T Nation

My Newbie StepDad

I have a question for you guys about how to prevent my stepdad from working out improperly, maybe even injuring himself. He’s 60 years old, and he just got a personal trainer who makes him do HEAVY stretches before weight training (thus limiting strength), and this guy trains my poor 60 year old step dad past failure. In fact, my step dad says that he makes him even do negatives and forced reps after failure at every workout for every body part?!? I don’t know about this dude, but I know that it’s not good to push a newbie too far. And I also know that negatives and forced reps are counter-productive when used improperly, especially after failure. Plus, my step dad does not take any pharmaceuticals . . . I could go on about how wrong this “personal trainer’s” didactic methods are, but the question at hand is, how do I get my step dad to realize that this guy is a waste of money/time/productivity? The answer I usually get from him is “ok”, and then he goes right back and continues his “lessons” with this uneducated trainer.

I’ve noticed that often times people mostly respond to what is in writing, my suggestion is to show your stepdad written “proof” of what you are saying. After all I am a college student, and I must say that this has been ingrained into my brain, and perhaps may also be effective in convincing your stepdad

Train with him if you can. Get him to use the money he spends on a trainer to get you a membership at the club where he trains. Also send him here and tell him to read up.

And why didn’t your step-dad ask you to help him in the first place? I would say to do what Ko suggests, have your step-dad use the money otherwise spent on this “trainer” and get you a membership.

But be careful: by questioning the validity of this trainer, you are, in a sense, questioning your step-dad's ability to make his own decisions - and he could take personal offense in that. Which brings me to another question: how is your step-dad taking this "training"? It sounds as if your step-dad really wants to learn. That's cool. What I would do? Invite your step-dad to train with you for just one session. Just one. Use his enthusiasm as a way to anchor some of what you know into his psyche - use positive reinforcement as a way to grab him. DON"T use negatives ("what your trainer is doing is incorrect..." etc), that might make him shutdown to what you have to say or teach him.

You could also try introducing him to a different trainer, if you know of one who’s decent.

Thanks guys for the ideas. I will give it a shot and get back to you all. Chris, I showed my step dad the titan training program video to explain some of the incorrect methods he was doing. Ko and Pat, I will try to see if I can get my step dad to train with me instead. Pat, it is amazing how easy it is to forget that our parents have feelings. I will keep what you said in mind when I speak with him. Char-dawg, it’s sad to say but a quality trainer is tough to find over here.