12Jul, 2009

Toronto Personal Trainer Says, “Death to 90% of All Personal Trainers…well ok..maybe not death but at least bad karma…”

So I just came from a WICKED workout. Like this was literally a workout for the the history books. I’m training really hard to get my abs ready for my Vegas Trip in August for a bachelorette. You see I’m a bridesman at my best girlfriends wedding and….okay…long story that I won’t get into right now.

Here is my BRUTAL workout:


1. Barbell Complex – Deadlift to Clean Snatch to Reverse Lunge to Push Press 4 Sets X 8 Reps

2. Circuits of – One Leg Hip Extensions to Dumbbell Military Presses to Dumbbell Squats to Lat Pullups 4 Sets X 6 Reps

3. Stability ball Crunches 2 sets X 10 reps

4. Tabata Front Squats X 8 Rounds

And I still had more energy at the end to finish off my workout with an Abs routine. Yeah I know…I’m a sick you know what.

Annnnyyyyyways….as I was “playing” in my gym in Toronto and I noticed a few things that made my JAW DROP OPEN. In my head I’m thinking, “What the BLEEP are these people thinking?” The messed up part about it was….They were PERSONAL TRAINERS.

Not exactly my idea of good personal training

It kinda reminded me of a conversation I had with my main man Tim at Advantage Fitness. And it goes a little something like this…

Tim and I were having a great conversation as usual when we came across another personal trainer who owns his own studio.

We came to talking (I’m a very sociable dude and I he is too) and we come the topic of Toronto fitness events. I asked him who his favourite fitness experts are. If you have been reading my posts you know that I’m a huge fan of Alwyn Cosgrove, Mark Vergstegen, Craig Ballantyne, BJ Gaddour and countless others.

Really…..I’m like a huge geek who gets really shy when I’m around these guys. I kinda want to ask them for autographs but I slap myself 10 times before letting myself be a total loooser….okay back to the story…

So what was his response?

“I don’t bother reading other peoples stuff. I do my own thing. I’ve been in the fitness industry for 15 years blah blah blah and I know what works and what doesn’t blah blah blah.”

“I don’t believe in investing in my own education because it is all a bunch of nonsense and I’m a PERSONAL TRAINING DINOUSAUR who relies on his own personality to keep my clients who I’ve been training for 15 years blah blah blah”

Okay now I’m paraphrasing but you get the point. Seriously he was talking so much nonsense I had to tune him out.

Here is the GOOD PART. He then went on a rant on how fitness experts are only out there to get money and they are all SELLOUTS…….


In the back of my mind I was like “WTF? Is this guy effing serious?” All of my knowledge and results with clients has been done on the backs of all those “SELLOUT fitness experts”. How else would you find out the best ways to burn fat off of your body????

I was flabbergasted!

I even asked him if he knew who Alwyn Cosgrove is and he had no idea. Crazy! I mean Alwyn Cosgrove is like the Lance Armstrong of Personal training. And this dude owns a fitness studio? I shudder to think of what he does to his clients.

I could go on and on but it just leads me to this conclusion every single time…..

The problem is 90% of all personal trainers are exactly like this dude.

It literally sickens me to the stomach when I see trainers put their clients through programs that make no effing sense.

At my own gym I see the most ridiculous shit happening that I just want to go up to the trainers and shake them until their certifications fall out of their own ass.

I see one trainer making an overweight man dragging two barbells across the gym floor.

I see another trainer using nothing but MACHINES with every one of his clients. What is this? TERMINATOR?

Hi my Name is Arnold and you are NOT allowed to see results

Hi my Name is Arnold and you are NOT allowed to see results

I see another trainer making his clients do 1 hour of USELESS CARDIO after their sessions. The messed up thing is 90% of the trainers in Toronto prescribe this method to lose fat…Has anyone heard of Interval training??

I see all trainers trying to put their clients through concocted exercises that are really cool looking but totally ineffective like:

  • Doing things on a bosu ball for fat loss…..shudddddddder
  • Doing anything on the Smith Machine other than hanging their towel on it.
  • Making clients jump on a bench and then pressing up two dumbbells with one leg in the air…wtf?? I’m serious…
  • And much much more stupid exercises….

And don’t get me started on their nutritional advice!

Honestly, do any of these trainers know what they are doing or did they just get their certification out of a cracker jack box? My workouts programs are so different from theirs that I sometimes think that I’m the one TAKING CRAZY PILLS!

This is not to say that all trainers are horrible. I truly believe that out of all the trainers that have a job in a gym or freelancing, THERE ARE ONLY 10% of people that know what they are doing. You just gotta find the right one.

Here are a couple tips to finding the right personal trainer in Toronto:

Watch the way they train their client. If they are not constantly modifying form and spotting then you have someone who is just getting by on looks, personality or BOTH.

They gotta have testimonials from previous clients who have seen results with them. It’s the only way to know if you have a winner.

– If they take steroids….NEXT! Cheaters don’t win.

– They don’t need a kin degree but that would help. They MUST be certified.

– They gotta guarantee results.

