Tag Archives: lift heavy

Clientology: A Top 10

There are a few clients on my roster that I would like to drop for a small selection of reasons. Not to be rude but as with all public service jobs, the people will make or break it. On a good day, personal training can be great, but on a bad day it can be 12 hours of listening to people complain and argue with you.
Lucky for you, I have made a list of the top ten things that will anger your trainer and you should probably avoid all things on this list at all times. Or find a new trainer.

1. “Oh no, the physics is all wrong”.
Do not pay me to train you and then tell me that I don’t know what is best for you. One of my clients in her 70s refuses to do Lat Pull Downs because “the physics and angles are wrong”. I kindly reminded her that I was there to teach her how to properly use the equipment, followed by a 15 minute scientific explanation and demonstration. She began but then decided half a rep in with a dramatic sigh of disgust that indeed, no, this was not a biomechanically appropriate exercise for any human. Another elderly client rules out step ups because she has stairs in her home and could do them on her own.
Me: “So, do you do step ups on your own?”
Client: “Well, I could.”
And hypothetically, you could be fit, too.

2. “That WAS 12”.
Do not count. Me trainer. You client. You do the exercises and don’t tell me my count is wrong because it isn’t. If our counts are different and you choose yours over mine I am instantly enraged and in return I will no longer laugh at your jokes this session. My job is to count over and over and over again. While you are working out I am involuntarily counting everyone’s reps because I can’t turn it off. I have caught myself counting breaths, counting steps, and counting other people’s reps by accident. I can tell you stories, respond to your questions, and cue you meanwhile I actually cannot lose count if I tried. Nothing makes me angrier than a client finishing three reps short and telling me I can’t count to 12. I am literally standing and counting to 12.

3. “My son can deadlift more than some NHL guys”.
Well it’s too bad you aren’t as strong as your son. How about you start working out and then you can brag about how much you lift.
After being told this exact line every time we did deadlifts I snapped at my client that it was too bad the NHL wasn’t a deadlift competition. I don’t care if you know someone who is strong because it does not make you stronger by association. I spend as much time in the gym as I do in my house, please don’t think I haven’t seen some people lift heavy things.

4. “Can you lift this?”
Do not ask me if I can do your workout. I made your workout.
When clients ask me if I can lift as much as them or if I could do their workouts I want to straight up tell them it is too stupid of a question to answer. Unless we are the same age and gender, with the same background, injuries, and trying to reach the same goals, these questions (and answers) are pointless. These questions always come from the guys that just want a big pat on the back, so don’t make me embarrass you and just ask me how it looks. Yes I see you lifting heavy things, I was the one who taught you.

5. “Sorry I’m late, you can still do a full hour, right?”
No. Don’t show up late and think I won’t make you regret your life choices.
Yesterday a client was running late, then got caught in traffic and showed up 15 minutes before the end of the session. I’m not kidding. No we can’t do an hour now because you paid me to watch TSN for 45 minutes. 15 minutes later he had sweat dripping off his nose and was laying in the corner.
Come on time.

6. “But this is haaaarrrrrrd”.
Yes I know.
I push myself harder than I push most of my clients so it gets hard to listen to someone who spent their life getting fat complain about how hard it is to sit on a bench and stand up again. I love people changing their lifestyles for the better and it is a process, but please don’t cry your way through it.  This is a waste of both our time, but mostly it is beyond boring for me to watch you sit on a bench and whimper. It is extremely painful for me to try to motivate someone who does not want to be motivated. And TSN is on the TV behind you. You do not want to make me choose where to focus my attention.

7. This is not therapy.
When I ask you to move heavy things I don’t mean put your emotional baggage on my back.
I have a degree in Kinesiology and no I don’t know what you should do about your bad decision making and poor life choices. My clipboard is for tracking your sets and reps, not your emotions. Please don’t use your session to tell me every shockingly intimate detail about your life; sometimes exercise can help you de-stress HINT HINT. I’m flattered you want to confide in me but I’ll pass.

