Poor preparation for the gym!

One thing about personal training that does happen from time to time is when clients arrive showing a less than professional attitude, approach or preparation before their sessions. I mean, this isn’t a cheap service so you would think they`d want to get the most out of it as possible, right?

Everyone knows smoking and exercising don’t go together right? But when someone is so addicted they just have to have that last smoke right before entering the gym, then you know they have a serious problem, and most likely won’t have the energy to last the full hour no matter how bad they claim to want results, it’s just not going to happen.

My client making poor choices

Steve was such a client, he had contacted me asking for help to bulk up a little, he was 6’5” and weighed in at 160lb, and in his own words he was like a walking toothpick! My first thought was from hearing those details of his height and weight this sounded like an accurate description without even seeing him. He was getting married in 6 months so wanted to put a little size on. He also told me he smoked like crazy and ate very little. As he worked in a local foundry, he was burning off way more calories than he was consuming.

So, all in all, we have our work cut out here I’m thinking if we`re going to get the results he wishes. The smoking, lack of food and the hard-physical job are not in his favor, so many changes needed here! But he seemed like a genuinely nice guy, and as I’m always up for a challenge I agreed to take him on, he signed up for 20 sessions and we arranged the first training session.

Smoking at the gym door, really?

I happened to be looking out of the gym window when Steve pulled up in his truck, he was early so sat there smoking for 10 minutes! Hardly ideal preparation I’m thinking. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he walked over to the entrance of the gym and stood by the door and finished smoking his cigarette!  Ok that’s a new one for me, never seen that before.

When he came in, we started off on the treadmill for a 5-minute warm up at a very steady pace, he was struggling big time! Stinking of cigarettes and pouring with sweat he was dead on his feet after the 5 minutes claiming he was so unfit he needed to sit down a few minutes. 10 minutes later he had recovered enough to start the training session.

It was a very slow paced first session as I tried to observe his strengths and weaknesses, plenty of weaknesses and no strengths at this stage it seemed! As he was so skinny, I told him he could get away with eating way more food, and really needed to especially with the job he’s doing. He needs the extra fuel just to get through the shift, let alone the training session and of course cut back on the smoking, as at present that’s the biggest problem as it`s cutting his appetite down considerably.

He tried his best with the weights but just didn’t have the energy or strength to succeed. We completed 8 sessions of the 20 he had paid for when he quit saying the training was way too hard on his body! He also claimed the training was making his body too sore to do his job properly. Every session he continued to show up smoking and smoking right up till he walked in the gym.

Fighting a losing battle

He thanked me for trying to help him, but he admitted it was his fault it wasn’t working and was never likely to work because he couldn’t give up his excessive smoking habit. As a gesture of goodwill, he said keep the money as he was sorry for wasting my time. I didn’t bother to remind him he had already signed stating he would lose the sessions if he didn’t use them, so I already knew that I was keeping the money! But I thanked him anyway. That was the last I saw of him, hopefully he managed to cut back on the smoking, but probably not I’m thinking.

Still to this day, I have never seen anyone stand at the gym doors smoking seconds before starting a training session! How could he seriously claim to expect results with this kind of preparation? Some people really haven’t a clue. Sadly, Steve was one of those, nice guy, but totally clueless!

Any trainers reading this that have similar experiences with clients showing a less than sensible approach to their training? Or have you been that type of client previously?

Author: Nigel Taylor

I`m Nigel Taylor – originally from England – owner of The Backyard Gym in Round Rock Texas. We specialize in personal training, kickboxing cardio and self-defense. With over 25 years experience as a personal trainer, I know what works! From weight loss to bulking up to toning up, I can help you get your desired look and achieve your fitness goals. I can also offer you the privacy of a 100% private personal training studio in which to enjoy and get the most out of your workouts.