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DEAR HARRIETTE: I think my personal trainer is taking things way too far.

Harriette Cole 

I don’t appreciate the way he talks to me in our workouts when I feel too tired to continue. I think there’s a fine line between being motivational and being pushy and harsh, and he crosses it every time.

Should I find a new trainer, or am I just being sensitive?

Harsh Trainer

DEAR HARSH TRAINER: There are many trainers in the world — not just this one. The goal in working with a trainer is not for you to be shamed into working harder; you should be inspired to push ahead.

It really doesn’t matter if your reaction is a sign of sensitivity or not. Even if you are super-sensitive, you deserve to work with a trainer who understands that and who is willing to figure out how to work with you to get you to push harder.

It would be different if you were in a class with many people so that the harshness isn’t individualized. But the whole point of working one-on-one with a trainer is so that you can have personalized coaching just for you that meets your needs.

It sounds like this trainer is manipulating you or bullying you. Neither is good, nor do you have to endure it anymore. You can end that relationship immediately.

Ask your friends for referrals. If you hired this trainer through your gym or another organization, give them feedback on your experience with him. You can do the same on his social media — not slamming him, but providing honest feedback on what it was like for you to work with him.


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