Boy, do I have some Tales to Tell...
Sunday, October 27, 2002
Sorry for the lag in blogging. I have been busy moving to a new home. Anyway, here is my take on Fitness Trainers at your local gym. Remember that not all trainers are like the ones described below, it just seems like they are.

Fitness Trainers

Why can't you ever find a fitness trainer on the gym floor whenever you need one? That's because they are either hanging out in the lockerroom with their friends loudly discussing what they did last weekend, hiding in the employee lounge to avoid answering questions about exercise that you might have, or holeing themselves up in the most secluded part of they gym so that they avoid they daily duties like replacing dumbells, properly restacking weight plates, or wiping down the machines.

Should I ask my fitness trainer about what proper foods to eat and supplements to take? Remember that trainers are certified to dispense proper workout techniques for the average healthy individual. Some trainers do have specialty certifications that require more in-depth study and practice; nutrionist is more than just some specialty certification - it's a college-level degree. If you are comfortable getting nutritional advice from somebody who read a book and circled the correct answers on a test, then ask away. Most trainers should either advice you to follow a healthy balanced diet of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Personally, I would rather put my money on a nutritionist. Be wary of trainers who insist that you intake more protein and ingest various types of supplements that you can barely pronounce. Run away fast.

Before I get into my next comment about Fitness Trainers, I want to tell all that are reading that I do not in anyway believe any fitness trainer should look a certain way. Trainers should look healthy and look like they exercise. However, they should not look like they go home after work for a six-pack of Molson and a large pizza with extra cheese. Be wary of:

beer-bellied fitness trainers (especially if they dispense nutritional information)
trainers who have thicker arms than legs
trainers that have big hair, big nails, and too much make-up
unkept and dishelved looking trainers
trainers who have thicker necks than limbs
trainers who have more "rolls" than a bakery
smelly/stinky trainers
trainers who are more interested in the cutie working out next to you
trainers who stare at themselves in the mirror

Even though we all have different physiques, we still are in an industry that is exceptionally image conscious. Fitness Trainers should have a healthy, worked-out look NOT a I-just-have-this-job-because-I-am-don't-know-what-else-to-do look. Would you trust your health and well-being witht he latter? Next blog: Management. Later.
Sunday, October 06, 2002
Have you ever thought of working for a gym/health club? Better yet, have you ever thought, "How the hell did that person get a job at this health club? Is this one of those welfare/prison exchange programs? Now, before anyone emails me and tells me how programs like that help give those who are less fortunate a chance, save it! You work with them for a couple of years, then email me. Better yet, have them work for you for a couple of years, then email me.

Here is a description of the type of person who works the front desk at the gym OR, at least, any of your local New York Sports Clubs:

Front Desk Associate Description

They should be the first person you see as you enter the gym; EMPHASIS on the "should be". Some of you know that this is not always true as some of them decide that they don't always need to be at the front desk to make sure that only paying members and registered guests enter the gym. If you think this is not a big deal, keep that in mind next time you think the gym is too crowded or your locker is broken into.

Their basic function is to welcome you to the club and check you in. They should be able to answer most basic questions about the facility: where to get towels, what classes are available, where the locker room is, what floor the free weights are on. Truthfully, most of them are capable of maybe one of the formerly mentioned functions and sometimes less.

Here at the New York City facilities, we run the gamut of barely conscious to absolutely stupid. Some front desk associates couldn't smile if their lives depended on it. Let's just say that you wouldn't really describe them as people persons which leads you to ask "How did they get this job?" They don't use the gym for anything but to make their measly pay; check out how many unhealthy, overweight people man the front desk.

They could not tell you what classes are going on EVEN THOUGH they have worked the same shift for the past six months. They certainly don't know about any of the programs that the gym has to offer AND worse yet, they could not tell you how to get information on that or who else would know. Besides, they are too busy trying to remember if they punched in/out today/yesterday or if they are entitled a 15 minute cigarette break during today's shift because they sure could use that break to go call their best friend to talk about last weekend's jam.

Don't bother saying hello because they are barely smart enough to acknowledge your presence; looking up would demand too much energy and they need that energy to fuel what little brain function they have (i.e. remembering their names, punching the time clock, etc). Plus, saying hello would mean they may have to converse with you and they can barely form complete thoughts.

Depending on the time of day you arrive, they are either eating a bagel with egg, cheese, bacon, and ketchup, chatting on the phone with their best friend's baby's father's next-door-neighbor's crack-head cousin, or gabbing away with the other front desk associates about the new fake gucci pocket-book they got from Chinatown (which they think is real).

Now, I state the above with a lot of bitterness because when I was a front desk associate, I worked my ass off to make sure the members and other staff got good service. AND I only got paid $6.00/hour!!!!!!! There are those front desk associates who are amazing and chances are they last about 3 months and then are whisked off to become Weekend Managers or more. My thoughts are: If you don't like this job, then leave. Part of being a front desk associate is being a congenial and welcoming NOT sour and ugly. Part of being a front desk associate is being knowledgeable about the facilities and its offerings NOT barely cognizant of the fact that people are here to exercise. One female associate at a club I work at is so brain dead, she gets this quizitive look in her eyes when I say hello; I can hear the wind whipping through the empty cavity between her ears. And since I am on my soapbox, to all front desk associates in the world: USE YOUR FREE MEMBERSHIP AND GET SOME EXERCISE!!!!!!!!!!!! It just may improve your outlook on life and get you a much more rewarding job elsewhere. Next blog: the Fitness Trainers. Later.
I'm just writing down some of the things that run through my head.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

Eating up the City before it eats me up. I'm a freelance cook who spends his free time working out, cooking for "my man", and wondering why the Right is so concerned about my bedroom.

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