Author Topic: Personal Trainer Weirdness  (Read 2208 times)

BrooklineBiker

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 362
Personal Trainer Weirdness
« on: March 05, 2020, 07:02:28 PM »
Hi folks,
I tried to hire personal trainer(s)* some months back and the experience has been weird. Iíd like to hear feedback on what is causing the weirdness. Iím in my early 50s, have arthritis in lots of places, and multiple, significant chronic health issues. My goals with the trainers are to regain significant mobility so I can go up and down flights of stairs and run for the subway (possibly unrealistic but I want to try). Here is some background. I attempted to hire a personal trainer (Mr. X) through a local yoga studio and paid full market price. Simultaneously, I tried to hire another trainer (Mr. Y) though another studio. My hope was that one of them would be able to help and be a person with whom I could work comfortably. I agreed without bargaining to pay full rate to both. The only condition that I imposed upon their services was their meeting on weekend afternoons or evenings  to accommodate my work and family responsibility schedule and that we meet no more often than every few weeks (My weekends are full and I want to be tight on spending.)

Both X & Y met me initially a couple times in November and December. It was a bear to get sessions scheduled with both. Lots of calls and emails. However, my sessions were fruitful, particularly with X. His workout program has me going up flights of stairs without pain & with increasing stability.  I now have hope of eventually going down flights of stairs painlessly & with stability which is wonderful. In my dealings with both trainers, I paid on time, was motivated, was respectful of them as professionals, didnít cancel, and followed up on what was recommended by the trainers.

Unfortunately, Y has disappeared. He wonít respond to emails. X went dark for awhile. He now responds to emails but only wants to work remotely using zoom/ skype. For reasons that baffle me, he doesnít want to do in-person sessions. He wants to charge the same price as for in-person for remote sessions.  Before I potentially try to find new trainers, does anyone have ideas on what is causing this odd behavior from X & Y? Are remote sessions workable? (I have emailed X to let him know my house has distracting little kids in it.)

*I know this isnít a frugal thing to do. I did it because I got poor results with seeing dozens (!) of physical therapists since 2003 covered by insurance. But Iím willing to pay if someone delivers value which I define as getting me significant function back where many others have failed in this task. Not being able to use stairs or run even short distances is a money & time suck.

Frankies Girl

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3349
  • Age: 83
  • Location: The laboratory
  • Ghouls Just Wanna Have Funds!
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2020, 08:07:45 PM »
People are flakes. I wouldn't know how large a percentage of persons that work as PTs are flakes, but you've likely hit two really obviously flaky people that don't care about coming across that way.

Have you tried PT at someplace like the YMCA? My particular location has several long time regular instructors I know just from taking classes over the years. Most Y instructors that have been there for at least a year tend to stick, and they also tend to have a few that are well-trained in recovering flexibility/movement and do personal training in the gym at whatever time works with their schedule, in person.

And I wouldn't sweat the costs if it helps you to move without pain and make sure you can be healthy as you age. Screw anyone that gives you crap for that. Money is there to provide the means to preserve your health and make your life better.

seemsright

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 325
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2020, 08:35:42 PM »
I pay for personal training. It is the best money I spend every week. I need to be accountable to someone else when it comes to working out and eating well. I need to feel like I am taken care of. I am sure this comes from childhood trauma. I am willing to pay for it.

I have lost something like 11% body fat in the last year and a half. For a female this is no small thing. At least for me. It has been fun to eat burgers and run 5Ks and lift heavy weights and do all kind of exercises the trainer comes up with.

The catch is I want a private gym and a private trainer. I want the one on one I don't want any distraction and I have found it.

You can find what you want. You have the cash to pay for it. It is going to take some word of mouth to find what you want. My trainer does not advertise and I found her because someone was suggesting her at the gym I was going to at the time. She is a gold star and I will go to her as long as she is willing to train me.

If you have a local group on social media post on there and see what you can find, call and ask for a trial session to see if you the connection is there. I say this because I think it is important for a trainer to work with you and for you to become the best version of who you can become. 

 

erutio

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 682
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2020, 09:33:25 PM »
I echo the opinion above to use word of mouth to find someone else.

Seems you were unlucky and both of your first 2 trainers were duds.  Fire them.  Move on.

red_pill

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 280
  • Location: Canada
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2020, 10:05:58 PM »
It is quite possible you are just too much ďhassleĒ to be worth it and they are essentially firing you as a client.  Priority bookings will go to their regular clients and you are just an add on, and if you are very restrictive in your timing then youíll be just getting the last minute left over appointments.

If you booked once a week at the same time, I bet you would get a far different reception.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1941
  • Location: Noo Zilind
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 10:25:00 PM »
Personal training and running a business are different skill sets. If you find one trainer good, but difficult to get in touch with..... at least he's good at the bit you're paying him for??? I guess you have to decide what you will tolerate. Some people will wait for the person they're getting results from and that ok with them. Some people just need someone easy to deal with.

