Confessions of a Personal Trainer


1. I ate two brownies in my car before walking into the gym to check your food journal.


2. If you come to your appointment with your hair and makeup perfectly done, I make it my mission to have you sweat off the makeup and leave with crazy gym hair.

3. During my own workouts, it’s hard to not go up to other gym-goers and give them tips on form or ways to switch up what they’re doing.

4. It’s also hard not to run through the gym high-fiving everyone and letting them know I’m proud of them for taking care of their health. That would make me weird, so I just picture it in my head.

5. I add at least 10 seconds to your plank time and then tell you afterwards.


6. On the same note, if I forget how many reps you have left, I just make up a higher number.

7. I wore the same shirt to train clients yesterday. I didn’t work out in it, so I figured it was ok.

8. I’ll always ask you what you had for breakfast that day.


9. Some clients want to chat, others want to work. A lovely mix are the ones who are friendly, but work really hard. I know you’re not supposed to mix friends with business, but some of my clients have become very good friends.

10. I don’t care how old you are, how long you’ve been working out, or how much weight you want to lose. If you made the investment to hire a trainer and are putting in the effort, I tip my hat to you, and will make it worth your while 😉

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  1. Laura @ She Eats Well on March 20, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    I love love this series! I love that you ask your clients what they had for breakfast that day. Bet you’ve gotten some pretty interesting answers throughout your career :).

    • Fitnessista on March 21, 2012 at 12:12 am

      the best was “popcorn shrimp”
      not even joking

      • Tom T. on August 20, 2013 at 9:10 am

        Love it ‘popcorn shrimp’ how do you respond to that especially if you really did have those brownies. I can only imagine that conversation. #2 is great I think it is ridiculous that women come to the gym ‘made-up’, but to each there own I guess.

  2. Stephanie on March 21, 2012 at 3:02 am

    I love this! So motivating! Having a trainer was one of the best things I ever did. I’m sure I’ll do it again in the future if I ever feel the need to shake things up, but she gave me so many tools that I’m comfortable in the gym by myself now. That’s like gold in my book. 🙂

  3. Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo on March 21, 2012 at 6:55 am

    This is a really cute post! I always wonder about the women that come to the gym with perfect hair and makeup…and leave with perfect hair and makeup. Are they even working out?

  4. Hillary on March 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

    I think you sound like a great trainer, Gina: one who works her clients into a frenzy, but is still fun to workout with. If I lived in AZ, I’d be happy to let you train me ; )

  5. Lisa on March 21, 2012 at 7:31 am

    I would love to have you as my trainer! I can only imagine how great that brownie was…. : )
    By the way, I tried your breakfast cookie recipe last night and I am a believer! Thank you for the recipe! Have a great day!

  6. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on March 21, 2012 at 7:37 am

    I love this post!

    I’m not even a PT, and I feel like I want to do #4 sometimes! 😀

  7. Kimberly on March 21, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I love that you admit eating brownies before checking food journals. It makes you real. And, the emphasis on breakfast is more important than people realize. I had no idea that my friend was fueling a tough workout with just a banana until we carpooled together one day. After a stern lecture from me she now eats breakfast!

    I’m a military wife stationed in Bamberg, Germany, personal trainer, and yoga instructor. I have all of the training and it looks like my first paid gig at the gym will start in April.

  8. Heather Eats Almond Butter on March 21, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Wished you lived in Nashville. I’m going to need a good PT in a few months, and I prefer my plank holds on the longer side. 🙂

  9. Kate @ The Little Spoon Blog on March 21, 2012 at 8:27 am

    This is such a great post! I’ve never had my own personal trainer (I did have a team personal trainer for field hockey in college but no individual attention). I would love to hear the match to your post… Confessions of your trainee starting with #1. We probably had 4 brownies on the way to the gym.. Haha!

  10. Brittany on March 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Haha I love these. As a trainer I can proudly say that Ive done all of the above! 🙂 The forgetting numbers and adding reps made me laugh bc I catch myself doing that all the time! The worse thing is a client who counts and doesn’t tell you then catches you in the act of counting wrong 🙂

    • Suzanne on October 23, 2012 at 5:21 pm

      You just have to hire accountants and bankers. They naturally, subconsciously count. Perfectly. Every time. and it frees you up to focus on their form.

    • Liz on August 30, 2014 at 10:29 am

      Hahahaha and I am totally “that client” lmao.

