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Is Your Personal Trainer Bullying You?

CalorieKing Blog - Is Your Personal Trainer Bullying You?I’ve seen it all the time on TV – trainers screaming at someone to finish that last minute on the treadmill or in a person’s face picking away at a person’s psychology regarding their fitness level. Because at the end of the show there are radical transformations, I found myself thinking “Maybe I need that kind of approach to boost my fitness levels.”

So I tried a personal trainer. In fact, I’ve tried several. I started with a trainer that admittedly advertised himself as a drill sergeant.  I was convinced that if I had a Biggest Loser-esque trainer that it would make a difference. It did end up making a difference – I was scared to go workout.

Skipping Sessions…The Slippery Slope

This trainer stood three inches from my face at all times pushing me and correcting me every step of the way. While it never quite came to it I often felt threatened – if I didn’t do what he said (regardless of my pain and suffering) he might kick my butt.

When I found myself skipping my sessions for the simplest of excuses I realized something was really wrong. Fitness and exercise was not meant to be an experience in suffering for me.  I needed someone who understood my weaknesses and to guide me through.

Here’s a problem with those TV style drill sergeants…even though you might get results, we often think they are the only option in personal trainers. While the in-your-face approach may work for some people, there are the rest of us who very much want to get fit but we need to be guided at our own pace and need customized exercises. Fear of a Biggest Loser bullying style trainer should not stand in the way of your exercise – or worse, scaring you from exercising at all.

You Have Personal Trainer Options – Just Don’t Give Up on Your Fitness Goals!

Just remember, you DO have a choice in trainers. There is a wide range of trainers who want to help people do and feel their best. If you try one and you don’t like them…walk away and try another.

Go ahead and try the intense approach if you feel you need that kind of motivation, but never forget there are other kinds of trainers out there if it turns out to not be for you. The important thing is for you to not give up on fitness.

If you are looking to work with a personal trainer to meet your fitness goals you can look up local options from the American Council on Exercise.

Tell Us Your Story!

What about you? Have you been bullied by a trainer that acted like they were trying out for a TV show? Did they ruin your motivation and how did you end up embracing exercise?

2 Responses to Is Your Personal Trainer Bullying You?

As an ACE personal trainer and Lifestyle & Weight Management Consultant, I often refer my clients to CalorieKing for help with their weight loss and maintenance goals.
What a pleasure it was to read your article about trainers and how to choose the right one. Thanks for writing such an encouraging story!
I became a trainer over 20 years ago, based on my own experience. After being on total bed rest for three months during pregnancy, I was out of shape and sixty pounds overweight after delivery. I hired a compassionate personal trainer and joined Weight Watchers (CalorieKing didn’t exist then!).
One year later, I had reached my goal of losing 60 pounds!
More importantly, I have kept the weight off for 30 years by regularly checking in with CalorieKing and other science based resources. I became an ACE CPT and now help others to achieve and maintain a healthy weight with sensible eating and exercise.
As a trainer, I see the “bully” trainers often at the gym. I cringe to think that all trainers are perceived as drill sargents.
Thanks for pointing out to your readers that there are other options!

Congratulations on reaching your weight goal Betsy and on becoming a trainer yourself! I’m so pleased you liked the article – I would trade my trainer now for the world. She takes the time to get to know people and their needs and does it all without shouting! :) Cheers ~ Leenie, CK Staff