Friday, 31 January 2014

Personal Trainers: A Lesson For The Gullible!

Happy Friday beautiful people!

So as I mentioned in my last post, one of my New Years Resolutions is to keep up going to the gym three times a week, alongside a healthier diet (standard). So far I have kept up the gym, but not done so well on the latter resolution…it’s a work in progress!

I recently swapped gyms to one nearer my work, and I won’t mention which one it is, but my experience there yesterday left me with a strong urge to voice my opinion on a very popular fitness issue; personal training, more specifically, personal trainers.

I left work yesterday evening, feeling fairly tired but optimistic about my complementary personal training session to come. Little did I know that an hour later, I’d be leaving the gym in floods of tears and £140 less off!

It began with a quick introduction with Mr Personal Trainer. His charm (and muscles) were endearing and we discussed trivial matters; when / why I joined, what exercise I do, my previous gym. However, the session took a turn for the worst when I was told to stand on what looked like a high tech set of scales. The seemingly harmless little machine was incredibly deceiving. It’d certainly give Aladdin’s magic carpet a run for its money I’m telling ya, as just from standing on it and entering my height, it calculated my weight and supposed body fat percentage.

Body . Fat . Percentage . 

These words will now haunt me for life. I was told my BFP (or more fitting, Big Fucking Pain) fell in the 'overweight' bracket. Now I'm no Einstein, but I have a mirror, and I'm pretty sure I'm no Gemma Collins. Despite this, an overwhelming sense of panic took over and a whirlwind of questions span around my head.

Am I fat? What if I keep getting bigger? Obesity? Health problems?


This fear was heightened when I was then talked through a variety of exercise positions...and I failed half of them. What??? I always thought I could squat! I've been doing squat exercises at home in the mirror for a year?!! I didn't know you needed a personal trainer to teach you how to squat...

Far from an encouraging, positive and motivational meeting, the poor guy was left with one emotional wreck staring him in the face hoping for some words of reassurance. I say poor, but he had won me over in his attempt to sell himself as a trainer. I handed over £140 there and then, cash in hand, in return for five half an hour sessions where he promised to "teach me how to do these positions properly" so that I'd be able to do them myself.

After speaking to my friends and family, I've realised that I shouldn't be so gullible. I did some research and it turns out that  the 'healthy' range of Body Fat Percentage for 20-40 year old women is 21-33%, of which mine falls into. For women of the same age bracket, those who fall in the region of 33-39% are considered 'overweight', and those who carry over 39% fat are in the 'obese' category. As far as I can tell, this is the most authoritative, as it is based on World Health Organization and National Institutes of Health recommendations, and takes age into account. Still not convinced, I also did an online test which calculated my BFP from my height, weight and waistline in inches, and it was considerably lower than the result the magic machine at the gym had given.

As my dad rightly pointed out, if Mr Personal Trainer had sat there telling me that my fitness routine was perfect, that my body was really healthy, and that there was nothing that needed changing...then he wouldn't be doing his job, and more importantly, he wouldn't have a job. No customers = no money = out of business. Being surrounded by sales people at work 24/7, I should really have picked up on this whilst I sat there with tears dripping down my face...but hey ho.

Thankfully, there's no real harm done. I called up Mr Personal Trainer and got my money back today. However, it does leave me worrying that other, more impressionable young women are being fed false facts, shit sales chat and are left feeling insecure and helpless. Please don't get me wrong...I don't mean to generalise about all personal trainers, as I know some are lovely, truthful and far from pushy (my friend Jayne is a personal trainer). I also must say that I don't entirely blame Mr PT...after all, a man's gotta pay the bills somehow! 

Upon reflection, I've realised my spontaneous and reckless tendencies don't always work in my favour! Also, having had time to think about it, I believe it's true that some 'overweight' people who exercise can be healthier than their leaner non-exercising counterparts. It's all about a combination of how you feel , what the mirror tells you and whether you lead a healthy / active lifestyle....not what some silly digits on a machine say. So on that note, I will be having that Domino's come Sunday when I'm hanging like a motherfucking sloth. 

Lesson of the Day:

Don't always believe everything you hear! (especially if the lesson comes from a bald man from Stoke-Upon-Trent).

Be healthy, be happy, have fun.


No comments:

Post a Comment