T Nation

Overheard in the gym


This conversation actually took place only feet away from me in the gym.

Personal Trainer: So what kind of equipment have you used in the past?

Client: Mostly free weights.

PT: You should use more machines they utilize more of your stabilizing muscles.

C: Oh yeah?

PT: Yeah and they work the extensor pathway.

Me:(Fighting back vomit) What the fuck? The extensor pathway? Isn't that what you drive over to go to Spokane?

Then they both stared at me like I was the idiot. When did personal trainers resort to just making up random shit to get clients to train with them. I just feel sorry for the people who don't know any better and end up dropping $60/hour to work with this jackass.


You just made me choke on my eggs...


That is some funny %$#@! Sad but funny!

It is really sad though. A lot of these people will just give up in frustration when they really see what's on the end of there fork! Next time you see that client you should give tell the to check out T-mag ( and heck tell the pt too) then leave it at that.


man, that is rediculous. some trainers are complete fools.


So then, what exercises do you recommend to work the extensor pathway? Because I think my extensor pathways are kind of weak...


That was just the latest in a constant barrage of idiocy from the trainers at that gym. The trainers are constantly telling the clients to do things which they can't even do themselves. If you can't even do the exercise then how do you expect to teach someone else to do it. The typical client there obviously knows nothing about working out because they chose to work with the clueless trainer in the first place. There have been two different occasions where I offered to help someone with their form on a certain exercise and have had a gym employee approach me and tell me that only I could not train members unless employed by them. God forbid I might actually help someone progress to the point that they feel like they don't need any help from the shitty trainers.


Trusting that you actually said that, I'd just like to shake your hand and say GOOD JOB!


hahahaha... damn that's some funny shit! I assume also that the PT you're talking about looked as thin as a freakin' mexican street dog.



Too Funny! Check this one out.

Client to PT watching me squat 405:(client is a 200lb. women PT goes about 150)

Why does he have a towel folded across his neck?

PT: I don't know, only women lift that way.

Me: What did you say you chicken legged douce bag!

PT: You wouldn't need a towel if you didn't go so far down and use too much weight.

Me: Are you being serious or f-ing with me?

PT: Serious!

Me: Hey, Bitch (he's male) I can't believe you charge people for that advice. Get away from me.

FYI- everytime I see him now I call him chicken legs. He ducks into an office when he sees me coming in.


hedo I'm laughing my butt off right now. I love it!


Last year one of the jacko fitness instructers at our gym walked up to my wife and told her that she obviously wasn't stuggling with the weight she was using and needed to put "a lot more on there" or not do it at all.

He wasn't asked.
He had no idea of her health history.
He had no background on her fitness level.
(If he did he would have known she was only 8 weeks post c-section)
And yet the "certified" waste of carbon wanted to throw out unsolicited gym advice to her and others.

As this had happened to myself and others, I tracked him down the next day and read him the riot act for being a complete idiot and then went after his boss, the "fitness manager".

The moron was gone after that and this year they hired a new fitness manager...funny, no more random comments by staff.


Seriously, though, hedo...why do you use a towel when you squat??

Sorry...just f'ing with ya, guy!!


I could write a short novel on this, but here is a recent one.

One of the women we train was at the gym benching. This yo-yo trainer that we have never seen before (newb) comes up to her and says, "Feet out in front of you for better results." She was like, "huh?" He repeats, "you need to move your feet out in front of you to get more chest involvement." We were all standing off to the side holding our breath. She's a pistol.

She looks at him and says, "I have a meet in two weeks, I'm going for the state record at 148. I think I will need an arch and a little leg drive."

He was then stupid enough to tell her that the much of an arch is "bad for you." Her reply was, "Oh OK. You clearly know what you are talking about. What is your best competition bench?" Just dripping with sarcasm. He mumbled something about not competing, doing it for himself, and wandered off. Now when he sees us coming he walks the other way and looks down. Pretty amusing.

What makes if even funnier is he doesn't bench all the way to his chest (about 4" high), and she is frighteningly close to him off of her chest raw. He must feel like such a weenie.


Rediculous! I heard a trainer tell his trainee once in the gym that a guy doing good mornings in the power rack was an idiot and he was going to hurt himself. This trainer never squats and once I thought I saw him doing rack pulls but they ended up being shrugs...with 225...and straps...for like three reps. I train at home now.


Great stories. I have one as well. The other day I was doing Good Mornings - it was towards the end of my workout and I was a little tired. Because I was a little tired, I was paying special attention to my form - making sure that I did everything correctly. Well, a new trainer (there are always new trainers - they only seem to last 2-3 months) came over and told me that I was doing everything completely wrong. I naively thought that perhaps because I was a little tired, I might have unintentionally cheated a little on some of the later reps, so I asked if I had unknowingly rounded my lower back. All I got was a blank stare. Then, the new trainer told me that any exercises that include bending at the waist are just wrong - bending at the waist is only allowed on sit-ups and hyperextensions - and even then, very little bending is allowed. I just turned around and finished my set.


After reading this I am so happy that I get to work out in my basement, no drive to the gym, no memebership fee and I have everything I need. Power rack, bench, bb and weights(need to get 2 more 45's), adjustable shitty dbs, blocks for increasing ROM, 1,2,3,4 boards for the board press, a box for box squatting, mini-bands are on there way for DE bench, and some bands for the squat and chains are on the wish list. I do have to listen to people give me advice in highschool, they always give me a puzzled look when I tell them I dont curl, I deadlift, box squat, do P-chain work and my workouts are always under 45 minutes. If you want a laugh about PT check this out:


I'm having really good luck using supinated reverse grip extensor pathway crunches. Anyone else doing those?


I feel your frustration over the PT's. I guess I'm lucky here in Michigan. One gym I go to has a world record powerlifter that works out there. They let him bring in some of his equipment.

The other gym is pretty cool but they still do the PT thing. However, only if you are asked. One guy pays this gal to help him do his abs. He pays $20 a session for her to watch him do crunches and what not.

I guess the people around here don't want advice or are pretty independent. So the PT's keep to themselves.


Back when I was younger I was happy with the PTs at the commercial gym I worked out at. Most were friends from small-kid time and we all played sports from then and into high school. So I was confortable for the tips they had. In fact it was at that particular gym that I learned what good mornings were good for and instead of always doing regular hyperextensions they suggested I try doing it the other way around (al reverse hyperextensions). Those were the 90s no doubt. Now when the big commerical giant 24hr fitness came into town it drowned the smaller commercial gyms until they shut down. Same thing happened to my PT friends who stopped doing that line of work.

Long story short, the best thing to happen is gone and the role model for society is flourishing. RM for society meaning wrong information, ill-prepared for change and truth, and looking good while doing it. Looks so good it must be right. When I did workout at 24hrs the best advice (or compliment) I received from staff was from the yoga/tai chi instructor who was doing one-armed db snatches in the space next to the power rack where I was doing goodmornings. The comment: "About time someone is working on the right muscles."

I believe we all have stories to tell...I am sure that's what brought us to this website in the first place. Someone who is bathing in the advice of moronic PTs (there are still good ones out there) wouldn't think twice about reading beyond the opening page. The main title 'Testosterone' would drive them away thinking this site is about nothing but steroids.


Hi everyone, I havn't posted in a while cos I've only just got a P C at home. This thread makes me laugh but there is a serious point here to address. We all know that the personal training industry is, by and large a joke, but having a go at trainers while there with a client is just going to give us (big, strong, and as the general public percieve us intimidating) lifters an even worse image. I'm refering to hedo's point here, I'm not having a go but what do you think the personal trainer said to his client after you had a go at him? Do you think that his client is going to have a positive impression of that big guy squatting more weight than she's ever seen before? In my country (U.K), fitness centres (gyms hardly exist these days) have free weights sections that comprise of a bench and DB's upto 20kg, sometimes you'll get a smith machine, whoopy do! The major operators are shit scared of attracting big intimidating guys. I recall several posts on this forum and elite stating how free weight areas in fitness centres are being removed from facilities in North America, and if the general public who arn't into strength training continue to be intimidated by big strong guys (and girls) when they're doing there fitness workouts then more and more weight rooms will close, it might be wrong but it's suply and demand (you yanks are pretty good at economics)! Whats the answer? Read Dave Tates article on deadlifting where he teaches an ACE personal trainer that the deadlift is'nt all bad and does a good job of converting him to being pro free weights. That's what we need to do, if you have the time educate the uninitiated, if you dont have the time dont make their opinion any worse than it already is. Remember to smile a lot, be helpful, and be positive.
It's important to be strong but it's even more important to be nice.
Regards, Chris