I could not believe he actually said that...
It was my first time at a gym. Ever. I signed up with my boyfriend (at the time) after seeing a promo in the local paper. Of course, when we signed the paperwork and paid for our memberships, we got that free PT session where you have a run-through of your program that you always get. I had just enrolled in Polytech (the NZ version of TAFE) where I was about to embark on one whole year of automotive engineering studies. My goal was to get stronger so I could survive that year in the workshop with the boys, working on cars.
The PT had programmed running on the treadmill as a part of my program. It puzzled me. "How's this going to help me get stronger?" I thought to my 16-year-old self. Still, I followed instructions and ran. My boyfriend had finished his running, and he was chatting with the PT, watching me on the treadmill as I slogged away. Then the words came out of my boyfriend’s mouth...
"Hey Hannah, what colour's red?"
My face had gone quite red with all the heat and effort from running. They laughed between themselves like they were the best of friends. I was not laughing.
I brushed it off as if it didn't bother me, but it did. Nineteen years later, I still remember it. I still feel it in my heart, and I remember how upsetting it was to be laughed at while I was giving my best effort, when I should have been supported and encouraged. Needless to say I did not continue on with any paid sessions with that trainer, and within a couple of weeks my boyfriend had become an ex.
What a horrible first experience with a gym and a Personal Trainer!
As an Online Personal Trainer, many of my training team members live away from me. If they want to train in a gym or a similar training facility, it's up to me to share with them how they can find the best facility possible!
In the Southern Hemisphere, November and December is the time of year when people have either joined a gym in the lead-up to Summer, or are thinking about joining a gym in the New Year. I want you to know that the facility you join (or don't join) is totally up to you. Despite how it may feel at times, you are actually in control, not the staff! I want you to have an awesome experience wherever you choose to do your workouts, so please allow me and my previous experience as a staff member in a gym (and of course your caring current online PT!) to help you find that perfect facility, just for you!
- Do they listen to you, or do they only pretend to listen?
- Do they take the time to understand your goals, and apply how their gym can realistically help you to achieve them?
While gym staff always have the goal of signing you up, they shouldn't be so focused on the sign up that they lose sight of your needs as a person, and they should work with you. A good indication of what your future will be like in that facility is by looking at their interaction is like with other gym members. They don't have to be best friends with every single person, but good staff will learn your name, have a quick chat with you regularly, and respond appropriately to any feedback you may give them, whether it's equipment that needs fixing, or reporting something more serious.
It's also perfectly acceptable to honestly tell them why you chose not to join, whether it's because you don't feel comfortable, people are rude, or the gym smells like B.O. If you tell them no, and they come back with a few options for you, you are still not obliged to sign up. Remember what you want, and go for it. They would, so why shouldn't you? (Just remember - always be kind and respectful, even if they aren't.)
I'm really hoping that these four tips will help you to find your new training home that is a perfect fit for you and your goals! If you have any other questions or comments, please feel free to comment below or contact me privately via my "contact" page