  11. Melissa on March 21, 2012 at 8:32 am

    great post!!! I wish all personal trainers were lik you 🙂

  12. Gen on March 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

    loved this post! made me smile. 😀

  13. LisaG on March 21, 2012 at 8:48 am

    I love this; it’s so YOU! (But, they were healthy brownies.)

  14. Jessica on March 21, 2012 at 8:53 am

    I love this. Overly made up women at the gym is one of my personal pet peeves!

  15. britt on March 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

    i love #1 🙂

    i always wanted to be a personal trainer after i graduated college but i felt it would be a waste of my degree so i never did it. but now i’m a stay at home mom and part-time freelance photographer so i’m still not using my education. but i love your story…it’s so inspiring to be what you want to be.

  16. Steffany on March 21, 2012 at 8:56 am

    LOVE IT !!!!

  17. Jen on March 21, 2012 at 9:03 am

    I would LOVE if you came by to high five me as I was working out!

  18. Jen Correa @ Mom's Gotta Run on March 21, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I love it! I want to be this person! Did you see my email on the topic?

  19. Rebekah on March 21, 2012 at 9:36 am

    I wish all trainers were more like you – I have been let down and even stood up by so many that I paid good money for. Ending up paying money for sessions that I didn’t even get. I guess that’s what you get when you sign up through places like LA Fitness 🙁

  20. Dana on March 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I love this post… especially #4.

  21. Julie on March 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

    As a personal trainer, this is 100% accurate… especially the reps, planks, and breakfast 🙂 I miss it and need to start training people again soon. Thanks for the smile this morning!

  22. Lyndzie @ fashionable footprints on March 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

    haha this is hilarious – love the first one!

  23. Kate on March 21, 2012 at 10:30 am

    I love this list! I read your blog every day and I’ve never commented but this list was just to hilarious and wonderful not to comment on ^.^

  24. Kelli on March 21, 2012 at 10:37 am

    I love this! My trainer is a good friend (his wife is one of my BFFs) & he freely admits to all of the above! I’m a counter so I always catch him when he loses count, but to be honest I’ve never called him on it. I figure it just makes me work a little harder. I’m not working out with him currently, but after our baby comes I hope to find room in the budget for it. He is amazing & got me in the best shape of my life.

  25. Meg | One Love Meg on March 21, 2012 at 10:51 am

    This reminds me of my trainer in San Diego. Oh how I miss him. It’s funny, I always feel like he counts too many reps and I am in plank WAY to long. 🙂

  26. Michelle on March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    So funny, Gina. Re: #7, I had to stop wearing gym shirts 2 days in a row for training, because a few times I saw one of my clients from the day before in the gym the next AM, and there I was in the same outfit. LOL.

  27. Taylor on March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Love this! ha-ha…
    and it also makes me wish the trainers at chain gyms, like my LA Fitness were more like the #10. Seems like theyre just trainers because they think it makes them seem cool….:(

  28. Britt on March 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Great post!! Very motivating and encouraging, thanks!

  29. Marie on March 21, 2012 at 11:10 am

    I love this list; made me laugh. I’ve had a personal trainer once. It was supposed to be a trial thing and he was so bad I didn’t finish it out. It would definitely be cool to have you as a trainer!

  30. Beth on March 21, 2012 at 11:19 am

    I think this is one of my favorite posts you’ve done! I had a PT once… he was great but insinuated that he never ate unhealthfully (he did Paleo– and I was led to believe he NEVER slipped). One day we were talking about a recent big snowstorm our area had had, and he mentioned that he and his brother walked to 7-11 for snacks during the storm… and I said “Oh, really? And what did you get from 7-11 for a snack?” He couldn’t come up with a lie fast enough, and finally admitted to Doritos!! HA!!

  31. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on March 21, 2012 at 11:45 am

    This is too funny–esp the “I ate two brownies in the car before coming in to meet you and check your food journal” 🙂

  32. Becca on March 21, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Haha I loved this list! It really did make me laugh. I always joked with my trainer as I knew he would forget how many reps I had left 🙂 I alaway seemed to be doing extra! And then it usually ended with running stairs. Grrr.. But he was fantastic and extremely motivating and that’s what I loved.

  33. Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed on March 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    I love this post! I would love to invest in a personal trainer, but right now it’s not something I want to shell out the dough for. Maybe in the future when I’m in need of a push.

    What an awesome job!

