Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I think I may have inadvertently betrayed my personal trainer.

Her smile becomes brighter and scarier. “I thought we had an appointment on the 30th. I planned on calling you next week to confirm…”

I have disrupted The Plan.

Once officially in my thirties it occurred to me that I had moved up a weight class and wished to downgrade. In my mid-late 20’s I thought, “Well, I’ll just embrace arugula, maybe take up Krav Maga for kicks. The excess fat will take care of itself.”
Post-childbearing I know that this will never ever happen for me. A plan is required and specialists must be brought in at regular intervals.

So I joined a gym and signed up for the *free personal training sessions.

My trainer was a lady. Very nice. She asked me to do 4 days of cardio in the fat burning range and two days of weight training a week. “Oh,” she adds “If you really want to lose weight you should try this **Up-sell service we provide.”
I said, “No thank you. See you in a month”.

Two weeks in and I haven’t lost any weight but my clothes fit better and I look more action figure than sad lump. Happily I was given the chance to abandon my family for the gym very early this evening, when my husband gave the indication that he was up for parenting solo yet another night.

P.S. Tony, it’s been real nice being married to you for nine years.

Around 7:45 I am reaching the end of a long medium intensity session on an elliptical machine. I was trying to figure out how to make the machine engage my posterior to best effect, which sounds filthy but couldn’t be farther in the opposite direction. I suppose I must have been telegraphing my frustration because a man with a “trainer” tag on his t-shirt appeared at my side and asked me if I was angry about something.

What followed was an unsolicited lesson about the benefits of knowing your optimum heart rate range and some useful information about the importance of moving beyond a fat burning heart-rate so you can expend enough calories to lose weight. Mr. Trainer helped me figure out why I wasn’t getting the results I wanted, and he did it for free so I thanked him.

Then he suggested the **Up-sell service and I declined. So he went on to suggest it in greater detail and I declined. Then I got tired of talking and clumsily faux-cross country skiing so I tried to end this conversation. Mr. Trainer suggested to me a free service that he said all new gym folks are supposed to undergo, a fit-test or something. I said fine and he walked me back to the trainer desk…the scene of my betrayal.

Mr. Trainer gets on the computer and asks when I am free. I say, “Generally 8pm, possibly on Friday”. I have a toddler who needs my care during the day and a fledgling business that gets the remnants of my time at night. I am not thrilled about losing more valuable “me” time but the service is free and he says it will make my work more effective.

“Hey…you.” Says a lady voice. I look up and my female trainer is standing next to Mr. Trainer. She is smiling so pointedly that I feel I have been jabbed in the eyes.

What followed was an unfunny tedious version of “Who’s on first” with one trainer trying to schedule me for something and the other one trying to confirm that I was being confirmed for something that was had already been scheduled. It was like reading Saint Thomas Aquinas, but instead of searching for truth through reason he was trying to tone my butt and simultaneously snake another trainer’s commission.

Honestly I believe Mr. Trainer was embarrassed when he found out I already had a trainer and just didn’t know how to extricate himself from the mistake. I feel for him and I can intellectually understand the crazy eyes on my previous trainer, but the end result is this:

I lost about 40 minuets of rare exercise time being harassed about a service I don’t want and have repeatedly refused. Then I was addressed as if I had backed out on a commitment, when in reality I was just humoring a person that approached me with an unsolicited sales request masked as a helpful gesture.

Finally I had enough and told them I had to go get back to my kid.

Going to the gym at 8pm wreaks havoc with my sleep. On the plus side, all the trainers are off duty.

*See Membership contract under the subsection “Obvious Hidden Fees”

**This is a $150+ method of determining your perfect weight burning heart-rate. It requires; the purchase of an oxygen mask gadget, performed (and repurchased) every six months, AND is totally guaranteed to tell you everything you need to know about optimally reducing your own personal lard ass.

3 comments:

The Gould Family said...

This gave me a very good chuckle.

holt said...

Thanks Bethany, I was originally extremely irritated and I thought WWBD (what would bethany do)?

So I put it on the internet and instantly felt more zen. Though I suspect you might have also found a way to get the gym to pay out sweet cash for the bad service!

anjeanette said...

Jeez louise I hate gyms. We joined the newly renovated YMCA about a year and a half ago and freakin love it! They renovated it, so it looks more like a real gym w/ real people. Vs. a scary gym w/ ex-cons and some dumb bells as I assumed all YMCAs were.

They let us have 3 sessions with a trainer, but really they just chatted with us and showed us how to use the machines and the weight room. Great introduction and no hassle to get a paid service. The most harassing they do is ask for a donations for their kids programs.

Also, my insurance reimburses a portion of your membership if you go 50 visits in 6 months. I just submitted my first form, so we'll see how much and if that actually works.

So maybe I don't know my optimal heart rate or whatever, but we finally are in the habit of going regularly and have lost weight. So there personal trainers!

I feel like I've plugged the Y on facebook or possibly your page before. I dunno. That's how much I love it. And I swear they are not paying me to say this, but they are also sooo much cheaper than all the gyms in NYC.

Conclusion: move to New York. The money you'll save on Y membership will surely balance how much your rent will go up. Plus, they have daycare. And a pool. You like pools right??? =)

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