Ringing in the new year with a gym membership is a popular choice for most people crossing off that resolution. If you’re familiar with gym memberships, then you know how this works. When you first sign up, they offer you a “complimentary” hour with a personal trainer. Most people jump the gun on this. And it’s great, IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT. However, most of us don’t have the means to afford such luxury. If you do go in for your complimentary appointments, here’s some things to watch out for so you know you aren’t being scammed.
Story time: my best friend and I recently joined a local gym, as we had both just moved into the same neighborhood in Los Angeles. We were ecstatic to learn some workouts from our free hour of training that we could use on our own. Not only were we excited for that, but having a buddy at the gym is so helpful, it keeps you motivated and on track.
So we go in and meet our trainer. She’s very sweet and gets us started by asking us questions about our diet and lifestyle. Now, we don’t have the most healthy lifestyle, and we are well aware of that. But losing weight shouldn’t seem like an IMPOSSIBLE thing to do when you put in the effort. Both of our goals were to lose 20 lbs. and be healthier.
The Trainer weighed us on a scale and used an electro magnetic pulse to measure our body fat and muscle ratio. When we stepped off the scale, we were told by the machine that it thought our bodies (according to our weight) were 33 years old. We are 25 years old, mind you. And even though both of us weighed exactly the same, our trainer told us we were “overweight”, even though we still fit into the category of healthy weight range for our height (which is also the same). Though this isn’t the problem, my friend was then told it would take her about five to six months to achieve her goal weight. However, I was told it would take me twelve months to achieve mine. Even though we weigh exactly the same, same muscle mass, and same height.
The trainer then proceeded to show us a powerpoint of what the dangers of our “obesity” would lead to. She even told us that the LEAST important thing when it came to losing weight was food and diet, and the MOST important things are cardio and weight training. Now, alot of science varies on what exactly differs in weight loss with food vs. workouts, but nearly all scientists agree that food is one of the MOST important factors in weight loss, almost 80% of it in fact. Not only were we receiving faulty facts, but we were also pressured into feeling inadequate and overweight, and the only way to “beat” that is with a personal trainer.
After TWO HOURS of slideshows and chats, we went on to do only a 15 minute workout with our trainer. Now yes, we did learn some good moves, but besides that it was also things I could have learned on the internet. When it came time to leaving, our trainer looked as if she was about to cry when we told her we probably couldn’t afford her at the present time, but might consider it in the future. She went to talk with her manager, and came back with a deal that was $100 off a month, valid only “if we signed up that day”. After saying we were sorry but we really still couldn’t afford the $500 a month for four sessions, she gave us some attitude and we went on our way.
Now, there’s absolutely NO PROBLEM with personal trainers! They’re great, they help you maintain your weight loss goals and coordinate workouts specifically for you. The problem is when they try to SCAM you into thinking your getting a great deal or that YOU need THEM. Weight loss is hard enough as it is, but it’s not impossible. As long as you do your research and keep yourself in check, you can totally attain your goal without feeling like crap and paying someone money you don’t have. It’s bad enough weighing in and profiting on someone’s insecurities. The next time you go in for a complimentary trainer to possibly hire them, make sure it’s someone you like that is going to give you actual facts and good advice.