Hostile Gym Environment

I’ve been going to LA fitness since August. At first I was intimidated in the free weights section but have slowly gained my footing. Everyone has always been very friendly and even helpful if needed. Recently, I moved from Seattle to Lynnwood and so I switched to an LA fitness facility in Lynnwood. I’ve been going for a few weeks now and everything had been great so far. It seems to be less crowded and has more equipment. It typically is pretty clean and has most equipment in working order.  On top of that, the fellow gym-goers are always friendly and give a wave. I had been loving it until last night…

I was just about done with my SL Ice Cream 5 x 5 lifting program when I was approached by the manager of the personal trainers. He asked if I wanted to up my workouts and really make a difference in my build. I was curious as to what he wanted to show me and so I followed him to the personal training area. He put me through some high-intensity interval training and told me that my heavy lifting was all wrong. He told me that I wasn’t going to achieve my goals by lifting weights and then I need to focus smaller. He said that I should be doing an hour of cardio a day instead. As he was pushing me with jumps and toe touches, he said in a condescending tone “are you getting dizzy?!” No, I was not. I run several miles 3X a week. He said that most people come to the gym and just throw around weights with no plan. He said that they go through the motions but don’t really want to feel the pain, as if that was me. I was hurt and confused and more down on myself than I had ever felt going to the gym. It was a good little workout with him but I knew I wasn’t going to sign up for personal training.

I had about 10 minutes until the Zumba class I was going to take was starting and so I told him I was about done. He told me we weren’t done yet and we needed to talk now instead of going to the Zumba class. He said I’d done enough for today and he wanted me to come over to his desk. He then proceeded to tell me that if I continued as I am that I would face serious health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and other issues related to weight. It was as if he was trying to scare me into taking the personal training. He knows nothing about me. I recently had a physical and found out I’m not even close to being prediabetic and my blood pressure and cholesterol are just fine. I’ve been eating pretty clean since I started at the gym.  Although I’m not where I want to be physically, I’m in overall good shape. I’m guessing I was targeted because of my still-overweight physique. The entire time he was acting like it was a sure thing for him and continued to put me down to make sure I felt bad enough about myself to sign up.

By the time I left I was so mad that I was shaking. I didn’t know what happened and even thought about quitting the gym to find something better. He wanted me to sign up for a $300 dollar package of training sessions and got angry when I told him I couldn’t afford it and wasn’t interested. He wouldn’t let me leave and continued to pressure me into buying one of the expensive packages. I’m now concerned about next time I go to the gym. It was something I truly enjoyed and looked forward to every day but now I just don’t know anymore. This just doesn’t seem like a good fit and I might consider taking my business elsewhere.

I know I have a long way to go, but so far I’ve lost about 35 pounds and I’ve gone from 212 pounds to 175. I’m proud of my accomplishments even if I haven’t lost weight as fast as I’d sometimes like. I know it’s something I can sustain and I actually enjoy the process.

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