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Old 11-29-2007, 03:31 PM   #1
Eva Bigongiari
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Confessions of a big box gym trainer

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.
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Old 11-29-2007, 04:03 PM   #2
David Aguasca
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

welcome, eva! glad that you're joining the CF community...it's definitely a great place to learn.
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Old 11-29-2007, 05:30 PM   #3
Quinn Walkley
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

What gym did you work at in Austin?
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Old 11-30-2007, 10:47 AM   #4
Eva Bigongiari
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

I worked for 24 Hour Fitness Round Rock
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Old 11-30-2007, 04:06 PM   #5
Sean Dunston
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

Eva-
If it were not for my big box trainer (and meeting him at the right time) I would have never found CrossFit when I did.
About 2 months into my training with him, he left the Globo and opened our Affiliate.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
No looking back now!

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Old 11-30-2007, 05:47 PM   #6
Dave Re
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

There's a great CF community going on down at CrossFit Central off Burnet, FWIW... I cruise down there from P'ville 3x week for the 6:15pm class. You might think about converting to be a CF trainer
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Old 12-02-2007, 08:40 AM   #7
Eva Bigongiari
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

I'm a full time stay at home mom now. I won't be training anyone for a long time. In a few years when my daughter starts preschool, maybe I'll start training again part time. For now I need to focus on getting back into shape myself before I try to help anyone else.
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Old 12-02-2007, 10:42 AM   #8
Lisbeth Darsh
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

Eva, I hear ya. Sometimes in our rush to promote what we love, we often forget to be kind to other people. You've made a valid point and I appreciate you taking the time to explain it.

Enjoy your baby . . . and your freedom.
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Old 12-03-2007, 01:00 PM   #9
Daniel Fannin
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

As I always say to newer folks:

Welcome to the party!



Nice post. Very thought provoking, to include some of the other comments.
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Old 12-03-2007, 02:34 PM   #10
Nick Cruz
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Re: Confessions of a big box gym trainer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eva Bigongiari View Post
.....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.......
Didnt Coach Glassman say something exactly along these line when he realized that the big boxes he was getting involved with had a different agenda than helping people get fit?

It sounds like you are right on course! Welcome to the community, its great to have so many trainers that are truly concerned with their clients health and well-being.
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