Pay me once, or pay me two times later


Once my instructor told me, “pay me once, or pay me two times later” What exactly did he mean?

As we all know, its much easier to do something right the first time around than to undo all the wrong.

Jane: I really have to workout.

Trainer: Funny you should talk about that, because I am a trainer. I offer individualized training.

Jane: Nah, that’s ok trainers are too expensive and I just got a 50 percent off coupon for (insert exercise routine). And I also have these (insert exercise name) DVD’s. And if anything my boyfriend is ripped and buff and he can show me how to workout.

Trainer: Well, I highly recommend that you get some kind of professional advice first before you start your workout routine. That way you can avoid injuries.

Jane: I should be fine. Thanks.

Do you see the problem here? First off if you have absolutely NO CLUE of what to do. Working out to an exercise DVD is the worst thing you can do.  No one is there to cue you on proper form, and no one there is there to adjust the exercise as needed if there are limitations to your body.

Group exercise classes are great if you have a good background in fitness, but the vast majority of individuals don’t have a solid understanding of exercise. Tell me this, will your group exercise instructor stop the class or personally walk up to you and tell you your knee is caving in? Some might, but most won’t.

Lastly, your boyfriend can train you. I’ll tell you this most guys in the gym are still stuck with the bodybuilding mentality of the days of Arnold. Is that wrong? No, but not everyone needs to be doing bodybuilder programs. So ask yourself what makes him QUALIFIED TO GIVE FITNESS ADVICE? And no a six pack doesn’t mean a person knows what they are doing.

Trainer: Hi Jane, how are you doing with your exercise routine?

Jane: Well, my shoulder really hurts. It’s a sharp pain when I lift my arm over my head.

Trainer: What have you been doing?

Jane: I’ve been doing a lot of sit ups and crunches cause that’s what we do in our classes and my boyfriend told me to do them so I can get a six pack.

Trainer: Let me assess you really quick.

Jane: Ok

Trainer: Jane, it appears to me that you have limited range of motion in your thoracic spine. You see your upper back is supposed to extend slightly when you lift your arm over your head. Doing all those crunches and sit ups may have altered your posture. It also doesn’t help that you have a desk job. I know a physical therapist that can help you with this.

So what is the lesson here? Faulty exercise will lead to faulty posture and eventually lead to injuries. So you can hire a professional and get trained the right way. Or you can wait get hurt and pay even more to undo all the crap you previously did.Image

True story a client of mines told me this at the end of our workout. “My friend is a orthopedic surgeon, and he told me he loves this particular group exercise class because they keep him in business. Apparently during the medical history many of these individuals all participated in this form of exercise and now need knee replacements.”

This particular post is not meant to bash any form of group exercise. It is meant to educate people about the importance of having individualized training for the specific needs of the person.

In Strength,

Charles Trinh MS, PES, CSCS, ACSM-cPT


Please feel free to share this post, in return please credit me as the original author of this work, include a link to this post and the bio at the end of this blog.

Charles has dedicated more than 13 years in the field of exercise science and performance enhancement. His extensive background in human performance and sports medicine enable him to develop scientifically sound fitness programs for individuals looking to get healthy, and up to high performance athletes.  Charles has also done extensive work with the National Strength and Conditioning Association (former state director) and American College of Sports Medicine in providing continuing education units to personal trainers, strength coaches, physical therapist, athletic trainers and Medical Doctors. With his extensive training and experience, Charles has helped countless individuals reach their health and performance goals.


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