Kill the Personal Trainers!
God may forgive you for being a personal trainer, but I sure won't. Not by a long shot.
I've had my problems with your ilk for a long time, but after watching the Wednesday night debut of Bravo's new reality show, Work Out, I sorely want to become to personal trainers what Van Helsing is to vampires.
That's right, I want to spend my days traveling the world and systematically driving stakes into each of your cardio-trained hearts and, just for the irony of it, I'll stand one-legged on a wobble board while I slam the mallet down.
You see, the schlubs on Work Out represent everything annoying and disturbing and nauseating I've ever felt about the run-of-the-mill personal trainer.
Work Out is based on the day-to-day operations and supposed drama of Sky Sport and Spa, a Beverly Hills fitness center owned by Jackie Warner, a trim, blonde businesswoman who is, God help us, a "boot camp specialist."
For the uninitiated, that means she dresses in mock fatigues and screams at people to do more push-ups. You don't just give jobs like that to chimps, you know.
Boot camp specialist and big-time fan of Vidal Sassoon styling mousse, Jackie Warner.
Each show focuses on the interactions of the various denizens of the.... oh alright, gym, although it pains me to call this chrome palace a gym. Some of the members wear leg warmers, and I'm talking about the malemembers.
There isn't a real squat rack or bench press in sight, and there doesn't appear to be a pair of dumbbells that exceeds 50 pounds, probably because it was too hard for these soy suckers to lug the things up to the top of the office building where Sky Sport and Spa is located.
Seemingly no one does full range-of-motion reps at Sky Sport and Spa and the trainers think the definition of a good workout is merely making their B-list Hollywood celebrity clients sweat a bit on their upper lip.
Jackie is a seemingly tough, demanding boss whose mantra appears to be, "To have the best gym, I've got to have the best trainers." Well, she's failed miserably at the latter. Her trainers are 99% inspiration and 1% perspiration. They're all, God help us, "motivational experts."
Rebecca is the cute, irrepressible, flirty trainer whose physical appeal is quickly nullified by her annoying personality. That's right, I wouldn't fuck her with your dick. No way. Instead, I'd pick your dick up with a pair of tongs, jam it down her throat, and try to suffocate the life out of the bitch.
Brian is the good ol' Southern boy who became a personal trainer to meet girls and, let's face it, because he probably isn't qualified to do anything else. He brags that he could "sculpt a masterpiece out of anything." He says things like, "Make itburn," which I swear is something I haven't heard anyone say since bodybuilder Troy Zuccolotto said it on an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D. back in 1990.
But Brian and Jackie don't mesh. She keeps correcting his form in front of his clients and Brian is understandably annoyed. Their rocky relationship provides most of the conflict that's the lifeblood of every reality show.
Ooooo....will Brian get fired this week?
Brian, sculptor of masterpieces and, as indicated by his upright thumbs, a professional motivator.
The rest of the trainers, gym members, and assorted personalities are the usual collection of Southern California soufflé cooking, frappuccino drinking, poached-egg sucking poodle dogs and aren't worth mentioning, with the possible exception of Mimi, Jackie's bitchy blond Brazilian lover.
Whenever Mimi is angry or bored, which is most of the time, she bites Jackie on the arm or shoulder...hard. What the heck is that all about? None of my vast collection of lesbian porn DVDs show women biting each other, either on their arms or any of the good parts. I swear, watching Jackie and Mimi has just about killed the sexual allure of lesbians.
Brian longs for the day when he can pleasure his date on a real bed.
After watching this show, I wanted to stop watching TV. After watching this show, I wanted to stop working out. After watching this show, I wanted to stop living.
And to think, there are tens of thousands of trainers just like Jackie, Brian, Rebecca and the rest of them all over the world.
And before you get ready to fire off an I'm - a - personal - trainer - and - how - dare - you - disparage - me - and - my - noble - profession email, let me confess that I used to be a personal trainer way back when, and I sucked.
I didn't have a certification (it wasn't even required) and I didn't know the difference between adduction and abduction. I wasn't even that good at motivating people.
Later, as I continued to read and learn, I discovered just how sucky I was.
But that's where I was different. Most personal trainers today, once they get their joke of a certificate from some lame organization, don't read anything outside Muscle and Fitness. They remain lame brains. They remain sucky!
They don't chart their clients' progress. The workouts are entirely arbitrary. They spend most of the time working their clients' freaking core when their clients would be better off learning how to squat.
Why would a housewife need to spend a half hour working her biceps and triceps when she's an amorphous blob?
Why would a 6'5 inch, 160-pound stunning example of an ectomorphic physique need to do curls while standing one-legged on a Bosu Ball?
And where did you guys learn to do 1/4 rep or 1/2 rep dips or bench pre...excuse me, "chest presses"? That's gotta' be from some dogshit ACE certification propaganda.
More importantly, who taught you to just make up totally arbitrary programs on the fly?
And stop obsessing on the core! You know who needs core training every single day? Quadruple amputees! They need strong cores so they can worm their way from the bed to the couch!
Worst of all, 99% of modern personal trainers don't give their clients any bang for their many bucks. Anyone can make a person sweat.
"Hey, pull down your pants, sit on the carpet, and using your hands, drag your butt across the carpet from one side of the gym to the other like a dog with a rash on his itchy butt."
See? Perspiration! I'm one helluva' fine personal trainer!
Come to think of it, I'd better be careful about posting something like that or it's liable to be a Crossfit program tomorrow. Sure. Probably name it Princess, or Truffles.
Anyhow, as the years passed, I began to regard the term "personal trainer" with such disdain that I felt compelled to start calling the experts who wrote for me at Muscle Media 2000 and now at Testosteronesomething different so no one would confuse them with personal trainers. I started to call them "strength coaches" so they wouldn't be tainted.
Amazingly, or more accurately, amusingly, I've heard mutterings that the "real" strength coaches that work for universities or professional teams are smelling their piss because you're only a strength coach if it's written on athletic tape with magic marker and stuck on your locker door.
Yeah? Well I've seen some of the program you "legitimate" strength coaches write. Some of you are ten freakin' years behind the times. You've got no right acting superior to anyone, with the possible exception of the personal trainers working at Bally's...or the cast members of Bravo's Work Out.
But back to personal trainers. I realize that there are a lot of good ones and that, much like any profession, it has its dunderheads. Still, it seems that there are far more rotten personal trainers than good ones, and unlike doctors or hair dressers or chefs, it's a lot harder for the average person to know that the person he's hired is criminally inept.
Have some respect for the profession. Get your bullshit certification and use it to get a job. Afterwards, throw the certification away and forget most of the stuff you learned. Read. Study. Ask questions. Become legitimate. And don't watch Work Out.
Entirely gratuitous photo by Mike Neveux
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