Personal Training Frustration


I was having scheduling issues with my personal trainer, he messed me around a little over the easter public holiday and charged me for a session even though it wasn’t at a mutually agreed time and I couldn’t make it.

Tonight I finally got to training and the weight session was okay, although he pushed me quite hard so I was a bit huffy and cranky, especially when lying on a stupid leg curl machine and slipping and feeling concerned about my huge tracksuit clad bottom in full view of the entire gym.  Then he looked at my food diary and asked me how I think I went, and I agreed I have not been eating well over the past week.

I told him that I am struggling with having someone look over my food diary, that I know what good nutrition looks like, and I don’t feel motivated by answering to someone else for what I eat. I realise that I’m not doing so well, and I plan to pull my socks up and keep going, but that it is quite frustrating for me to discuss my food diary.
He said that personal training is not just about weight training but is nutritional advice too, and asked me if I think it is acceptable to have bad weeks.  I shrugged and said I think that it’s just life, it’s going to happen.  He said this means that I think it is acceptable, and I told him that I believe it is better to consider how I go in the long term rather than stress about a bad week.  He then said that if I think it is acceptable to have a bad week then I will think it is acceptable to have a bad fortnight, a bad month, etc.   He is cranky because if I ate very well all the time I would ‘drop big numbers’ and he doesn’t like that I count calories.  He believes it is about what you eat and at what time of day – ie, no carbs after 6pm and eating protein every few hours.  This doesn’t fit in so well with my real-life life, and he can tell I’m a bit frustrated by the advice.  He is frustrated that I am not listening to his advice and basically tells me I can stop training with him.  His words were “We can finish up next week if you like.”

To continue to be part of the “12 week transformation challenge” (one month to go) I must have a personal trainer.  I told him that I am not ready to give up, but I am sitting here now, at home, thinking that the only reason I am not is because of pride. Having to admit I couldn’t get through the full 12 weeks.  I am trying to consider it properly, and I don’t think I’ll get much of a sense of achievement for getting through the full 12 weeks when it is feeling like this.

I don’t want to keep at this only to end up disliking the gym entirely.  I am feeling a bit sad about it all, actually, I did have very high expectations of myself and of this challenge going in, and I don’t really think that has helped, when I am finding that I am still as flawed as ever, when it comes to taking advice from fit people.  I don’t feel like my personal trainer and I can relate to each other at all.




  1. Okay – I have lots of thoughts on this. First of all, there are many ways to skin a cat, meaning he should not be so adamant about his particular feelings on how to lose weight. It doesn’t sound like this is the right trainer for you. A trainer should look at who YOU are, and determine what will work best for YOU. If you have to become a totally different person, and adopt a totally new lifestyle, it’s going to be difficult for you to maintain. PLUS, you are an adult and it sounds like he’s treating you like a child. I would be upset too!
    I lost a lot of weight and have kept it off for many years, and I can tell you I ate carbs after 6pm and never once considered protein as a snack. He may be right, but it’s NOT the ONLY way. It upsets me that he’s not taking the time to develop a routine that works for you. I can give you an idea of what I did if you like, but mainly I counted calories and tracked them in a food journal, and I exercised (on my own). Sounds like that’s what you’re doing. A few times I would blow my diet by stuffing my face with Oreos or donuts, but then I would get back on track. That’s what people do! Just because I messed up once, doesn’t mean I gave myself permission to keep messing up. Finally, if this guy’s being so strict with you, it could lead to you giving up totally.
    My advice (I’m a fit person but try to listen anyway.. lol) is to find a person who understands the differences in people, who knows that you need to develop a plan that fits your current lifestyle, and who has compassion for how hard it is to lose weight.
    If you give HIM up, that doesn’t mean you are giving up. Losing weight is not an easy process, but it doesn’t have to be this difficult either.
    If you haven’t noticed, this upsets me almost as much as it does you. I hope it all works out. Let me know if I can help.

    • Yes, when I eat well and exercise because I am motivated and driven by me, it is really satisfying. I haven’t found this process to be very satisfying – and yes, I can’t see myself sustaining his rules into week 13, so I find myself wondering why I am worrying about weeks 9-12. This is a lifelong process, it is going to go on much longer than this program, so I have some decisions to make. Wow, it is so nice to wake up to all these supportive comments, thanks!

  2. It upsets me, too. A trainer – any professional – can be objectively right but still a total wrong fit, and this guy sounds like a bully as far as how he is interacting with you. Can you get a different trainer?

    I worked with a trainer like him – she would act disappointed in me when I wasn’t meeting her expectations, and she even disregarded and completely contradicted the directives I’d been given by my doctor.

    I hope perhaps the manager can help you resolve this situation. Don’t let it derail you! It sucks to have to overcome this obstacle, but you can do it.

    • I could get a different trainer, but this is the second trainer I’ve tried at this gym. I also look around at how the others train and I really feel like the manager pushes this type of training, so I don’t think it’s the answer. I won’t let it derail me, thanks so much for your comments!

  3. I agree with the above comments. Everyone is different and it sounds like this guy wants you to fit into his rules. If you decide to quit, I do not see that you failed. You are trying many new things and you need to stick with what you like (it seemed that you liked the exercise class?) and throw away what doesn’t work for you. You are making lifestyle changes and they will not last in the long run if someone else decides Your lifestyle. Success to you 🙂 Judy

  4. Pshh…trainers. They’ve got issues (most of them, at least). They think it’s their way or the highway. When I met with that trainer at my gym, I told him that I wouldn’t let him touch my eating plan. I told him that he could see what I was eating and make suggestions, but that I wasn’t, in any way, going to be forced to take his advice. I told him I wouldn’t do the protein shake/bar thing and that I wouldn’t put anything in my body that was processed, fake, or that we didn’t know what was in it. Dude proceeds to tell me about this stuff called Clenbux Lipo 6 for Women. When I asked him what was in it, he said he had no idea. I was like…you crazy man! You’re recommending some kind of pill to people and you don’t even know what’s in it! All of that said, I think if you want to stick it out then you should just lay down some ground rules. You’re paying him, afterall. Recognize what he’s good at and follow it to a T. And the things that he’s not so good at (like if you don’t agree with his eating plan) and tell him you disagree and that you’re not going to do it.

  5. Maybe you should try to find another personal trainer> This guy doesn’t seem to be right for you. It could just be a personality thing. Don’t give up on yourself….we all battle sometimes to change the way we are but with a bit of perseverence I’m sure you’ll get where you want to be!

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