I am a recovering big box gym trainer. . .
As a new convert to the Crossfit methodology, I often cringe at some of my past workouts that I designed. (Too many isolation exercises) After reading some CF journal articles I wanted to slap myself in the forehead DUH!-- we covered the importance of all around functional fitness during all of my courses in college. Why didn't I think of that?
How easily we forget. Anyway, I've read the posts mocking the big box gyms and their trainers, and I'd like to speak up for them.
Not all gym trainers are clueless automatons just following a script. I worked hard for my degree, got an advanced ACSM cert, and try to increase my knowledge of fitness at every chance I get. Many of my fellow big box gym trainers have done the same. Since I have a background in rehab, most of my clients had special needs or were severely deconditioned, so I had no choice but to focus on functional fitness with them. I admit that there were some trainers that I worked with that seemed to have very little knowledge beyond what their HS football coach taught them, but in my gym that was not the norm. Just because someone is not using the same methods as you does not mean that they are an idiot.
There were a few members of the gym that would do crossfit workouts, but I never talked with any of them. I made it my policy not to bother people when they were really focused on their workout. (Even though my boss wanted me to walk around and chat up the members and give them fitness tips.) I did get ticked off when a group of football players from the local high school would load up a bar and drop it from the rack position. (Our gym did not have bumper plates or lifting platforms, so they were damaging the equipment) Be kind to my equipment and I won't chew you out!
I respect anyone who's genuinely out there trying get fit. I don't care what mode of exercise you use as long as it gets you moving. That being said there are a lot of "experts" out there that are teaching dangerous techniques. Like the father I saw teaching his 15 yr old son power cleans using a lot of weight and very bad form. (I offered to help them with their technique, but was told that they were preparing for football and didn't need help from a female trainer)
Before anyone rants on my being too supportive of big box gyms, I would like to say that I don't plan to work for one again. I got into this field to help people improve their lives, not to sell them something. Monthly quotas for supplement sales and training packages left me mentally exhausted and feeling a little dirty. Trainers were rewarded with raises and promotions for sales and the amount of sessions you could squeeze in per month. It didn't matter if your clients were progressing or not, just get them to keep buying stuff. There were so many people that paid for memberships and training packages that had never set foot in the gym that I would get a headache calling them to come in. I'm so glad that I found Crossfit, because now everything is so much simpler.
I know this was a long rant, but I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading it.