I joined Gym recently. The trainers dont help much. I was given a card with what exercises to do (2 day split with cardio). I do not know how to operate the machines. No one helps. I would love to do squats and deadlifts but there is no one to teach me or correct my form. I have seen trainers going past people who plank with hips raised high without correcting them. Most of them spend time chitchatting or spotting the big muscle guys near barbells.

What do I do?

I am not saying all trainers are like this or so. I was working out in another gym in another city but there the trainers used to help and correct. I just paid the money and am not at all satisfied with the service. I can point it to the owners but that would just make me a enemy in the eyes of trainers. How do I go about?

  • 4
    I suggest working out at another place where trainers do actually help you (and as you said, complaining might not get you anywhere). It's very important to be closely followed as a novice so that you can learn how to execute exercises correctly (and avoid injuring yourself).
    – joao
    Jul 2, 2015 at 11:38
  • 2
    Are you paying for training? If not, you are getting what you paid for--access to a gym. If so, then there is no excuse for the trainer not working with their client. Jul 2, 2015 at 12:37

2 Answers 2


Most trainers are like that. The majority of trainers work in low-budget gyms for cheap wages in places where clients don't take their fitness too seriously.

There are some great trainers out there, but you're not going to find them (for long anyway) working in a big-box gym. The really good trainers work in professional or high level amateur and academic settings.

I'd recommend a three step solution for you, which is what I'd imagine most effective strength trainers have done:

  • Buy Starting Strength. Picking the back squat as an example, I think there is about 75 pages with photos and fairly entertaining dialogue on how to perform that single exercise. Also discussed in detail is the power clean, deadlift, overhead press, bench press, row, and some ancillary stuff.

  • Switch to a real strength training program. In particular I'd recommend Stronglifts 5x5 or Starting Strength (same name as the book). Don't get creative with these: follow them perfectly and worry about getting the techniques right.

  • Record yourself sometimes. Use your phone, balance it, and record yourself from the side (at about hip level). Put it on youtube, and ask for some feedback here or elsewhere.

You could also talk to someone you see who looks like they know what they're doing and just be really blunt. You want him to eyeball your form, it will only take a minute, and you'd like some feedback. Most strength trainees would be happy to help since they've been there (and in many ways still are there) themselves.


I would recommend that you pay for at least a few sessions of personal training in order to learn the proper movement patterns, especially for squat and deadlift. When you pay a personal trainer, they spend the entire session with you, and should not be worrying about anyone else in the gym. You can also dictate to the trainer exactly what you want to work on.

So, if you decide that you want to do Starting Strength, as suggested in another answer, buy a few sessions with the trainer and tell him that you want to learn proper technique for squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press. The trainer should not need to put a program together for you, they just need to show you the proper movements. Your first session will likely be with little or no weight, just showing you the core of each movement. As you progress through the sessions, you should start adding some weight and once you are comfortable with being able to safely do the movements, you can stop paying for personal training sessions.

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