T Nation

Are You a Personal Trainer?


I recently just got back in the gym this week after an injury and I see many of the same personal trainers there that I'd seen previously. Just a couple of questions:

  1. Why do PT's always look like little fit shits? Couldn't lift BW if their life was on the line.
  2. Why do they always give advice that's not asked for?
  3. Why don't they ever show any progress.
  4. (Bonus) Why are there so many PT types here on TMuscle.com. They all have advice but look like CRAP.

By the way - This is a pics or STFU board!




I'm very passionate about bodybuilding and the gym since it helped me get my life sorted out,
I got a personal training certificate hoping i'd learn more about building muscle for myself and then teach others. But the course was mostly about ramming that government recommended crap into our heads and saying you only need 0.7g protein per KG for a weight lifting athlete.

Even though i've had my qualification for a year or so now and could get a PT job at most gyms, I still don't feel comfortable teaching people to build big muscular physiques (Thats all i'd be interested in, i have no patience for the fatties who 'can't lose weight no matter how hard they try') because I strongly believe I need to experience that for myself first.

Anyway, I guess im different than most, because everyone else that finished that PT course with me fit the description you posted, and they are all currently spewing out their PT/government recommended bullshit to willing clients.


See if that works... You'll have to excuse the "shitty cause I took it with a cell phone" aspect of it


1- I look like a little fit shit because....well I am. I'm a competitive rower so keeping BW on past 215 gets tricky (~205 in the picture)
1a- Most of them do because they don't train- they work out with clients or do boot camps and call it a day, and don't eat enough. Not to mention taking to heart the sillier parts of the classes (protein requirements, why cardio is teh shitz and weight training is ok, I guess...etc)

2- Because a certificate is a guarantee that you're not going to kill anybody, not that you know how to train effectively. Consequently a lot of them seem to forget the basic training principles they learned on day 1 and fall victim to the fancy shit, which also involves correcting form at random intervals

3- See above. A lot of them don't know how to train or don't train themselves

4- No idea. I creep but don't exactly post much

Edit: pic didn't work the first time
Edit2: Or the second time.


I recently got my certification through NPTI and got a job at a gym that will remain nameless. There is only one trainer there that is very big, the rest are typical trainer types. But I don't think the point is that they look like shit, it's just that their goals are very different. Most of them have fine bodies but they aren't interested in putting on size or gaining strength. They mostly seemed concerned with having low body fat with a little muscle, which most of them do.

Now as far as the advice thing goes, you and I both know that 99% of gym goers don't know what the hell they're doing. I'm not saying that personal trainers in general DO, but they at least mean well (at least the ones I work with) and they do possess SOME knowledge.

The thing is, a typical client is a horribly out of shape 40 something year old with bad diet and no gym experience or very little. So, yes I believe every trainer I work with can help these people. Now, would I send an athlete of any type to one of our trainers? Probably not. But for the general public I think they can definitely help as most client's goals are simply weight loss.

As far as progress goes. I myself am bulking at the moment, much to the dismay of my boss. He said I was getting a little chunky the other day (the scale said I was officially 200lbs so I was pretty stoked) and I told him I was trying to gain weight. He was quite perplexed as he didn't understand why anyone would want to gain weight during the summer.

I have been stuck at 180lbs forever and have recently rearranged my entire life so I can wake up, eat, train, eat again and then go to work. So far it's been great. I plan to post pics just as soon as I hit 220lbs, which at this rate will be very soon.

Also, in terms of progress, you cannot measure it simply by looks. For all you know the 150lb trainers at your gym can pull a triple bodyweight deadlift. It's highly unlikely obviously, but for every trainer that is jacked there are fifty that aren't and don't want to be. It's all about goals. Now I do know trainers that talk about getting huge and ripped but don't know the first thing about bodybuilding so yeah, those types are very annoying. I sympathize with you there.

But for the most part the personal trainers I work with are highly knowledgeable and are good trainers on the whole. Once again, I would not send a bodybuilder to train with any of them, but for regular average joe, the yeah sure. I think it is highly dependent on what gym you go to. The 24 Hour fitness and Bally's and such will of course not have very good trainers. I mean, it's not impossible to find great trainers at those sorts of gyms, but they would be the exception, not the rule.


