Your PT Makes You Sick

Updated: May 28, 2019

Your personal trainer makes you sick. And I don’t mean how they look or act. You would be surprised at how many times I’ve heard that, and you would be amazed at the pride with which it’s said. And it baffles me. As if that should be a marker for success or progress, or whatever it’s supposed to be. I can’t believe I actually have to say this to some people, but puking during exercise is not a good thing.

Let’s start with the obvious, if you were sick at all throughout the day, what would your first instinct be? It would be that you’re unwell. It would be that there’s something wrong with you. And generally, you’d be right. Being sick is one of your body’s self-defence mechanisms. It’s not only to alert you to the fact that something may be wrong, but it’s an attempt to expel whatever may be causing the issue, out of your body. So, it doesn’t magically become a positive thing once you associate it with exercise. It is still a negative reaction from your body, and it’s very likely telling you that you are working it too hard, you’re pushing too much. Stop, or something worse will happen.

There are a couple of other issues that you should be concerned about too. One is that simply, it’s disruptive to your session. You’ve paid for an hour session, and spent five to ten minutes of it being sick and then recovering. That’s a fair chunk of your time and money wasted. Also, when you’re sick, your body can easily become dehydrated. This is definitely not something you want during intense exercise. It’s a great way to land yourself in hospital. Be smart.

The big personal issue I have with it, is that it can and does discourage people from exercise, and in particular, personal training, in the future. People who might have greatly benefitted from it, but whose first and only experience of personal training was some idiot forcing them to be sick. And they’ll just think that’s what it’s like all the time. The number of people I’ve met who are proud of it, there are many more I’ve met, who’ve been turned off personal training by the prospect of it happening again. It’s not a fun feeling to puke your guts up.

Personal training should be about finding your level, or something you need or want to work on, and pushing it slightly, progressing you on, sensibly. It is not, and should never be about pushing you to the point of being sick. That’s unprofessional, and I can assure you that is not the aim or the intention of the vast majority of personal trainers. If you’re genuinely interested in achieving your goals, and you want the help of a personal trainer, please don’t let one bad experience put you off it altogether. It’s just an inconvenient way of finding one you probably don’t want to work with. Seeya next week.

Dan Miller

Body Fuel Personal Fitness Trainer