So I was at my gym tonight and an old man had a seizure. Let me explain.
I was on a treadmill walking for my warm-up, surveying the weight room, seeing which regulars were here and who was working what. I spot a frail looking, very old man walking into the locker room. Had to be in his 70’s, judging from his old school jumpsuit, hunched back and slow stumbling walk. I remember thinking it was odd because it was the first time I had seen anyone this old at this particular gym. More power to him, I thought.
So I’m over at the power cage squatting and bullshitting with a buddy. Next thing I know I notice a bunch of red and blue flashing lights coming through the windows at the front of the building. I see some EMTs rush in with a gurney. Far from my average legs night. I eventually find out that the old man I saw earlier started convulsing and had a seizure mid-workout.
Although this was a pretty sad situation, the cause was much more disturbing. The gym I train at is a pretty big gym, with somewhere around 8000 members and a boatload of equipment. Management sells it as a nice, shiny gym but its not quite as commercial as an LA Fitness. I was chatting with the owner last week, and he mentioned about looking for more personal trainers to add to his staff.
Next day I noticed he hired two high school kids as “floor techs”. Basically guys paid to pick up the weights I leave on the floor. These two kids were scrawny and know absolutely nothing about training and exercise. I’ve noticed over the past few days that the owner has been spending time teaching these two kids how to instruct people on certain machines. It was obvious that he was prepping them to handle personal training sessions, yet was also obvious that these kids were not certified and had no idea what they were doing.
Long story short, one of these floor techs trained the very old, frail man to the point of him having a seizure. The kid didn’t notice any signs and symptoms in the man leading up to his seizure and was just pushing him to get his 10 reps and keep moving. If a certified trainer had been working with him, I am fairly positive that this whole incident would never have occurred.
The bottom line is that this is what happens when someone who has no business training people trains people. So if anyone reading this is working as a trainer without any type of certification, STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE AND GO GET SOME PROPER EDUCATION.
This is exactly why I stop listening when little guys start doling out exercise tips. “You know, if you took glucosamine your joints will never hurt. Not never.” “You know, if you added some behind-the-back wrist curls, you would get hyuuuuuge.” “You know, NO Xplode is, like, the greatest thing ever.” SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I never understood why people who are motivated enough to hire a personal trainer to help them reach their goals would work with ANYONE who does not themselves have an above-average level of fitness. If I think I have an serious injury, I’m going to want to speak with a doctor, not a nurse-practitioner. If I want financial advice, I want to speak with a guy in his 50’s who’s been in the game for awhile, not some kid fresh out of college who wants me to be his 3rd client. I don’t get why working out should be any different.
I know the owner is a very nice guy but he fucked up on a monumental scale and I wish him the best of luck in dealing with the lawsuit he will probably be receiving in the near future.