As a trainer, I’ve seen and heard every kind of excuse for missing a session or session, not sticking to a meal plan, not keeping a food log, and other things. It’s crazy the excuses people will make even though they are paying me good money to help them reach their goals.
10 11 of the things that get my goat:
1. “I’m injured.” Maybe, maybe not. Muscle soreness after a workout or burning during a workout is not an injury it is a natural consequence of working hard. While we don’t necessarily push you to “go for the burn” it can occur if you are doing more work than you are accustomed to or using a heavier weight in a particular exercise. On the other hand maybe you are injured. It happens. But you know what? Unless you broke both arms and legs you can still train. One client had a minor tear in her calf, went to the doc, and wore a boot. After a week she was back in here doing everything she could that didn’t aggravate the injury. She trained in the boot and 6 weeks later she was back to normal instead of losing muscle mass she maintained it.
There are always ways to work around an injury, even a strained back and in many cases, the best thing you can do is to train.
2. “I’m your trainer, not your friend.” When we are in the gym and you are supposed to be training I’m your coach and I expect you to follow instructions and do the work. That’s what you are paying me for. Trying to kill time and take longer breaks by chatting me up is a waste of my time and your money. Once we are done you can talk all you want. Other than asking legit questions you shouldn’t be talking while you are lifting, especially to others in a group session. You are all there to train not to chat. You can have a social hour before we start or after we’re done. If you can chat during the training you aren’t working hard enough.
3. “I’m Not your Shrink.” ’nuff said here. People tend to talk about their problems to me, especially in private sessions. While I appreciate your faith in me, I can’t really help you with any issues but getting you in shape. I don’t have a degree in Psychology or Psychiatry; I’m not a group counselor. If I see you appear to be not focused on your training I may ask what the problem is but only to see if I need to modify the workout based on how you are feeling
4. “You are eating more than you are telling me.” Or you aren’t journaling the actual portions you ate. I look at food journals a lot. People typically don’t leave things out of the diary but under-reporting is typical. I ate a piece of cake that was 1 portion when in reality you ate 1/2 the cake over the course of one afternoon and evening! I only had 1 glass of wine- but it was a BIG glass (the whole bottle). If you don’t accurately report what you eat, I cannot help you lose fat. Bad data in means bad info going out.
5. “Showing Up is 1/2 the Battle.” Yes, it is but the other half is to actually train hard. Everyone has off days where things just don’t feel right or you don’t feel like pushing it, that’s fine I have those days too, but you still need to do the best you can and not whine about it. Show up, train hard, go home – it’s that easy
6. “If you are tight on funds don’t join.” This is an investment in your health and well-being but that doesn’t mean you should break the bank. Yes, we charge a lot, but we are worth it, but if our fee is going to bankrupt you you need to wait until your financial situation is better. Disappearing and canceling your credit card helps no one and can negatively impact your credit rating. I also don’t haggle on price. I may run a special from time to time to get new people in for a trial but that’s it.
7. “Stop wasting time.” You do NOT need an extra break, especially in the middle of a set. Breaks are written into the program; stopping 1/2 through a 30-second interval because you need water is total B.S. Trust me you are not going to die of dehydration during the last 15 seconds of that set. Stop dilly-dallying around when you are choosing a weight or preparing for the next exercise. I give you plenty of notice as to the exercises in a set and the duration or number of reps and you have plenty of time to get what you need. Screwing around putting on wristbands at the start of a set of cleans, thereby losing 15 seconds of work is not acceptable. You see it on the board when you come in, you hear me say it when it comes up. Stop wasting time. NO you do NOT need to stop mid-set to put chalk in your hands. Same as with the wristbands you know what’s coming; prepare in advance. If your hands get slippery during a set squeeze the handle harder! It’s good for you. Chalk is only necessary for high reps or very heavy lifts, you aren’t doing either.
8. “Turn off Your Phone.” Unless you are a doctor and are on call or have a sick kid you don’t need your phone. Your training time is YOUR time you are paying for it. Work can wait an hour, and texting your significant other can wait too. They know you are training, you don’t need to tell them anything that can’t wait an hour. If you want to check in on FaceBook, that’s great just do it before or after class, not during. Phone calls interrupt everyone’s flow.
9. “Invest in new gear.” Get workout clothes that fit. For those that wear shoes make sure they are in good shape, and also make sure they are appropriate for lifting. You need a flat, firm-soled shoe not running shoes or Cross-trainers; they will screw up your form and can cause back problems. Ladies get a good sports bra for those jumping jacks days 🙂
10. “You don’t need me forever.” My goal is to teach you to take care of yourself. While I have clients who have been with me for over 15 years, they are training for specific goals. You need to learn about nutrition and we will help with that. You need to learn proper movement patterns for all exercises and we teach you that too. I understand most of you won’t train on your own and we are here to give you training programs as long as you want, but after a year or so you should have the nutrition part down
11. Bonus – ” Be on Time” This goes back to numbers 5 & 7, but I’ll be specific and rant here. I hate being late. If you come in late once in a while due to traffic or some other unforeseen issue, I understand. If you are consistently late it means you do not place any value on the money you are paying me to train you. It also shows a lack of respect for the instructor and your fellow classmates. You are doing yourself a huge disservice by missing the warmup portion of the workout. The warmup is designed to prepare you for the workout that is about to come. Would you drive cross country with having your car tuned up and checked out? Why then are you neglecting your body by not tuning it up before running it hard??