8. I did not make you fat but I would like to help you.
Do not blame me when you don’t lose weight instantly because you did one workout then you pounded back beers and wings all weekend. This is a team effort but I am not your babysitter, I am not your mother, and I did not force feed you for the first 40 years of your life. You should consider that I see you 2-3 hours out of the 168 hours in a week. No matter how good a trainer is, they cannot account for the other 165 hours a week you aren’t with them.

9. Accept critique.
Or tell me in advance you have paid me to high five you and tell you that you are perfect the way you are.
I let a client do an entire disaster workout (not to the point he would get hurt) because he came in to train in an aggressively terrible mood, and he took my form cues as a personal attack. One rep in I told him to make a change to which he got mad and said I didn’t even give him a chance to do it right. A second identically terrible rep followed, then a defiant “OKAYYY?!” accompanying more incorrect reps. It is mind blowing how much money people spend to ignore me.

10. “But my friend says this way is best”.
Oh your friend sounds qualified. This isn’t NASA but I did a four year Honors Specialization degree and your friend ripped the workout page out of a Cosmo. This goes back to my point to let me do the job you are paying me to do.

I bet my clients could come up with a good list of their top 10 pet peeves about me… 🙂


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Haaayyy Girrrrrl

Some people may say that my standards are high but I just know what I like.

I don’t need a Schwarzenegger, but I like to be the girl in the relationship. So naturally, you would think, I could find all the macho men I could ever want in a gym. Not the case, as I am consistently only approached by the guys who gave up on the grocery store and decided to use their gym memberships to test pick-up lines. Why me? Not sure. Can anyone answer this. No, really.

Picking up in a gym is actually hard to do despite how often people practise. For the most part guys get their adrenaline pumping and get all hot to trot but then girls don’t want to be approached when they are looking their “worst”. That is subjective, and also off track. It is surprising how often I get to watch attempted date invites go awry and so I am going to clear up the basics here.

Lucky for you, I am egotistical enough to write a blog entry about the men that have hit on me in order to share a small slice of wisdom.

1. “Haaayy girrrrrl, you got ankle weights here?”
Wow, nothing makes me more weak in the knees than a man in ankle weights. Oh wait, no… everything else does.
Tip: Maybe you need ankle weights and that is fine but don’t present it as the most macho piece of equipment. Ask a girl where something is to start a conversation, that is fine. Only ask where something heavy is if you can lift it.
Tip #2: Gyms don’t have ankle weights. Your masculinity is overwhelming.

2. “You must be new here.”
No, you must be new here because I have worked here for a year and a half and never seen you before.
Tip: Try honesty. Don’t say you work out 5 to 6 days a week when your body says “what is this place?!”

3. “Can I show you some exercises on the cables?”
Actually, I am a trainer.
Tip: If you want to get rid of a know-it-all, tell them you have a posterior Bankart lesion and torn labrum so please take that into account. Then watch them awkwardly back away. Better yet, make up a body part.

4. “You have great shoulders.”
If asymmetry, scars, and misshaped bones are your thing then here I am!! Just kidding, I’m not a freak but my shoulders are literally the only place on my body where I have a visible issue.
Tip: Compliments are great but select your body part carefully. (Booty is off limits, trust me.)

5. “Hello, angel.” *chest bump*
Select if you are going to be the dreamy boy band guy or the bro before you approach a girl. This is no joke I had someone say this to me and gave me a “hug” that was an aggressive run-into like I was between him and his football.
Tip: Have a game plan. Try to stay relaxed while executed said plan. Do not chest bump.


After being approached/ seeing others get approached/ contemplating how to approach, this is my best advice:

1. Never interrupt a set.
This will mean immediate dismissal from any consideration of any relationship of any sort.

2. Be normal.
This might seem like an obvious tip, but people can get intimidated in the gym, hormones get excited, and sometimes weird things result.

3. Do your regular workout.
Lifting heavy is only impressive if you can actually lift it.

4. Eye contact.
You will fail if you ask someone to take out their headphones before they have made eye contact with you. Big fail.

5. Keep coming back.
If you see a person often then build rapport slowly and casually. Don’t do the panicked won’t-see-you-again-I-need-you-number thing.

The gym is not a dating service and the mirrors are not to help you scout. However, if you need to go find your dream lifter, take these tips into account.


Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: