Arrogant personal trainers

Sometimes i have found the most arrogant creature you can find in a commercial gym is a personal trainer. Especially if they have some certification which they got out of a crackerjack box.

Years ago … i had one that was being a arrogant prick. This gentelman tried to talk down to me once. Doing a major " intellectual " flex on me during a conversation.

Of course i decided it was fun time…so i decided to talk about western periodization… meso and micro cycles along with things regarding energy path ways in regards to exercise. Along with a few other things.

The look on his face was priceless.

Anyone else done anything like that?

I have an ISSA Cert… nothing to brag about. 99% of my knowledge has come from here, Paul Carter, a few others. I’d say 99% of these bozos are just clueless dopes programming ineffective junk

Ask them what drives hypertrophy… What is adduction / abduction… mechanical tension, force velocity curve…

One trainer at Club Fitness has some very obvious moobs

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It never ceases to amaze me that anyone would pay for information that is free. I entered the weight room for the first time in 1968. If you told me anytime through the 1970’s that a person could make a living as a personal trainer, I’d say you had to live in Hollywood.

My initial learning method to lift weights was using “monkey see, monkey do.” Kinda simple, but effective. I bought some muscle magazines, but didn’t discover Iron Man until the mid 1970’s. So, it was rather slow progress initially, but progress anyway.

From my observations through the decades, only a very few personal trainers have a clue how to teach anyone how to squat, much less the nuances of different body leverage types. And most all teach little more than a lock-out leg press.

I attempt to help the trainers from time to time. They absolutely hate being corrected in the presence of any clients. And I get that. Anyway, what do I know?

I do understand that many hire a trainer to help make them accountable. That seems excessively expensive for poor self motivation. But it is their money.

This might seem odd, but one of the things that grates me most is that the trainer is changing all the weights. I always want to know precisely what is on the bar, and might double check it. Even when I powerlifted competitively I checked the weight before attempting to do the lift.

To OP’s title of this thread, I usually left the personal trainers alone and they never seemed to bother me.

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YA I agree but a lot of people just want to be told what to do

Drop any bro science bombs on him ??

I have a degree from NPTI, but when I started to work in a gym, it’s all sales. Your training knowledge doesn’t matter for dick when money is on the line.

The first client I had, literally the first, asked me where to get steroids.

I didn’t have a shitting clue.

But to go back to the op,

Kind of. I played dumb, but in a smart way, if that makes sense. I knew the right thing to do, but would choose the most creative opposite.

Like showing them how to do an “integrated zercher deadlift,” so one hand, one elbow. Or doing curls with a 40 db in one hand and a 5 in the other, then holding at the top and putting the 5 lb on it at the end of each rep and removing it to repeat, since it was “accomidating resistance.” Or making up muscles and seeing how they recommend working them “I need work on my anterior intraspinatus.”

Apparently I’m a troll in real life, but nicer on the internet.

I’d like to make it clear these examples are from me being trained by someone else, not something I ever did to a trainee. But there are stories there too.

Also, throwback story everyone should know.


I few years ago when I was looking to leave a career, I looked into training. I had spent quite a bit of time in the gym, was reasonably jacked, and had an education background.

So I settled on getting a Strength and Conditioning Cert from NCSA. I had an academic background, it was the Gold Standard, why not - good enough for the NFL and the NCAA, good enough for me.

Welp. my college degree was in Speech Communication and I was in way over my head with sliding sliding muscle filament theories and the different types of levers.

None of it was applicable to what I wanted to do - get people fit.

I punted. But am currently considering a NASM cert to work with people in recovery and seniors.

To the point, I see trainers at my gym doing crazy shit with first time lifters. I guess it’s just me, but you should probably learn to squat, deadlift, bench, and overhead press before doing calf raises and wrist curls.

I did have an introductory with a guy named Trevor thirty years ago at a Gold’s. He weighed me, checked my bodyfat, and gave me some decent advice.

I think it’s about the goals of the client. I see a lot of people in my gym wearing wraps and gloves and doing curls. I am not sure what that is about. The gloves don’t even match his purse.


Most trainers at the commercial gym I used to go to were young. One guy a little older clearly knew his way around, probably won some local and maybe regional bodybuilding shows but never took off. He was also like 5’5” and it didn’t take more than a couple sentences to realize half the lights were on.

I read the cockiness in the young guys as general piss and vinegar for their age group. Gym bros who figured out how to make money with their hobby while they hopefully work on a more substantial next step. It didn’t annoy me as much as when they would try to hog equipment for circuits or whatever they had clients doing outside of general gym etiquette. You’d think they’d be reinforcing etiquette, and do at specialized gyms, but not the commercial free for all environment.

The older muscly munchkin was exactly what a washout who almost saw the bright lights would be. Just living the glory days in his head one story for clients at a time with his arms out much wider than they needed to be while he walked around.

End of day, for whatever reason or stage of life, they’re low income retail employees. So I take them with a grain of salt. Some are passing through, some have landed, but they’re just doing their jobs as described by their employer.

I know there are good trainers and even coaches out there, but I’m discussing the big box gyms.

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Yeah… that seems to be the main offenders from my experice. Bigger the chain the worse it is .

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I think it’s just an unfortunate piece of their business model. If the 80/20 rule applies, and it does in my observation, the vast majority of members aren’t in to intense training, athletics or competitive lifting. They’re run of the mill people interested in being “fit”.

So gyms endorse or in-house create overnight trainer certs as an attempt to either rope new members in to more revenue, or at least teach them the very basics of using equipment so they don’t get overwhelmed and quit if left to their own devices.

I don’t think trainers are really there to be trainers more so than for overcoming initial barriers in the broad scheme.
Anybody they keep on a regular schedule is probably a very small number. And I notice they pitch hard when you sign up and for a few weeks after, then die off as they attack the new wave. It’s really more of a retention strategy than anything. Same for gyms offering body scans and whatever else. Anything to hook revenue.

So the culture becomes the circus we often discuss because it’s not about real down and dirty training.

Yeah… i would say you hit the nail on the head with the points you made.
Lets be honest another part of the issues is that your commercial chain gyms are 1st and foremost a " business " with business people calling the shots . Just how it is.


A trainer/ gym employee that got on my nerves was working the front desk. On the way out one day I said “ I’m leaving so you’re in charge”. His face turned red and didn’t know what to say. I loved it.


Club Fitness trainers have man boobs… doesn’t exactly inspire confidence


The look on my face is priceless.