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Need advice whether to cut ties with my longtime personal trainer


Master Don Juan
Nov 8, 2010
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Wilmington, DE
Repost from the Advice subreddit, but I thought I'd ask here as well:

Context: I started seeing a personal trainer several years ago because while I was already in very good shape I needed to get into SPECIFICALLY good shape to pursue a modeling/acting career. He helped me get my diet dialed in and while the workout structure is nice, that's something I needed much less guidance on. I am no longer in the modeling/acting industry but I keep up with the diets, exercise, and visits to my trainer to maintain and look good.

I had been seeing this trainer for several years but a little over a year ago I would only see him once a month, where I'd pay $29 for about 10 minutes of his time to weigh me on a special scale, evaluate my bodyfat and muscle mass, and make any small adjustments to my diet and exercise if they were deemed necessary (would almost never happen).

Yesterday I saw him for this weigh-in, as usual. We're changing the diet and workout routine to help me tighten up and drop some weight so that when beach season rolls around I can be less restrictive and put the muscle back on. Anyway, we make a date for next month's appointment like usual and I leave.

He texts me this morning essentially changing his mind and saying that he would like me to see him once a week for the next 3 months at that $29/visit rate. So $348 over the next 3 months, or roughly $180/hour for the time I actually spend with him.

He tells me most of his members pay $350 for the gym membership along with the $29/week for 12 weeks in advance, and believes that he cannot "work for free" as he put it when paying clients demand more of his time. I asked him why, considering I don't use the gym and was unaware there were any issues with our current arrangement.

His response was that these are his fees, as mentioned in the earlier text, and wished me a good night.

I feel like this response is a bit curt, and felt a bit more explanation was warranted since the reason I see him once a month instead of once a week is that he doesn't have to worry about me being irresponsible and veering off the plan.

Anyway, this is getting too wordy so...

TL;DR my longtime trainer changed his mind overnight and decided to change our $29/month arrangement to $29/week for the next 3 months and I'm having a hard time justifying it considering he seemed unwilling to give a good reason why.

Also I have a ****ty part-time job where I only make about $800 every 2 weeks and have a little under $3,000 in my checking account, so money is a legitimate concern.
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Master Don Juan
Dec 30, 2022
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You really don't need a personal trainer. Start going to the gym, and asking people for help or questions and you'll meet ton of people who are willing to help you out for free and give you advice on excercise and diet. Not to mention, theres tons of info all over the net.. for free.

If you have a personal trainer, and it doesn't feel like they're your personal trainer, can them.


Master Don Juan
Nov 6, 2022
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Joe Moma's
Why do you need the trainer?

If you've been at it for several years it doesn't seem necessary? If I got stuck on a lift or need feedback on form I'll just ask an experienced guy at the gym, most big dudes like when people ask em for advice anyways. I've seen a trainer a handful of occasions with a specific question in mind in relation to a few lifts and that's it... you shouldn't need a trainer for any of things you mentioned and if you're not making much buck why waste the money? I built up a dumpy garage gym for a couple hundo and have never had an itch to step foot in a gym since.

If this dude is yanking you around **** him, never would I screw over a longtime client of mine. Shid practice imo


Master Don Juan
Oct 27, 2017
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This guy sounds like a generic personal trainer which are for beginners and people who are out of shape. It sounds like you're ready to move on. Look up a former bodybuilder to train you if you're looking for next level type stuff. My friend who bodybuilds is being trained by a guy named Armon Adibi and man my friend looks awesome now.


Master Don Juan
Jan 10, 2014
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Personal training is a fugazi economy

The training techniques once learned are not required again , similar with dieting / nutrition all of this information is available for free online

You are basically paying him a premium to tell you everything's going to be ok

the market is saturated for good reason its easy money for nothing !

I have a former friend who is a self proclaimed personal trainer and recons he is going to build an online coaching empire

All he does all day is post pictures of himself on instagram , his look is that of a body builder who trains 7 days a week and takes steroids

this is not something that is physically possible for 95% of modern men without years of training, conditioning and steroid use

Fortunately he hasn't managed to sting one "client" yet

Seriously though ditch him you will be fine on you own at this stage.


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Sep 10, 2014
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If you've been at it this long and you aren't where you want to be you either have a crappy trainer, don't do the actual work or half-ass it, or don't eat properly. Only you can be honest with yourself and answer those questions.


Master Don Juan
Dec 29, 2017
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My man what are you doing ? Save your money... do this sh!t yourself. I know plenty of personal trainers and most are scam artists.... they will take on old chicks, fat kids and people that think that fitness is some insane esoteric art.

Find your basal metabolic rate... buy a bunch of lean ground beef, turkey, chicken, rice, some fish, veggies, eggs, rice and oats... you want to gain muscle.. keep yourself at 500 calories above your metabolic rate...... if in two weeks your not up a pound.. go to 600... and so on. You want to lose fat.. cut 300 calories from that and so on.


Master Don Juan
May 3, 2013
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The issue is, the world disagrees on nearly everything. A trainer can at least provide a way of doing things and hold you accountable. The issue is the price. A lot her charge £50 an hour. One guy who was popular it was a minimum £450 a month.

The only time I might use one is if I wanted to do roids and wanted someone to get them, and tell me how to do it. I wouldn’t want to DIY.

a lot of industries, like my own, investment, are not rocket science. Anyone can learn the principles. Where value is provided is mainly in 3 places:

- Filtering our bad advice. If you Google “investing advice” I guarantee you 90% is terrible advice. A lot will be mostly true with some gaps. Sometimes we have to save people from themselves. Their own psychology to chase returns, and not understand risk.

- Saving time. Sure, I CAN plumb a house if I spent 3 weeks learning and practicing. I’d rather just pay the £ to someone who can do it in a week.

- Big one. Knowing what to do when it goes wrong. You can’t buy experience.

About 1/3rd of my work is DIY investors who’ve f d up, thought they could do it themselves online and then got to points when they’ve realised they don’t know what a discount to NAV is, or they don’t know how although they made what seemed a good fundamental investment, they don’t understand how interest rates affect it, or how the market views it….

extrapolating this to the gym, we have Keto, paleo, med diets. We have rep ranges. Cardio. Which is right? It depends.

I think gym work essentially it’s discipline which is the key factor so it’s not so clear cut and most people just need discipline and consistency, but someone who is really skilled will generally beat DIY. However, it’s the cost. And that’s down to how wealthy you are and how much value you place on it, and your own time.

i could earn more in the time it takes to learn a new skill than the cost of paying someone with that skill. Often it’s a false economy.


Master Don Juan
Oct 14, 2005
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Auckland, New Zealand
The only people that actually “Need” a personal trainer are athletes that “Need” to perform at a certain level to make sure they having the competitive edge.

The rest just need to go to gym and not eat so much crap and do some cardio and give it time and boom you’ve got 8 pack abs. (Okay yea I’ve over simplified but you get the idea).

It’s a long time under moderate pressure that gives you life long results. Not massive pressure under a short amount of time, this just makes you yo-yo with fear mongering PTs.