Why I hate Personal Trainers Part Duece: Trainer Profiles, the Pros and Cons

If you missed part one of this series you should start here

Who we are

Any trainer you meet has a target and a type of people that they train. Wait, let me fix that, any Good trainer you meet has a target and type of people that they train.

You’ve got my buddy Scott Colby, he gets people to get their first six pack

There’s Eric Cressey who works with baseball athletes.

Alwyn Cosgrove is your Fat Loss expert.

And the list goes on and on.

The things is at most gyms, which is where I’m guessing you’re going to find your trainer, you’re not sure who they’re targeting or what their specialty might be.

For your sake I am going to break down some of the typical trainer types and outline their pros and cons over the next few posts.

The Big Boy

He's a trainer?
Meet bubba, your new trainer

Characterized by their obvious lack of physical prowess and nutritional knowledge, the big boy is usually of southern desent and a smooth talker. Very rarely have I ever encountered a big boy who did not have a story of past glory days be it power lifting strong man or body building, despite how much I the stain on their weathered polo shirt screams “used car sales man.


  • A real self esteem booster, if you have a better body than your trainer going into it you’re sure to progress pretty quickly
  • A depth in knowledge of the best menu choices at TGI Friday’s. Ranch fried mini burgers are a favorite.
  • Usually has a good understanding of strength lifts and how to increase your 1 rep maximum
  • You will never, ever have to worry about getting stuck under a lift
  • You’ll never have to worry about him winning your lady from you


  • Tends to get sleepy half way through your session
  • Stairs are difficult
  • You will get no real nutritional knowledge from a guy like this
  • Ab training?

Who should train with him:

Someone who is SERIOUS about getting strong without ANY regard to health and wellness. Seriously, this guy will make your big lifts bigger and you will never, ever, ever have to eat a salad on his diet plan…ever.

The Yeller

Be afraid...

Be afraid...

Now The Yeller has grown in popularity in the past few years with the rise of the bootcamp craze. A lot of trainers head “Bootcamp” and thought that meant that they had to become a pretentious prick, put on camo, and scream. In rare cases you’ll find an actual drill sergeant, and in that case they get to do whatever the hell they want. Yellers also come without camo, usually that’s extra.


  • You feel like you’re getting ready to go to war
  • Motivation? Yeah you’ve got it
  • You will push yourself much harder, if only so it’s to avoid more yelling.
  • Usually they are cheaper because they tend to work with groups
  • You get to work outside; gyms don’t take kindly to that kind of volume
  • You get pushed to your limit


  • You feel like you’re getting ready to go to war
  • You get yelled at, always
  • When you do good, your reward is getting yelled at
  • Your limit gets pushed, too often to the point of injury.
  • Workouts can get stale

Who should train with him:

People who can take it! You are going to push your body HARD, your limits are going to be pushed. If you aren’t there mentally or physically you need to make sure you are serious about working with this guy. Don’t get me wrong, bootcamps rock, but know where your body can go and don’t let Mr. pushy hurt you.

Mr. Machine

one, two, three

one, two, three

The great, the famous Mr. Machine!! I am sure you’ve seen this one before, they camp out on the machines typically with a clip board (personally I think the sign of a bad trainer, go figure), and they count. Often a younger person, 18-25, and not very comfortable with their training.


  • You know what you are getting, 8-12 reps 3 times
  • Minimal chance of injury during your workout
  • You’ll have a nice time resting between sets
  • There will be a record of your workouts


  • Minimal chance of results
  • Close to 100% chance of getting bored out of your mind
  • No functional carry over
  • A lot of sheer forces on your joints = increase chance of injury after your workout

Who should train with him:

Not you.

The end

There are more I’ll outline on Friday, the ones who you’re most likely to workout with.


  • Erika

    Can’t say I’ve ever paused to consider a big boy, but I find sometimes I need a yeller; because I let myself crap out toward the end of a rep.

    But I’m definately not showing any one my war face son!

  • Pingback: Ep 72: Take A Look At Your Trainer | True Fitness Academy()

  • bad trainer

    a clip board is a sign of a bad trainer. i use a clip board. on the other hand i think your knowledge of physiology and psychology might also have something to do with it. i think the clip board is more for planning. i think a trainer who plasters photos of themself on everything, likes publishing their own name and is just generally fond of the idea of them self and spending lots of time detailing why everyone else is a bad trainer, rather than letting their results ‘actually being a trainer’ generate their success, is probably more likely to be incompetent than someone who uses a clip board. just a wild theory. i doubt you’ll publish this one (it’s for you personally). i just thought i’d take a few minutes out of my day to let someone like yourself (thankfully a minority) know that outside the feeble little internet bubble you created to hide from the real world, real people aren’t going to buy it. which is why this is all you’ll ever be. you are a tosser my friend

  • Pingback: Do You Think I’m A “Tosser”? –()

  • http://www.funcfitness.com.au Dave Nixon

    As a fellow health coach, i salute this whole post. Kudos.

    you did forget the poser though. my most hated