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Pariah's Personal Trainers log


Purple Belt
Feb 2, 2005
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This thread will give you guys an idea of waht i'm doing. I'll log in specific work-outs of clients, problems, experiences etc...I'll maintain it as best i can. I won't log in every clients work-out I'll just highlight a couple/week.

I'm ACE certified. The reason i decided on ACE because i thought it wasn't too hard but is recognized in the industry. I took the CPR course at my local Red Cross and passed. The ACE test ,i bought the book and study aid, studied for a few nights and passed by 1 question. The whole thing probably cost about $400.

I bought insurance thru a company called Fitpak which ACE recommends. $179 for 1 million dollars worth of insurance for a year.

Today is Sunday. I used to work at the Nautilus place on the weekends just because thats the days they needed someone. Now that i'm making a living i don't work on the weekends anymore unless i feel like filling in at a McPersonal Training Gym. The place i fill in at pays me $17/hr and has a similiar 30 minute work-out business model that i do. The guy who owns the place is former partners with the nautilus guy although he is also a non-beliver in Arthur Jones.

The nautilus guy saw that i was getting popular and that i wasn't sticking to the ****** more and more and felt threatend by me ( i went from $10/hr to $12/hr working there p/t for a year.) His dilemma was clients loved me so he was afraid ot fire me. When i finally quit he said he'd sue me if i took any of his clients. Seeing how i have no money anyway, didn't sign any no compete clauses, and this is America where competition is king i ignored his threat and continue to this day to compete with him for clients. (i'm still friends with another trainer there that doesn't like the guy.) My best friend is a lawyer (although an unemployed one at the moment lol) and said i have nothing to worry about anyway.

So i currently work in 2 places;my morning gym which is personal trainers only where i pay $15/head. At night i work in a co-op that has a small spartan gym and pay about $5/head.(it vaires alittle since i offer a 30 minute work-out ($5/head rent) and believe it or not i offer a 10 minute work-out for $10($2.50/head rent). The co-op board had to approve of this whole little operation and as they make $ off it which goes to maintaining the gym they were definitly willing to do it. Almost noone used the gym until i got there and the # 1 reason is people say they don't know what they are doing.

The ACE book has forms that i photocopied and have the client fill out at the first work-out which is free and we just do some baby stuff so they get an idea of what i'm about. This is where i explain to them my style of training your posterior chain etc....If they check off any of the red flags on the forms i call their doctor. (I did this for 2 clients so far.) The doctors so far have just asked what i'm going to do and after i explained it both said go ahead.

I'll post a few sample work-outs as the week goes on that'll include how i prepare and the actual work-out.
Sweet, I'll definitely be following this, this is something that interests me.

830am: Maria, 46, 5'1 205lbs;

part 1: warm-up; Bridges and pelvic curls(reverse crunches) on a mat. 2 sets.

part 2: DB squats 15lbsx10 (Maria has surprisingly good squat form), step-upsx10 on a low bench no weight, side bends 20lbsx10(each side). I have her do the squats, then the step-ups, and then the side bends. Twice she stopped to rest. I'm always saying things like "take your time, catch your breath." I like to sound like a corner man encouraging them. I count every rep and stay with them the whole time. Once we finish this micro circuit i let her get some water and we do it again. i have them do 2 sets of everything.

Maria is one of my Nautilus converts. She had a chronic bad back and hadn't seen any results after doing nautilus for a year. (its your genetics my ex-boss would tell her) With me she's lost 7lbs but much more fat (she gained some muscle) as her clothes are now much looser and no back problems!

part 2: Cable kick backs 17.5lbs (which ain't bad). I snap the little strap to her foot and put an upright bench next to her so she can hold on to something while she does it. After we do 12 reps on 1 leg i switch legs. Row machine 55lbs. Incline tate press (older women like to work their triceps to fill in the sagging skin.) This micro circuit is also done twice.

part 3: Today i finished with planks. We go for 15 seconds and rest for ten. A few stretches. Done in 1/2 hr.

I made the work-out up in 5 minutes before i left my apartment on a 3x5 index card. I have tried keeping journals on clients but i never keep up. Some Mcpersonal training places have charts on clients. I don't record anything. I can pretty much remember how much weight they can do for what exercise and i found writing everything down is a distraction, doesn't fit my style. I'll keep the index card so i know what exercises not to do next time (cause variety is a big part of this).

I let Maria pay as she goes. I have to pay rent for her 6 sessions in advance. But i told her she can pay as she goes as long as she pays cash, another way i kind of break the mold as a trainer. She is my only client that does this and since i train her 3x a week usually (1total body on Mon, Thur lower body, Fr upper body) no matter how broke i get i'm always just a few days away from $35.

I trained a total of 8clients today.2 in the morning. 6 in the evening. I'd log more in but i have to run. I'll just keep doing random samples and see what comes up.
Good stuff Pariah!

I'll keep good track of this for ideas, both my Mum and Sister are over weight and I'd like to help them with programs, but what works for me won't exactly work for them.This will be a good source for me.
Thanks Pariah. Consider alot of us are interested.

Incline tate press (older women like to work their triceps to fill in the sagging skin.)

That made me lol, because when I worked as a trainer some years ago even girls younger than 20 came up with the idea to train their triceps exclusively for not getting "old women arms"....
Good stuff Pariah.
So tonight was a good night. I went from 5-10pm and squeezed in 10 clients in 5 hours. A couple of tips before i start...

