T Nation

i wouldnt say i hate my job, but...

theres days where id rather be scooping shit barehanded than deal with some of my clients. I’ll be the first to admit that being a trainer ( ducks tomotoes) is not that challenging a profession, but honestly the dealing with ppls excuses part of the job is so f**kin excrutiating. someone please explain to me , what would compell someone to pay money to have a trainer only to complain and bail out when asked to do anything moderatly challenging??? I hate ppl.

dude, Fuck it your getting paid and as long as the bills are paid and you have food in you belly i wouldn,t worry. I can relate though

They want someone else to make them strong, thin, toned, sexy or who knows what. Since you are somehow in their employ they get to play boss and give you a crock as well. Business clients are like that as well.

To these people you are a showpiece. They get to walk around town and say, “Hey I have my own Trainer” they don’t really give a shit about the exercise just the fact that they can afford to have a trainer I guess. Try reverse psychology on these clients. Get a big ole box of Twinkies out and set them down unopened next to the workout equipment. When they get that perplexed look on their face. Just give them the what the f*ck speech about how your the trainer and you know what your doing and that is what you get paid for and maybe just maybe if they actually did what you asked them to do they would start losing some weight and see some satisfactory results that would reward the both of you. If they don’t agree with you then pick up the box of Twinkies hand it to them and tell them to enjoy their new “Twinkie Twist” workout that you just discovered while you go and cash your check.

Give them a copy of Merry Christmas Bob and a six pack of beer.

I don’t know if you’re just doing this for some money to get you through college or something like that, but I would definitely take more pride in it than just say ‘Fuck it-I’m getting paid either way!’

Trainers are a lot like school teachers: Most of them suck, but one good one can change your life. If you slacked off as was said, you’d be just as lazy and worthless as the client. You’d be perpetuating the spiral. The people are gonna stay fat and ugly, the general public will have another reason to have less faith in the fitness industry, and we will still think that all trainers suck. It just dosn’t have to be this way.

One of the smartest things I’ve ever heard, from a business standpoint, anyway, was from an old dude one of my friends knows. The guy builds boats from scratch for a living, and one day we were hanging out in the shop. Someone told him he could make a lot more money if instead of building them one at a time, and each one totally custom, he produced several models on a production line. With a steely glare that was priceless in itself, he calmly said: ‘I don’t want all the customers, just most of the good ones.’

I think the same logic applies here. If the people you are training are annoyingly lazy, tell them how it is, and get their mind in shape as much as their body. If they don’t like that, then fuck em.’ Don’t train them any more. Find people who want to work for their reward. It will give you credibility in the long run which can only help you.


you know what really pisses me off, the fact that i put so much time into reading and learning as much as i can about training , only so i can have some old lady complain that shes not losing weight, hmm could it be that fact that you bitch everytime i ask u to try something new, or ohh ohh could it be that bottle of wine you polush of nightly thats stunting your weight loss. i swear i hate em. you guys are right its about time i lost some weight, some fat housewife weight. clients are getting dumped!!!


One big lesson I learned fast back when I was training is that it’s important to screen your clients. If you know your shit, you’ll have more people wanting to work with you than you have time to work with. That also means you don’t have to put up with clients who aren’t willing to work for results. It’s tough to walk away from money, but you’re honestly hurting yourself by working with clients who don’t work for results. I had the reputation in my gym as the trainer whose clients all grew. Was that because I was so damn good? No. It was because I only worked with people who were serious about making changes. As soon as people saw that I was the only trainer whose clients ALL got visible results, I had more interested would-be clients than I knew what to do with. My best advice would be not to renew with the clients who aren’t making you look good. Neither of you is getting anything of value out of the relationship.

I think it would be cool to be a personal trainer, but I bet I would eventually hate it. I don’t know about other people, but I have hated every job I ever had. It takes longer for some than others but I eventually hate all of them. I have had some pretty easy ones too, watching movies and porn and listeing to any music I want all day. Sitting in front of a computer and surfing the internet all day in between telling people how to do something I could walk them through in my sleep. Jobs where I drive and get out and around, repoing stuff and even pumping gas(which was actually as cool as any of them). And I hated them all. Maybe this is you. It sounds cool to me to hang out in a gym and tell other people how to workout and get paid for it, but it would get boring and irritating sometime. I bet this post makes me sound like a loser, but I have just never wanted to apply myself to any job and stick with it. I identified with that guy in Office Space perfectly.

