Sunday, July 21, 2013

When Your Trainer Breaks Up With You

What is the best way to talk about this? There's no way to write this without it sounding more dramatic than it really is.

Due to various circumstances including bad dealings with gym owners here in NYC and an increasing client base in CT, I got a "Dear John" note from my trainer.

Actually, I found out via e-mail from another of his clients, an old pal of mine. I was in France at the time, so it was a bit of a shock. I mean, I had just seen my trainer a week before! What was going on?

My trainer finally answered some of my texts and explained the situation, saying that it was his issue and not me, and that he hoped to be back in NYC for a few weekend bootcamp sessions in the near future, but to stay strong. 

He did always tell me that he would always keep me on as a client no matter what and that he'll make sure I got it done. But now that's changed. 

Oh jeez, my workout life has turned me into a Tori Spelling movie of the week!

Via US Magazine
Tori Spelling IS the Streamlined Ska Librarian in "Poorly Executed Squats of Danger!"

In all seriousness, I don't blame my trainer, but this doesn't make me happy. We are having a session in a few weeks, but right now that's probably it for a while, if not it period. I've spoken before as to why I need a trainer. Even though I've learned so much about weight training and core exercises, I need that extra push. I need someone who kicks my butt in the way I need. I know that the work to get to this Streamlined Ska Librarian body was done by me, but I don't think I would have found it possible to get this far without a trainer.

Now, I'm sure many of you are asking why I just don't get a new trainer. The snarky answer is that I've spent all this time breaking him in right. But the truth is, I have not been impressed with a lot of trainers out there. I've had a few trainers over the years, including a large handful of Pilates instructors, and I realize I do not really fit with many of the trainers I see at these gyms.

Now granted a good trainer fits themselves to specific clients. After all, studies have shown that personal trainers serve as a cultural intermediary, representing not only their own training work, but also the services of gyms and promoting the business of fitness. They match themselves to their clients needs, too. So, the ones just spending most of the hour chatting with their clients may be keeping their clients happy. Maybe clients don't mind of the trainer is on the phone the whole time or just not present enough. But that's not what I necessarily want.

I probably come across as the anti-social guy at the gym in that I'm not one of those "Hey Bro!" kind of guys. I'll nod hello to the other regulars, but I'm not there to chat. I have a certain amount of time to get my workout in and that's why I'm there. I don't understand paying to use a place where you then just chat and flex for 2 hours.

And I admit that rep has sort of rubbed off into my trainer relationship. The glares I give other trainers or "bros" who wander up and start chatting  in the middle of my workout is met with surprise or (nowadays) a wide berth. They probably thought I was smacking my trainer upside the head afterwards.

But I expect engagement in the sessions. I'd like to think we are friends, but I know it's also a job. Trainers work in so many of these ways because in the end they need a paycheck, just as we all do. And then there are some trainers who I see that are just not good. Just like any profession.

Right now I suppose I am still reeling from the effects of this change of routine, let alone not being able to see my big lug of a trainer a few times a week. I admit I miss it already. 

My weekly workout has kept up at pace (must get rid of French weight gain), but we'll see what not having that regular extra push means.

Until then, there's always exercise in a pill! (As long as it's not Tori certified).


“Exercise in a Pill? The Search Continues.” Well. Accessed July 17, 2013.
Smith Maguire, Jennifer. “Fit and Flexible: The Fitness Industry, Personal Trainers and Emotional Service Labor.” (December 2001).
_______. “The Personal Is Professional Personal Trainers as a Case Study of Cultural Intermediaries.” International Journal of Cultural Studies 11, no. 2 (June 1, 2008): 211–229. doi:10.1177/1367877908089265.

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