-I wear magnum shoes made by wolverine. You wanna wear shoes with good arch supports cause you are on your feet the whole time especially when your my size. Squishy shoes won't cut it.

-I wear baggy chef pants. I have trouble finding sweatpants that are 3x wide but just xl long and if i do find them i have to have them hemmed. The chef pants XL fit me fine and have tapered roll-up cuffs. I get them at happychefuniforms.com. They look sharper than regular sweatpants and don't have any obvious brand labels (it kills me to advertise for Nike/Reebok/etc for some reason.) But man are these pants comfortable.

Even though i had 10 clients going in, i only had to prepare three work-outs cause about 7 of my clients were more or less on the same level. The work-outs took me 10 minutes to prepare and i wrote them out on 3x5 index cards as usual.

1)ED, mid 40s, 5'9,170lbs and 6 other clients work-out

a)warm-up: I took a hacky sack and threw it 3' to one side. He moved laterally w/o crossing his feet of course caught it throws it back. I throw it 3' to the other side. Clients love little drills like this lateral shuffle drill, its so easy almost anyone can do it, and it gets their heart rate up. They smile like children when doing a simple drill like this.

b)part1; 1)Bulgarian Split squats no weight (or king DLs), whatever you call them, one foot on the bench, one foot out in front, ass back ass forward. 12 reps ea leg. I have found that most of my clients can do this exercise and like it cause its a bit of a challenge for balance too. Just stand where you can catch em in case they start to fall. But it gets hte ass and hamstrings good even if they can't make the knee touch the ground. I have a 60yo that can even do this.
2)Crunch on a Vector cable machine. Cable crunch, make sure they think about curling their chest into their spine. Curling down not forward.
3)Immediately after overhead medicine ball throws. Have em throw it with their core by bringing over their head, feel the stretch, then crunching their whole torso into it as they throw it. Medicine ball probably weighed 5lbs. Repeat entire mini-circuit 1 time.

c)part 2
1)negative chins. I have him step on my clasped hands, get in the fully contracted position, and then let go and i start counting down and they release. You want them doing the negative in one slow continuous motion. You don't want them "catching" themselves as they get up there. Alittle momentum can be hard on some people in thhis position so let'em push off your hands until they get set.
2)DB bench...followed by
3)Basketball chest pass medicine ball.
Repeat entire mini-circuit 1 time.

d)part 3: cable curls/cable tricep arm extensions. 2 sets. Ed was a curl monkey before i got'em so i'll keep him happy. For my female clients i substitue sidebends, bent press, or cable wood chops unless like i said before, they are 40+ and have flaps for arms, then they want you to train their arms.

E)part 4; tabatta squats...no weight...only 3 20 second intervals with 10 second rests. Some can do as many as 18 in 20 seconds. Some people do 6.

A few stretches. Done in 30 minutes.

Lately i've been doing some medicine ball work myself, so thats what my clients do. Whenever i try something new myself i include it that week in my clients work-outs. This way, i'm always learning new things, i don't have to learn something new for my clients. Medicine ball drills get the heart rate up, get some explosive work in, and you can find them light enough to fit everyones level.

I had one client who has a chronic bad back and bad knees. It hurts him when he bends over or bends his knees. For legs we did weighted one-leg bridges ( just put a 20lbs DB across the leg thats pushing off the floor, other leg just lays across the leg thats working), standing leg curls, and wall sits. For ea exercise i asked him if he felt any pain. He said no. We did alittle upperbody everything worked out fine.

Every now and then a client gets injured or someone wants to train even though they injured their body doing something else. I have found that if you listen to what they are saying they won't blame you for their injury and we'll help guide you in training them. Just ask them, "does your back hurt doing this?" If they say even "alittle" i scrap it and move on to something else. I do my best to work around stuff and thats all you can do when someone has a pre-existing injury.

When going non-stop 10 clients in a row its important to keep conversation to a minimum. I have one lady who won't STFU, and at one point i said, "Ok Lisa, say whatever else it is you got to say,say it now (she was ranting about her job) ion the next 30 seconds then thats it. We train and focus." Clients will love you for this. Participate in their converstion for more than a few seconds and they'll like you as a person but won't hire back as a trainer.

Also i'm getting more comfortable asking people for $ when their membership expires. Alot of people forget. So i just remind them that their up and if they can bring the $ for next time thats fine.
This is a lot of fun to read and it's really interesting. Keep up the good work.
I'm really interested if you could give me some insight on how to get my mom working out. I have some ideas already.

Some stats:

Age: 50
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 220lbs
Has high blood pressure.

The only equipment i have is DB's, Barbell (got a 25lb training bar and teh 45), Flat Bench, Rack, Got the Leg Curl and Leg Extension attachments for the bench as well. I may look into purchasing resistance bands since they seem to be a useful training tool.

My inital thoughts are to get her doing a full body workout 3x a week.

Workout A:
Squats onto a chair - mainly cuase she lacks flexibility or strength to do anything that would resemble a full squat - something like 3 sets of 10 here
DB Overhead Press
DB Rows
Lying Leg Curl on the Bench
Side Bends

Workout B:
Squats onto the chair again
DB Bench
DB Rows (can't think of another alternative here, maybe shrugs or curls for this day, i want another pull)
DB Stepups
Standing Twists with a plate held.

I'm not sure how good of a starting plan it is, and you seem to have had great sucess with your one client who is very similar to my mother. I"d really be interested if you could share some insight in what you think is the best route to go here.

Thanks Pariah.