experience, people tend to circumscribe themselves within fairly narrow boundaries of what they consider "reasonable" or "possible" or "comfortable" and yet they're surprised when they don't see immediate improvement.
Maybe that's why they hire a trainer - to push them out of their comfort zone. But my bet is that most of them like it in there.
But working out is so hard!! Sigh. My enormous BLT lunch sandwich is making me feel reeeally guilty right now.