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  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    I do not agree with your statement. Certainly there are poor trainers that lack certification and/or a clue, but they can be found anywhere. And the same thing can be said about many industries - there are lawyers and doctors out there without a clue too. If you do the proper research, then you can find a decent trainer. If you know what questions to ask you can certainly find out whether you are speaking with someone who knows what they are talking about.
    Most trainers do not have a clue when it comes to strength training. Finding one that's knowledgeable is hard for anyone, much less for someone who is brand new to lifting. How is the OP supposed to determine who is a good trainer vs who is bad? What exactly would the "proper" search be if the person does not know what constitutes accurate information on the subject of lifting? Doctors and lawyers vary in quality, but their credentials mean a lot more in their respective fields than most personal training certificates. You won't find a heart surgeon who does not know how to properly perform heart surgery. However, you will find plenty of personal trainers that do not know how to squat correctly.

    If you get the knowledge yourself (hence my recommendation to read Starting Strength), you, if you still choose to do so, can at least have some idea about who is a bad trainer.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    How is the OP supposed to determine who is a good trainer vs who is bad? What exactly would the "proper" search be if the person does not know what constitutes accurate information on the subject of lifting? Doctors and lawyers vary in quality, but their credentials mean a lot more in their respective fields than most personal training certificates.
    I certainly understand your position. This is why a bit of research is required on the part of the consumer and why I suggested a few things that she should consider when determining whether or not she should hire a trainer from whatever gym she joined.
    There are varying levels of credentials that a trainer can obtain which can certainly give validity to his/her education and background. Whether or not they are able to answer some pointed questions is part of the process to determine whether or not they are right trainer for you and whether or not they know what they are talking about.

    I can say with certainty that just because you go into a lawyers office and they are licensed in your state doesn't mean that they know how to . . . .represent you at a child support hearing, for example. Yes they are licensed, and legally they can charge you to represent you - but that doesn't mean they have done it before or will do a good job or even know what the hell is involved in the hearing process. Same thing with a trainer - they can have all the credentials - and they will train you - but that won't guarantee they know anything about lifting -- which is why I suggested that she ask for testimonials from other clients, ask questions - basically my advice was to be an informed consumer (which is what you would do when retaining an attorney - meet with them, ask questions, etc).

    My advice was to not write off all trainers because they are employed by a gym. That's all I'm saying.
    Last edited by Purple Leather Couch; 02-13-2013 at 03:37 PM.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ayla2010 View Post
    machines are just not needed
    The attraction for a rookie like me is that they seem less likely to kill me

    Are they effective at all? I used to use them a few years ago and they tightened everything up but the results were shortlived (disappeared as soon as my gym membership did).

    Quote Originally Posted by osgoka01 View Post
    Thanks for this! Once I figure out how to hold weights I'll be all over that site

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    stumptuous.com
    Lots of great articles, videos and tips can be found there! It's just one of many many resources out there - but this one is specifically written for the ladies.
    This is a brilliant resource! Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by quikky View Post
    Most trainers do not have a clue when it comes to strength training. Finding one that's knowledgeable is hard for anyone, much less for someone who is brand new to lifting. How is the OP supposed to determine who is a good trainer vs who is bad? What exactly would the "proper" search be if the person does not know what constitutes accurate information on the subject of lifting? Doctors and lawyers vary in quality, but their credentials mean a lot more in their respective fields than most personal training certificates. You won't find a heart surgeon who does not know how to properly perform heart surgery. However, you will find plenty of personal trainers that do not know how to squat correctly.

    If you get the knowledge yourself (hence my recommendation to read Starting Strength), you, if you still choose to do so, can at least have some idea about who is a bad trainer.
    Well, the trainer who gave me the induction didn't inspire much confidence ("cardio for your arms"?! Wrote about it at the end of my OP... ) The gym has a bang of CW off it too, so I'm skeptical that I would find a progressive trainer there, but maybe I don't need someone amazing... just someone to show me how to lift without popping blood vessels and vertebrae, right?

    Will check out that book (ie. try to find a PDF online) - thanks for the recommendation!
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  4. #14
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    I totally agree with working on form first. Get a bar or a stick and practice exactly where your feet go, exactly how to hold your back, etc. Watch videos on youtube, visit Stumptuous. I deadlift 95 lbs right now but started at 40. I squat 95 as well. When I can do two sets of 15 comfortably I add another 5 lbs.

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    Totally missed the "arm cardio" comment!! Holy crap - ok, that guy is special. . . just, wow.

    I just didn't want you to be turned off to the idea of considering one - because for me, it was the best thing I could've done.
    You seem very knowledgable and much more advanced than I was when I started - so I assumed that you would go in with at least a base line of knowledge to determine whether someone was a hack or not. The fact that you know that "arm cardio" is not a thing already puts you ahead of the generic commercial gym target market. I have no doubt you would be able to determine who was legit and who was blowing smoke up your ass to make a sale.

    Good luck! And let us know how everything goes!

    (also, on Facebook (if you are on there) - if you look up Muscle Revolution, this woman posts great, informative lifting articles from a variety of online sources)

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    There are varying levels of credentials that a trainer can obtain which can certainly give validity to his/her education and background. Whether or not they are able to answer some pointed questions is part of the process to determine whether or not they are right trainer for you and whether or not they know what they are talking about.
    These credentials for personal training are rarely meaningful. If you want to know whether someone is a qualified medical doctor, then they need to have an MD and a license to practice medicine. If you want to know whether someone is a qualified lawyer, then they need to have a JD and pass the BAR in their state of practice. Does this guarantee the said doctor/lawyer is great at what they do? No, but it assures you that they have a certain level of competence. What is a certificate or credential that guarantees a personal trainer is qualified to teach you strength?