As a long time reader of this site, I’ll add my 2 cents here. I worked at UPS for 4 years. Quite honestly, the worst 4 years of my life. Steady pay, benefits and my own insecurities about what my abilities were or what job I could really do outside of UPS kept me there. Even with a BA from a local university, I still stayed. But one day I had enough, had a total fuckin’ nuclear meltdown!
I was the best worker they had at that hub. I loaded package cars for local route drivers, 2 drivers, great guys. Missed work maybe once a year, if that for the first 3 years. Had some back issues the last year that I had to take some days off of work. Some days I even worked injured. Why? Pride. My drivers that I loaded for I respected and didn’t want to let them down.
While working at UPS I started lifting, had a great passion to learn. Luckily and THANK GOD, I found this site which turned me on to Mel Siff and his SuperTraining forum, Dr. Yessis, WestSide protocols, basically scientific, non Muscle and Fiction material. I then started working at health club for a second job, basically just as a floor instructor for a year and half. Then I saw what the Personal Training staff consisted of and I thought, “Fuck, I can do that.” Well meaning trainers, nice people, but none of them lifted more weight then to really, lets say “tone.”
But I still needed that “push” so to speak out the door from UPS.
I have never worked for or have seen worse management and people skills in my entire life, lets say working years, then at UPS. They broke every possible rule in our contract, every day. They never listened to what the workers had to say. Some asshole in a fuckin corporate office would give instructions to the managment at our hub on how run the place, having never set foot in the place. The company was run and still is by numbers.
You never could win at UPS. You got injured at while loading your cars? Too bad they would say, it’s your fault, not because the packages are coming down the straight line belt too fast, loaded with too much volume.
They would say “slow down.” Well, you couldnt because you would not be able to keep up with the packages. Safety was only talked about a day before the hub would get audited for safety BY UPS themselves.
The audit team would CALL AHEAD to tell them what day they were coming in!!! They never saw how the hub was really run.
The hub had no heat in it. They had ceiling fans 40 feet up had a RPM of about 2. “That’ll heat the place” they would say with the strictest face.
I called in sick a few times, all legitimate times, my line supervisor would hang the phone up in disgust, wouldnt even at least say “hope you feel better for tomorrow.” All they would say is “who is going to load your cars?” Ya’know what, I dont fuckin’ know I finally said!!
After the union, (another joke, Local 705) and company agreed on a 6 year contract last Aug, it went downhill FAST!!!
I had to get out. I got the quickest certification, A.C.E.,(hey, no eggs thrown at me!!! Getting a CSCS)and got hired on as a trainer at the health club I was working at already.
Best DAMN move I ever made. Yep, clients’ can be lazy, unmotivated, believe that 1000’s of reps on the Abduct-Adduct will “sculpt” their legs.
A few may not finish the exact amount of reps you want for a set. A few no call, no show, I still bill them.(24 hour cancel rule at the club) But then you get the ones that want to learn, that want to be pushed, that like strenght, that like power, that want to be better then their peers.
They see the passion that I have for what I do and it rubs off on them.
I have bad days, but I always keep those days in perspective. I look back at those 4 miserable years at UPS and think “Damn, I could still be going to work at 3 a.m. I could still be getting talked down to, I could still be getting lied to daily, getting time stolen off my hours worked, working in a shitty environment with higher-ups’ that could give a shit about you.”
And then I think about all that and say to myself, “I’m never going to back that again.”
My worst day training is better then any fuckin’ day I had at that HEll HOLE!!! OK, my rant is over…

Holy crap!!

UPS sucks. I guess my job ain’t so bad.

There’s no friggin’ way I could be a trainer. I get irate watching people in the gym. Cell phones, no drive, bad form, smith machines, newspapers idiots, soy protein, teenagers, soft Stevey Wonder music, one pull-up station- in the power rack, no chalk allowed, I need enough equipment to work out at home. A trainer at my gym is so skinny you can see hip bones, like anyone would take her advice.


Yeah I work for UPS too. My higher ups tho are actually really cool to the workers that do in fact work. I’m a loader in what should be a two man trailor going to Atlanta by myself on a daily basis. By the end of the night I will have filled up 3 of them solo. My part time supervisor, who is actually only 19 and on a power trip, thinks this is perfectly fine. But my full time sup is very interactive and tries his hardest to get problems solved. He actually comes in and helps when I get backed up. Great guy. Our hub does have heat tho, that had to of sucked hardcore for you. I go in there every night thinking, at least I’m not a telemarketer anymore.

Strangely enough, despite having just graudated, I’m considering the option of going to work at a gym. Something, to say the least, outside of my field. And I agree, the problem would be dealing with people that aren’t motivated. Sad as it is to say, I was watching opera (they were doing some weight loss challenge, which I find interesting at least) and the first thing they say to people is “The question isn’t whether you want to lose weight. Anyone can say yes to that. The question is, are you willing to do what it takes to lose weight?”

I find that oddly works in this situation. If people aren’t willing to help themselves, there is only so much you can do. I’d state that right off the bat with any new clients, tell them that your willing to help them, to teach them what they need to know, but if they aren’t willing to lose it, the contract is over. You aren’t willing to train anyone that isn’t willing to change.

Two things-

To Teeks-Don’t say that training people isn’t a challenging profession. If you are doing things right it should be extremely challenging. There is nothing easy about changing someone’s horrible lifestyle of 40 years. There is nothing easy about writing programs and constantly monitoring someone with health problems, injuries (past, present, recent), limited equipment, limited abilities, limited drive. It’s not easy to go train someone every day with a smile on your face and words of encouragement. If you aren’t stressing over your clients, you are probably doing things wrong. If you are working in a gym, my advice is to get some bands, some powerblocks, a folding powerblock bench, other knick-knacks, and go to people’s homes and train them. Best thing I could ever have done. I have 50 year old women at the track run 100m sprints and doing cleans and snatches. I love my job and look forward to every day of seeing my clients.

To Chris McClinch-yes, screen screen SCREEN clinets. Great advice. People always ask me if I have a business card…nope. Why not? Because I like to pick up clients through word of mouth. My clients are my walking business cards. This way I only get people who are serious about training. I’ll admit, getting clients this way is slow, but there is less bullshit to deal with and I’m much happier this way. The clients I have now are long term and a pleasure to train on a daily basis.

The best thing about training is when you develop a friendship and a genuine caring between yourself and your clients. I have two doctor clients that decided it was a shame that I didn’t finish my degree in exercise science, so guess what…they are paying for my school along with paying me for training. Tell me how bad ass that is.