They gotta read up on their area of expertise at least one hour a day. Ask them who they study.  If they don’t read up on any experts and rely on their own expertise but themselves……NEXT!

They gotta be totally focused on their clients and putting everything into them. If not they are probably punching the clock and waiting for a pay cheque.

– They should NEVER be on their cell phones or drinking coffee while a client is working out. NEVER.

They have to look the part to act it. I mean who wants to get trained by someone who looks more out of shape then them? There has got to be continuity in the advice they give to clients.

Choosing a trainer can be a hard thing to do so choose wisely. Or you could just choose a program that ACTUALLY WORKS and has a GUARANTEE behind it.

I’m a HYUUUGE believer in finding a coach to help you in areas that you are lacking or you feel that you are weak in. If you want legal advice you go to a lawyer. If you want medical advice you go to a doctor. I invest BIG MONEY each month into my business coach and mastermind groups.

But the difference between those professions and the personal training profession in Toronto is that to be a doctor or lawyer you have to go through a LOOOONG process to get your degree’s, phd’s etc..

Personal training only takes a weekend and you are certified.

That’s why you gotta do your research before deciding to invest in any personal trainer.  Be thorough and ask questions.  Pretend like you are buying a house because you are making the biggest investment in the world…..YOURSELF.

I hope this helped you out. Please comment below and let me know what you think. Get involved because getting involved will actually help you towards achieving your goals!

Hope to hear from you 🙂

Take care,

Dan Go

Go Girl Boot Camps

Posted by Dan Go | in Markham Boot Camp | 24 Comments

Comments on “Toronto Personal Trainer Says, “Death to 90% of All Personal Trainers…well ok..maybe not death but at least bad karma…”” (24)

  1. Nice pal…I love it!

    Loved the BOSU ball comment too…I have an article in the latest Inside Fitness Magazine about that exact point.

    And here in Edmonton is no different…I haven’t talked to a personal trainer yet who knows who Alwyn Cosgrove is…pathetic.

    Take care bud,

    Dan Grant

  2. Jeffrey Macutay

    i laughed really hard when i read this…well cuz its oh so very true…my roommate is one of those “one hour of useless cardio after their session” trainers…he was pretty upset by that comment…but oh well…i hope I fit into that 10% catagory…and if not…i hope i soon will be =)…wikid blog dude!

  3. Brother I agree 100% with you. Most PT’s are getting certified left right and center and at least 99% of them blow big time. The problem is that these Personal Trainers aren’t planning to stay in the game long term. They are basically just looking to make a quick buck until they decide what their next J-O-B is going to be.

    Unfortunately even the ones that are in it for the long term don’t seem to be informed enough about other means of weight loss. They keep reverting to the old-school boring ass workouts which in most cases are not getting people the results they are looking for.

    And that is why your Boot camps are BAD ASS, because they work and they get people RESULTS. Keep up the good work.

    Peace out brother…
    Dean Boukaras

    PS. Who ever is considering losing extreme weight, than Dan is the guy you need to be listening too.

  4. Diane

    When you look at fitness competitors, they achieve their fat loss and physique mainly through diet and weight training. They do some cardio, but they focus on supersets and other weight training strategies that involve interval training. Contrary to popular opinion, they don’t spend hours in the gym. I agree that we should be following in their footsteps. Our routines and diet do not need to be as highly regimented and strict as theirs, but there must be some truth to their strategies because they work!

    I have been a fitness instructor and personal trainer for over 20 years. When you go to a gym, all the women want cardio – in any shape or form of class that they can get; step, hi/lo, salsa etc. When it comes to muscle conditioning classes, all the women run for the 2lb to 5lb weights. Rarely do you see them jump for the 8lb or 10lb. Heavens forbid! Heavier weights would mean they would have to work harder! I always challenged them to try a heavier weight. Afterall, their purses weigh more than the weights they’ve chosen for the class.

    If you ask these participants what their goals are, they say to lose 10lb or 20lb. It is always to lose weight. It is never to get healthy, build muscle mass and make their bones stronger. They fail to realize that muscle takes up less volume than fat, even though it weighs more. Dan, you are right. After a year, they look exactly the same and they still have the same goals.

    There is nothing wrong with cardio. I love spinning. It is fun. It should complement your interval training and give you a break on those days off while your muscles heal. And the bosu is great for developing balance. Do some squats on a bosu ball and you’ve increased the intensity. The key is to know how to use the equipment and turn exercises into full body workouts to get the biggest bang for the buck.

    Keep up the good work Dan. I love your blogs. Don’t be afraid to hold back.

  5. Love it

    That is great info..I totally agree with this post…
    I am all about functional training using different training tools such as interval training,plyo work…I don’t use machines with any client of mine..

    Great info!!

  6. Sandy

    I totally agree.

    I live in Windsor and belong to Goodlife fitness. There’s several PT’s there and I see them “talking”, “socializing” with their clients AND they’re overweight and don’t seem to care. Never would I hire them to train me!

    give me free weights, give me a brutal workout on my dime and give me results.

    too bad I don’t live up near you, Dan.