KathrinS

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 234
  • Location: London
    • A Chat with Kat
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2020, 11:54:33 PM »
I'm a Pilates teacher - slightly different field, but similar way of working (1 on 1 classes etc.).
I think the issue might be you not wanting to 'meet more often than every few weeks'. As a self employed instructor, I have to prioritise people who will stick to the same slot every week, as this will provide me with a stable, regular income. If I am holding spaces for people who only want to meet every 2-3 weeks, that means I am losing my income during the other weeks. It isn't always easy to find a 'counterpart' who will take the slot during the other weeks.

Plus, training less than once a week will have very limited benefits. I suggest you ask for the same slot with the same person every week. Maybe they have an intro special, so you can try it out for a month or so? And if they're not suitable, then you could try someone else. At the studio where I work, we do a '6 intro sessions' special, so that clients can try 6 one on one sessions and then decide how they want to proceed.

That said, the trainers you mentioned do sound a bit flaky. I try to always let my clients know what's going on, e.g. if a slot they requested is booked I try to find an alternative. In my city, there are lots of people who only stay for 1-2 years, so some people have told me that it's hard to find a regular, reliable person to work with. Friends' recommendations might be the easiest way to find someone high-quality.

MrThatsDifferent

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2021
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2020, 01:14:35 AM »
Itís not common for trainers to be such flakes with clients unless there is an issue with the clients. Itís too hard to get and retain clients so if you find a good one, you keep them. If someone is too weird, pervy, smelly, demanding or high maintenance then they may get dropped unless they pay enough to grin and bear it. Personally I wouldnít waste time on it and just get a new trainer, if that one does the same, well, maybe some self reflection is in order?

GoCubsGo

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 378
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2020, 08:12:39 AM »
I'll chime in to say the really good personal trainers I know are just like any other service person.  If they are in demand and good at what they do, they  will give preference to good customers who use them MULTIPLE times a week (and refer them high paying clients). Just like it's hard to get a top notch carpenter or tradesmen whose service is in demand.  I use a couple that only work on high end custom projects now (for huge money).  The only reason I still have access to them is because I gave them tons of business when they started out.

I think you are probably not a top customer so you aren't high on the priority list.  I think it's common decency to at least email you back though.  Stuff like that can get around.

mm1970

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8714
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2020, 10:30:47 AM »
I'll chime in to say the really good personal trainers I know are just like any other service person.  If they are in demand and good at what they do, they  will give preference to good customers who use them MULTIPLE times a week (and refer them high paying clients). Just like it's hard to get a top notch carpenter or tradesmen whose service is in demand.  I use a couple that only work on high end custom projects now (for huge money).  The only reason I still have access to them is because I gave them tons of business when they started out.

I think you are probably not a top customer so you aren't high on the priority list.  I think it's common decency to at least email you back though.  Stuff like that can get around.
Yep, same same.

Plus, the remote thing is just far easier for them, when you think about it.  I've had a remote running coach before.  When I've done her in person groups, she has to be there, and it's 5 hours a week of her time.  Remote coaching, she can do whenever (just send me the workouts), so it's more like 30min to 1 hour a week.

Lucky Penny Acres

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 64
    • Lucky Penny Acres
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2020, 11:08:49 AM »

If this was a fairly recent change for X in the past couple of weeks, it may be related to overall coronavirus concerns - maybe a trainer visiting a bunch of different people and places and possibly contracting and spreading something around to everyone is something they are trying to avoid during the panic.

tyrannostache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 217
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2020, 11:38:04 AM »
A good personal trainer is absolutely worth the expense. For about five years, I paid a non-mustachian amount every month for access to small-group training with an excellent trainer. It was expensive, but it gave me the foundation for a lifetime of fitness.

I wouldn't read too much into their ghosting you. They might be busy. They might be prioritizing clients that can meet on a regular basis. If the frequency and approach are not working for you, ask around for someone else.

If you want to work on mobility and don't mind online training, check out GMB Fitness. They have some really good online programs for increasing mobility.

ontheway2

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 197
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2020, 12:43:10 PM »
I'd drop Y and try to offer X more sessions (since you won't be splitting them). Most trainers want at least once a week, so that combined with weekend/evening work might have them prioritizing someone else

ChickenStash

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 201
  • Location: Midwest US
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2020, 02:31:25 PM »
Have you tried looking for a trainer through a fitness center run by a medical institution? Locally, the major hospital orgs each own at least one fitness center facility where they offer various services from normal gym activities, pools up through sports medicine consults. They usually have staff personal trainers available that would likely be less flaky since it's a "real job". The one I'm familiar with did have people available for nights and weekends. 

marble_faun

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 607
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2020, 07:52:53 PM »
You want to meet rarely, but at very particular times.  So they aren't earning much income from you, but they still have to deal with the hassle of the scheduling.  Basically it's not worth their while. 

calimom

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1174
  • Location: Northern California
Re: Personal Trainer Weirdness
« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2020, 08:43:52 PM »
You want to meet rarely, but at very particular times.  So they aren't earning much income from you, but they still have to deal with the hassle of the scheduling.  Basically it's not worth their while.

I own a business with a service component. Basically, clients pay for weekly or bi-weekly visits. Once in awhile, a new client comes on board, purchasing the product (interior tropical plants) and opts out of the offered service, instead wishing to set their own schedule of visits, quarterly or annually. We do try to take care them, but our alliance is to our regular customers, who come first.

Best of luck.