Workout is not a show I usually watch. I did catch part of the show last night, though, and it royally pissed me off.
I have seen it a few times, but usually it’s only on in the background after I’ve moved onto another activity while not bothering to turn the television off.
If you’re not familiar with the show, it’s a reality show set in a gym owned by a woman named Jackie. The show depicts gym life and Jackie’s personal life. As part of the show they run a special, intense boot camp program called Skylab for very out-of-shape people to get into shape.
The portion that caught my eye involved Gregg, one of the trainers, and Deenie, one of the trainees. Deenie went into the assistant manager’s office to voice her concerns about her relationship with Gregg. He was late for their training session that day, and he’d been consistently late. She had a hard time scheduling sessions due to his intense schedule, and he also was not returning her calls in a timely manner.
Deenie is a morbidly obese girl who wants to be able to walk into the Gap and buy a pair of jeans. She wanted a relationship with her trainer that’s warm and supportive, motivating her and making her feel that she’s part of a team – just the way Jackie, the owner, described the program.
As they’re talking Gregg arrives and Deenie and the assistant manager confront him. Deenie’s trying to diplomatically tell him what she wants and Gregg is not open at all. Not even a little bit. He tries to make it all about her lack of commitment. She may or may not have a lack of commitment, but what Deenie is trying to address is his lack of respect. She’s paying him. Be on time. And she wants a relationship with her trainer like the one Jackie described.
Gregg gets very defensive and starts bellowing about her speaking disrespectfully to him (she commented that the dismissive comment he made was “bullshit”), and at this point my blood pressure is boiling.
He’s dismissive, he keeps cutting her off, even says that Jackie doesn’t know what she’s talking about. And Deenie gets upset because she’s not being understood. At one point she comments that she wants more from him than the three hours per week in the gym and he replies that she can call him any time. She says, “You. Don’t. Call. Me. Back.” He doesn’t address this at all. He says, “Just, first of all, it needs to be understood that, I mean that, as far as this situation goes I am the expert.”
Then the assistant manager tells Gregg, in a misguided attempt to calm things down, that all Deenie wants is some love and attention, and Deenie and I both look at the assistant manager like she’s NUTS. He’s not her Daddy (though part of me wondered if she wasn’t reliving a past conversation in THAT relationship). He’s her trainer! It’s not about love and affection, it’s about R-E-S-P-E-C-T (bow down to Aretha).
That’s NOT it, people. She’s not feeling like her trainer is responsible, and she’s not feeling like they’re a team.
True, she wasn’t effectively communicating her point. Also true, he was not open to listening AT ALL. He’s the expert and she has to trust him. She can’t work out due to injury (which he was derisive about), she tries to reply that there must be other suggestions he can make/things she can do to move things along but she can’t even get it out of her mouth before he gives a dismissive and final “No.”
No? There’s nothing? Nothing?
“There’s got to be a certain respect that comes with us talking or us training together,” Gregg says in an interview later. Exactly, Gregg. Why don’t you start doing that?!!!!!
Later Gregg talks to Jackie, the owner, and totally skews it so that Deenie looks like a lunatic. Jackie totally backs Gregg, but tells him to work it out because he’ll feel good if he does, and if it doesn’t work out at least he’ll know he tried.
In the end Gregg calls Deenie and says, “Let’s let bygones be bygones,” and she agrees. And then he admits he doesn’t like her.
I would so not work out with him again. He would be so fired. I think Deenie is setting herself up to fail by staying with a trainer who has no respect for her. It shouldn’t be about him, but at the same time part of the motivation to keep working is knowing you have someone who will walk with you, sweat with you and kick your butt if need be.
Jackie should give this girl a refund. I don’t even need to see another show to know that this girl, who probably should never have been accepted to such an intense program to begin with (for medical reasons), will likely not succeed.
I know that there are good trainers out there who are not only educated in exercise physiology but also in how to keep individuals motivate. Having been a member of several gyms, though, I’ve run across attitudes like Gregg’s before. Why is it that so many trainers have contempt for the people that pay them? Of course many of the students lack consistent commitment. Of course they’re going to get discouraged and want to quit.
If they knew how to keep themselves motivated and knew what exercises to do and how to do them correctly they wouldn’t need to hire a trainer.
If all you want to do is train hardbodies to be harder than only have them as clients. Leave the really challenged people alone. But if you want to really make a difference in someone’s life let go of your contempt and your judgments and ride the wave of emotions to help create a healthier life with a fat chick.
May 16, 2008 at 3:15 pm
having just watched this program off the recorder, i was pretty disgusted with gregg and his treatment of deenie.
no one EVER addressed the fact that he is persistently late, that he never notifies her, that he was, in fact, that very day late again.
suddenly it’s about deenie’s injury, which is bullshit in itself. gregg wants to focus on his music career OR he wants to work with very fit people who can essentially train themselves.
what deenie needs is a strong upper body workout to help her keep motivated and moving forward. there’s nothing more discouraging than to be on a positive path of change and then suffer an injury.
gregg’s a jackass. just like jackie. it’s no surprise she took his side in this. he and jackie probably sat down together and dissed on deenie, just as jackie and her gossipy office manager dissed on beeler’s client. pathetic.