Many of my clients and a few others have asked me about this. What does it mean when my confirmation email says “you have a level ‘x’ appointment tomorrow with so-and-so”.
There is some hierarchical value to it but more times than not it’s just part of a scam. Yep, just a way to take more money out of your pocket…and a lot of times it works. This might be a good article to share if you yourself or someone you know is training with DFM or at any other gym that uses this type of system.
Here’s how it goes:
DFM places an ad on craigslist saying they are hiring personal trainers. Some kid, or guy, or girl responds to the ad and says they want to stat and are available immidiatly. DFM will hire that person and they’ll hire him/her even if they are NOT certified they will begin training as early as later that same week.
Yep. Just some average Joe-Schmo off the street is your personal trainer and in charge of telling you how your body operates and what you should be eating. Which, by the way, these guys aren’t technically supposed to do at all anyway, but I can follow up on that in a future post.
So that person, let’s call him Mark, is now a personal trainer. Shirt with the logo on the sleeve and ‘TRAINER’ on the back and all.
Mark is a level one, which means he is earning the lowest amount on the level scale. But don’t worry, Mark isn’t doing all that bad, he’s still getting $18/hr and there is just about as much going back to the company so he’s doing alright, training company is doing alright, and YOU’RE paying the $40/hr!
But Mark wants more (and surprise, surprise, so does DFM.) So they tell Mark (who still by the way is NOT yet even certified to be training) that if he goes to ‘X’ amount of classes he will be bumped up a level and be able to raise his rates to charge you more. These classes are not any part of a certification by any means, they are simply sales courses on how to convince and sucker the public to spend more on their training than they do on their car payment.
Anyway, so Mark finishes the course and he gets bumped up. He is now a level 2 and can charge even more. Again Mark (and DFM) wants more. So they tell him ‘just go get one of these silly water aerobics certifications and we’ll bump you up another level’.
Side note, if you follow the link in the paragraph above and take the test, you owe nothing until you’ve completed it. Go ahead and take a stab at it, I am willing to bet you’ll pass. And with that now your trainer Mark can charge damn near $50/hr! Funny thing is, at Club Fitness in Ballwin there were trainers who put that IFA certification info on their business cards! I guess they just assume you’re the dummy and will never ask or look at what it means while you continue to just pay the bills…almost spooky, huh?
Anyway, in a nutshell, that’s what a level is. It’s just an in-house pecking order with little to nothing to back it up. I personally know trainers who have no (none; zip, zero, nada) primary certifications that were selling higher level than me. It’s all backwards and messed up but, hey, if they can get away with it, why not?
As some of you already know but many may not I have decided to leave Club Fitness and start my own personal training company (hence the recent change here from TrainWithSky.com to TrainWithSky, LLC) I am very excited to begin this new chapter, expand my client base and evolve with the level of training that my current clientele has grown to expect.
BONUS: I’m cheaper! Any prices that I offered before while at the gym I have cut by 30% automatically. Period. Same, personal training, better price.
If you or someone you know is interested in personal training, message me. I am available to start a program immediatly.
I will create a post in the near future with pictures and descriptions of all the equipment I have available to train with…and let’s just say it’s a little higher end than anything found at Club Fitness ;)
I’m not talking about personal trainers being ‘literally’ invisible, but what if they were? Would it make any difference?
I’ll give you an example:
So the other day I had some downtime at the gym and I was studying some of the behaviors and technique (or lack there of) of the DFM personal trainers. An example of my observation was of this one particular trainer who would lead or follow his client from machine to machine and stand there and watch as she did the exercise (if you really want to call it that). He was talking about, I wanna say his car, and how it was acting up…slipping gears or something…not that it matters but my point is he was standing there, hands crossed in front of him and rambling on about something so far from what was really supposed to be happening: PERSONAL TRAINING.
So what I meant by ‘invisible’ is….what if he was? Would it matter? Would that have changed the session in any way whatsoever? Me thinks not. I could have literally walked over, picked him up and placed him in the corner with his nose to the wall and the ‘training session’ would have been IDENTICAL to what she was getting before…to the tune of $50-60/hour, mind you.
Whoa! That actually happens??