  7. Hey Bro,

    Awesome post man, im glad you said what you did because it is so far passed the truth it is rediculous…. You think that 90% of trainers dont cut it, well i would up you on that one and say 99% of trainers are Bullsh$%t.
    I have managed hundreds and hundreds of trainers around the world and I can honestly say that 1 out of every 100 are decent, and you know what the best thing is? You are one of the good ones Dan…

    Im going to tell your readers something that I ould probably get busted for but I previously was a manager at Goodlife and I had an argument with one of the directing managers on education. I believe knowledge is power in our industry and that you must, absolutely must know what you are doing when you are dealing with people bodies. Now why did I have this argument with one of the directing managers? because I believed we must push education and continue to in this country to elevate the level of trainers and the answer I got was that if spend more time on education then that is less time on sales….

    Cop that.. sales is more important than education.. AND we wonder why our industry doesnt get respect, is because of companies like that…

    Corperations wont give you trial periods, they wont give you 30 day money back guarantees.. they get you in sign you up for 12months then dont care about you until you try and cancel a year later..

    Dan your the man out there buddy, and if your reading this and havent signed up for his bootcamp yet then do it now..

    Travis Jones
    905 599 8413

  8. Dan: Dude you would think that more trainers down in Toronto would know Alwyn but disgustingly hardly anyone does! Keep workin it down in Edmonton !

    Jeff: Hey man I truly believe that because you are reading this blog and getting more knowledge into your brain you are the 10%! And don’t forget to teach your roommate what interval training is all about!

    Dean: Thanks for the kind words bro. And yes it is kinda effed up how most trainers don’t take this job seriously!

    Diane: I really appreciate the comment. I’m just the type of guy who is totally against classes and cardio altogether. If people are not going to see results doing it then why bother?

    Love it: Keep up the good work! I’m totally down with functional training and using anything but MACHINES. If you see another trainer using one with their clients just throw a BOSU ball in their face.

    Sandy: In my gym in Richmond Hill I see the same shit with 99% of the trainers.

    Hopefully I’ll be expanding into Windsor but in the meantime I’m going to be coming with some wicked workouts you can do on your own. THANKS for reading!

    Travis: Thanks for the words bro! I really do appreciate the words especially coming from a pro like yourself.

    I went through the same sales BS when i was with my corporate gym. The effed up thing was that the manager pretty much did all the things you are NOT TO DO with a client. Drinking coffee, picking up his cell phone with a client, pretty much not giving a rats shit about his job.


    Anyways if anyone is reading this Travis is the man up in Oakville running wicked camps. I’m going to put up a fat loss workout of his next week and it literally kicked my ass!

    If you are up in the Oakville area hit him up http://www.Oz-Fit.com or just wait for next weeks interview and fat loss workout!

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  10. Luke Foran

    Wow, I couldn’t agree more with all the trainer commentary. I’m a trainer in Australia, I work in a gym and the other male trainer is basically trying to ride his looks and ego all the way to the bank. Terrible reputation as a person, then I see him train clients! I cringe so often at the stuff I see him doing…overweight ladies cranking out standing machine calf raises to start the program? Never ending Decline bench presses etc? Why decline, standard bench seems to work for many of my clients! No intensity, no timing of rest periods, no noting of weights and reps etc completed in the session! Oh and when this guy works out himself, he is a half rep hero! Half reps of everything, there’s that ego kickin in!!

  11. Wellness

    So my favourite part of this article is how you start by telling everyone about your intense workout that no one should try at home unless they are taking your boot camp. Are you serious? This is your “fat burning” routine? I think one person put it correctly when they said that getting lean and losing fat comes through proper nutrition and diet. Others still talk about functional training and so on. Has no one ever heard of periodization??? Ones physical imbalances must be corrected first before you start throwing cleans and deadlifts etc at them. Functional training is just a portion of a proper training program. So before anyone goes bashing these trainers that are more then likely crap you should take a look at your own advice and maybe do some research on what is scientifically proven in medical studies and learn something about periodization. Interval training is a small part of the bigger picture. Proper program design and proper nutrition is what gets you to any goal you may have.

  12. Thanks for posting 🙂 You are probably not the type of trainer I was talking about in the blog post.

    Everything you have mentioned is part of the total package for fat loss. Interval training, periodization, nutrition, correcting muscular imbalances and functional training are all part of the bigger picture. I don’t recall anyone saying one is more important than the other.

    As for my fat loss workout program, you can thank Alwyn Cosgrove for that one. If someone has taken my boot camps for 6 months, have done the movement prep exercises and AIS stretches in the camp, I would be pretty confident they could do that complex. Not at my weight but definitely at one they are comfortable with.

    The fat loss workouts are scientifically proven. Complexes, tabata’s , circuit training are all proven to be the best forms of fat loss. The results don’t lie and my boot camps are guaranteed results for a reason.

    I definitely agree proper nutrition is the way to go if you want to see any results from your training. I appreciate you posting 🙂 Again this post was more about horrible personal trainers. I’m sure you do a great job for your clients.

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