    If a doctor mistreats you, or mistreats his patients often in general, he/she can get sued and/or lose their license. If a lawyer represents you poorly, or represents his clients poorly in general, he/she can get sued and/or get dis-barred. If a personal trainer does a poor job strength training you, or strength trains his clients poorly in general, ...? They get bad word of mouth? Someone complains to the gym manager? Worst thing I could imagine happening is someone gets hurt and sues the gym - which can happen even with a good coach.

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    I can say with certainty that just because you go into a lawyers office and they are licensed in your state doesn't mean that they know how to . . . .represent you at a child support hearing, for example. Yes they are licensed, and legally they can charge you to represent you - but that doesn't mean they have done it before or will do a good job or even know what the hell is involved in the hearing process.
    Well, if you go to a lawyer that deals with family law, I can guarantee you that they actually do know how to represent you. In fact, you can look up the cases they've been involved in to verify they have the experience they claim they do. They might not be the best at it, and they might be inexperienced, but they will know enough about the whole legal process to provide you with ample legal representation. If they do not, you can take legal action against them, if there's clear neglect on their part. This is not something you can do with a poor trainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    Same thing with a trainer - they can have all the credentials - and they will train you - but that won't guarantee they know anything about lifting -- which is why I suggested that she ask for testimonials from other clients, ask questions - basically my advice was to be an informed consumer (which is what you would do when retaining an attorney - meet with them, ask questions, etc).

    My advice was to not write off all trainers because they are employed by a gym. That's all I'm saying.
    I know what you're trying to say. My point is that it is very hard to do so. For example, you say to ask for testimonials from other clients. Well, this is all very subjective. Someone could say "Yeah, John The Trainer is amazing, we do Bosu ball squat curls and hip thrusters, and my curls went up 10lb last year, he is so great!". Or, "Trisha The Trainer is a phenomenal strength coach, my squat (actually half squat by neither I nor the trainer know the difference) went up 100lb!". If the clients are also ignorant, their opinions must be taken with a big grain of salt. Of course, if you are ignorant yourself, then you are trying to pick trainers without knowledge, and asking others without knowledge on their opinions of said trainers. I think you see my point...

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    I do see your point. And I appreciate the time you took to respond, it is valid.

    But when I was interviewing trainers (and yes, I met with more than one) I asked questions. Where they went to school and what their major was. What kinds of athletes they had trained/were training and if they had any accomplishments (for example: had they completed triathlons, marathons, lifting competitions). Were they themselves athletes (what sport) (did they compete)? And others.

    I guess I just assume that someone who was interested in learning how to do something and would spend money hiring someone to teach them how to do it would do some research about how to hire a real professional, that's all I was trying to say. It's not hard to find a good trainer - they are out there, it is possible.

    Edited to add: I ended up hiring a former power lifter because I was interested in learning how to lift - and took the time to seek him out.
    Last edited by Purple Leather Couch; 02-13-2013 at 04:25 PM.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by little vase View Post
    I totally agree with working on form first. Get a bar or a stick and practice exactly where your feet go, exactly how to hold your back, etc. Watch videos on youtube, visit Stumptuous. I deadlift 95 lbs right now but started at 40. I squat 95 as well. When I can do two sets of 15 comfortably I add another 5 lbs.
    Thanks! Good advice. I feel so thrown in at the deep end so maybe I'll just use the machines while I learn how to stand etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by Purple Leather Couch View Post
    Totally missed the "arm cardio" comment!! Holy crap - ok, that guy is special. . . just, wow.

    I just didn't want you to be turned off to the idea of considering one - because for me, it was the best thing I could've done.
    You seem very knowledgable and much more advanced than I was when I started - so I assumed that you would go in with at least a base line of knowledge to determine whether someone was a hack or not. The fact that you know that "arm cardio" is not a thing already puts you ahead of the generic commercial gym target market. I have no doubt you would be able to determine who was legit and who was blowing smoke up your ass to make a sale.

    Good luck! And let us know how everything goes!

    (also, on Facebook (if you are on there) - if you look up Muscle Revolution, this woman posts great, informative lifting articles from a variety of online sources)
    Oh wow... I feel like I know nothing. But I do know about anatomy, and last time I checked the arms didn't have hearts.

    I think most of these trainers are probably legit - just not progressive. Perhaps the majority of people going to trainers are doing it for weight loss, so they're not challenged to keep expanding and learning. The fact that the trainer I met today spent most of the induction telling me how to use the TV was a small clue that maybe he's lost his passion...

    And thanks for the new link! it looks great.
    "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

    In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

    - Ray Peat

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    The attraction for a rookie like me is that they seem less likely to kill me

    Are they effective at all? I used to use them a few years ago and they tightened everything up but the results were shortlived (disappeared as soon as my gym membership did).
    They are OK for beginners for ease of use, and I don't think you can really get it wrong.
    But they isolate muscles. When you are doing things with a barbell like squats etc, its more of an all over thing, does that make sense?
    Plus they don't allow the natural movement your body makes when doing things like a squat, if you do it on a smith machine you can only go up and down, and not move slightly forward.
    Damn I hope that makes sense LOL. Someone who is better at articulating themselves than me, might be able to explain it better.

  10. #20
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    What about getting into CrossFit, they do strength sessions and work on olympic lifting with a barbell.
    No mirrors, and if you find the right trainer who really works on form, and a good box, they are all very supportive, and it does amazing things for your body.

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