You bet. And more than you’d think. See, many trainers have gotten into this mindset that they are just going to ‘sell’ training no matter what. It doesn’t matter if they actually ’know’ what they are talking about or can actually ’teach’ someone to do something. At some point you or someone like you is going to get a wild hair to change; whether that be fitness level, weight, shape, size…you get it…and when that happens you’ll be so caught up in the moment that you’ll never even question whether or not this person is even qualified or not. (Not to mention WORTH anything)
See here’s the truth about machines:
Do they work? Eh, not really. I mean maybe if you’ve never touched a single weight in your life, then yeah, you’ll see a little change in your body but let’s put it this way….Michael Phelps doesn’t sit around doing lateral shoulder raises, that’s just not the key to success.
So why the HELL would you pay someone THOUSANDS (yes, $1,000.00’s) of dollars to stand next to you and talk about their hooptie while you do them yourself?
Oh, and let’s talk about doing them yourself for a moment, because many trainers lead you to believe that without them, you’re on the fast track to injury…
Look, these machines are just about as simple stupid as it gets. Their entire function can be instructed on the side of the unit in roughly 2-3 sentences -furthermore- if you cannot read, they have full color cartoons.
Many gyms are 24 hours and unstaffed for the majority of the night. Do you think for 2 seconds that if this stuff was dangerous that an insurance underwriter would create a policy for coverage?
Let’s put it this way. I’ve been doing this professionally now for some years and I have seen an ambulance twice. Once for a guy that thought it’d be smart to balance on a medicine ball on one foot and the other was someone who forgot to take blood pressure meds. My point is NOBODY hurts themselves on the machines.
So if you’re ever told by a trainer that you need them so you don’t get hurt: stomp on their toe as hard as you can, scream as load as you can and run…because they are trying to attack…your wallet!
So let me bring us back to the invisible trainer and I’ll wrap this up.
If you have a trainer, the next time you go train with them ask yourself…could I have done that myself? If the answer is yes then ask yourself would it have at least been as effective or intense.
Well crap, I hate to break it to you but you are getting swindled. Sorry.
And now it’s time for my sales pitch: If you are interested in athletic coaching and/or personal training of the highest parameter, I can assure you, with a 100% money back guarantee, that you will walk away feeling as though you have not just received top-notch, A1, five-star, choice training but also that you have got every single pennies worth that you spent. (did I mention I guarantee this to the point where I will actually give you all your money back?)
I am available for hire. More trainer, less money. It not only seems smart, it seems obvious.
Rant time! Yeah, I’m sure you couldn’t wait.
So anyway, I have a bone to pick. Today I’m going to pick on one of the most ridiculous machines found in commercial gyms today…the SMITH machine.
I guess a staple for bodybuilders*, amateurs and scaredy cats. Let’s look at why these types of people flock to this rubbish, because they are, and they will continue….
So, you can press the smith on a flat bench with 2 45# plates on each side! That means you can bench 225! Sweet!
Wrong. (But I’m sure you still tell your friends that)
First of all, a bar that almost ‘floats’ to the ground when let go of it doesn’t weigh nearly as much as an Olympic bar, wouldn’t you say?
So you train for something that kinda looks like something but really isn’t that thing…so you’re training for nothing.
Rats. Well at least you tried.
Nope. Sure isn’t. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-safety, I’m just anti-goofy.
Have you ever evaluated the safety that in instilled into a power rack? It is almost a challenge to get hurt. No need to twist and turn bars into weird wrist positions while having your body loaded, just drop. Let gravity do it’s thing and then let the 1”+ solid steel safety pins and pipes do their thing.
And you wanna know what really grinds my gears? I see DFM personal trainers use this on the daily with clients.
Because you (sorry, not picking on you) don’t know any better! And there’s a good chance that this questionable, careless and deceptive individual isn’t qualified to teach another human to squat properly. So what does he/she do? Throws people on the smith machine and crosses their arms while they watch you do dumb stuff.
Guys bottom line: this apparatus puts your body into disadvantageous biomechanical positions that are useless and downright harmful.
Look, if you are ready to take the plunge I’m ready to toss your ass into the pool but you gotta quit the crap.
Getcha game up.
Ok, rant off.
B.A. Fontbonne University
National Academy of Sports Medicine CPT
CrossFit Level 1 trainer
*Ridiculous looking dudes who carry around a gallon of water and spends an equal amount every month on protein supps as he does gasoline. And oh yeah, ISN’T a bodybuilder.
Hey guys (and gals)
I know I am always on your back to eat, eat, eat and I also know that it can be difficult at times with our busy lifestyles, so I have decided to make a list of healthy snack ideas that you can use! Make sure to print this page BEFORE you head to the market so you can drop these tasty goodies into you basket. Enjoy! :)