  34. Maddy on March 21, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Ohhhh I loved this especially number 1. It’s nice to know fitness experts in perfect shape enjoy brownies too. I could never give up those forever. I like how positive this list is and it’s obvious you really like and are proud of your clients. You should send this into a women’s magazine or try to get Fitnessista column. I have never been to a trainer and one of the reasons (besides budget) is I am afraid they are these superhumans who only eat perfectly healthy sugar free food all the time and they are perfectly regimented with workouts and will probably look at me as a lazy slob. I enjoy eating healthy and getting lots of veggies, but I need my treats here and there (more here) and for me working out is about health, looking the way I want to in clothes, vanity (I admit it), being able to indulge in treats like brownies and chocolate chip cookies without guilt, and stress relief.

  35. Gym luva on March 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    I love that you add seconds to plank time, and reps! I have long been suspecting personal trainers/ ab class instructors/ total body workout instructors of these sneaky things, and in the long run I must say it is to my benefit! Mind over matter, right?

  36. Corrie Anne on March 21, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Hahaha. I love it. I want to high-5 people too. And I’m not even a trainer! 🙂 And I definitely want to give tips. Hands off that treadmill!! Lol.

  37. Moni Meals on March 21, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    adored this! As a trainer myself…you nailed it! We are our own lil breed aren’t we. 🙂
    Antoher one for you…PT=also equals being a Therapist at MANY times too. 😉

    • Mac on March 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Agreed! Lol

    • Sara on March 23, 2012 at 7:53 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out! As a PT who has her doctorate, it’s frustrating to me when people mix the two up.

  38. KerriAnn on March 21, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Love the makeup comment. There is a quote I always see on pintrest about if you look good when you are done, you aren’t working hard enough. I need to invest in make-up remover/washing my face when I change at work to go to the gym because I walk out looking like a complete mess.

  39. James on March 21, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Man, I’d love to have you as my trainer! I know you’d give me a punishingly good workout and I could never even hate you as you pushed me! I had one trainer this good years ago and will forever wonder where she went. She used to push me until I nearly puked and I was in such great shape!

  40. Mac on March 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    As a personal trainer, I love this post because about 3/4 of them hold true for me, especially #6 (I laughed out loud when I read it)!

  41. SeekingAmy on March 24, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Be my trainer! 🙂

  42. Megan on June 25, 2012 at 3:06 am

    LOVE the one about the plank! The plank is my nemesis and that literally made me laugh out loud at my desk!

  43. maha on March 11, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    Ummm….I think your awesome!!! And I love your blog. I just started reading it as I came across it by accident. I have hired trainers in the past and let me tell you…they arell sucked A**! Sorry I hope that didnt’ offent anyone! They were more intersted in investing my money in products and supplements and whatever deal that gym was having that week ,….than investing in me.
    I love your atitude towards fitness and life !!! Good Work!

  44. Jenn on December 4, 2013 at 9:13 am

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who wants to high five people who make conscious decisions to try a healthy lifestyle! For me though it’s runners, since I have a love/hate relationship with running and know the personal struggle, when I see someone running I get so excited for them and want to honk and yell something encouraging out the window…but being confused with someone trying to catcall makes me stop. haha

  45. Dan on March 19, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    I had a random guy high-five me a gym once after I (very loudly) made my last rep on a machine –that was a great feeling (the high-five i mean:)! so don’t fight it, do it 🙂

  46. […] couple of notable posts include Confessions of a Personal Trainer and goals for the new year {inspiration board […]

  47. Alice on June 30, 2014 at 5:46 am

    You’re so cool! I havent had a work out lately because of my busy schedules. But if I’m gonna work out again, I would want to have a trainer like you.

  48. Susie on July 9, 2014 at 9:28 am

    Hahaha this post was great! My favorite confession was the first one about the brownies, amazing. I also had a trainer who I knew would just make up any number for the amount of reps left, I was so happy when I finally got him to admit it!

  49. Karissa on July 22, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks for posts like this one Gina!! 🙂 I’ve been in a workout slump for a little while now and I’m hitting a plateau with reaching some of my goals – so I have decided to hire a personal trainer. I know it seems weird but I find it a little intimidating – posts like these make me laugh AND make it not seem so intimidating!

    • Fitnessista on July 23, 2014 at 2:07 am

      i think you will love it! it’s nice to have someone else to push you 🙂 you just have to show up and enjoy (and know these secrets) haha

  50. […] Confessions of a Personal Trainer – The Fitnessista – I love this! My trainer is a good friend (his wife is one of my BFFs) & he freely admits to all of the above! I’m a counter so I always catch him when he loses … […]

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