Because 99% of people that need a PT are obese and want to look skinny and fit.


People who want a trainer generally do it to look and feel better, which I guess is the definition of "fit", or because they have some event coming up that they want to look their best for. The thing is most trainers don't know their elbows from their assholes and have the client going the most ridiculous shit you can imagine on thir quest towards fitness.

Add on to that the fact that most people just aren't willing to work hard and you find that the few good trainers that populate the average commercial gym are swallowed up by the mass of retards that dominate the scene.


I agree in general, however questionable training can come from all sizes.

Much to my surprise and dismay, one of the larger (~250 solid) trainers Ive seen was taking some woman through her workout, which consisted of sets of "balance board squats into hops" and other such things



I have worked at several gyms and a private weight loss facility as a trainer. This is exactly the reason most trainers are skinny little weaklings. It goes hand in hand with the "fitness" industry. Most people hiring trainers are looking for weight loss help. I had a hard time in the commercial gym setting because fat people don't think a 6'4", 265lb. former offensive lineman can show them how to get thin. (Sorry I don't have a pic to post, but no, I am not ripped at 265, I'm around 18% bf right now).


The thing with that is your example might be a really knowledgeable dude and understand the importance of the basics, but that client might not enjoy the basics and she wants to do something she enjoys. So, he has her doing all kinds of silly shit 'cause she "can feel it working!!!!" and she'll come back and buy more sessions. Or steroids.


Not at all hating on a 265 monster that isn't shredded. But I hate having people who are less developed (I in no way feel superior to anyone's physique) try to tell me what to do or feel like they need to chime in to every discussion.

Today was a prime example: I'm in the gym doing volume sets because I need to redevelop muscle memory and conditioning. PT -"that's not going to make you big and ripped you need to get on the ..." STFU PT and go find you a client!!!


And this isn't a shot at ALL PT's

But the issue is in General. You even get it here on these forums. Every gym rat thinks he knows it all and wants to tell you how he developed a 165lb mountain of hotness on his 5'11 frame.


This is why they get such a bad rep. They are abundant in the commercial gym and they all (mosty all) look like little femininas.

And you know for all the BS about clients want a trainer that looks like X - I always get women that are interested in what I'm doing and get the what can I do to fix this question. So sure appearance is one roadblock but it can be overcome. More importantly, why would you put your personal goals on hold - unless it is truely a career??


A lot of trainers cater to average people who just want to get in shape and do not have the expectation of reaching bodybuilder proportions. Many of these clients feel comfortable working with trainers who look like they expect to look. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's a legitmate market. You are going to be exposed to these types as long as you train in commercial gyms. They shouldn't be giving unsolicited advice, but that's a conduct issue.


No I am not.


I work out a Retro Fitness and they have these EFT trainers there. www.myeffectivefitness.com .

They're pretty much your typical personal trainer discussed here but at least they mind their own fuckin' business. I've never had one of them approach me or anyone I worked out with. I appreciate that.


Like all professions you have those who are shit at their jobs and those who are great! Anyway there is no point generalising over something that can't be defined as the profession runs from one extreme to the other, from those who reached degree level to those who got certified over a weekend!

The people who frequent gyms are for the most part sedentary adults looking to get fit' lose a few pounds' or have been referred to the gym by their doctor. These are the people who keep commercial gyms open!

Guys looking to get swole I am afraid are in the minority and as a result their needs are not catered for, which is reflected in the type of trainer that most gyms employ!

Cardio is still considered the gold standard for people wanting to get fit (I use that term loosely) and look 'toned' so of course the trainers cater for that need. This is also reflected in the abundance of treadmills, cross trainers, bikes, rowers etc... that take up most of the floor space.

Remember that gyms are a commercial enterprize and as long as the majority of members get whet they signed up for then all is well...

Those who know better should either join a real gym or continue to bust a nut whining about it...


The PTs in our gym are strong, big or both. There is some strongman training and a chalk bucket for all to use. You train in the wrong gym :slightly_smiling:


me neither.


true, when you are overweight or very underweight you want to be "normal". big bad ass isn't normal lawl.

I know I won't ever be a trainer..besides having to deal with people who 95% of the time dont wana be there..people usually wana be skinny little people