BJ Gaddour on What NOT to Say to a Personal Trainer
Candid advice from the fitness expert and "Sh*t Women Say to Personal Trainers" creator.
If you have any type of web-enabled device, you've probably seen the new meme "Sh*t ______ Say." The trend of hilarious videos took the Internet by storm and kept us laughing in our desk chairs. BJ Gaddour, fitness boot camp and metabolic training expert, decided to hit the gym and make his own video, "Sh*t Women Say To Personal Trainers." The result? More than 700,000 YouTube hits! If you haven't seen the video, you'll want to watch it below. Trust us, it's worth it! When you're done, turn the page to read our Q and A with Gaddour and get his tips for making the most out of your personal training session.
After two years of working as a personal trainer one-on-one with all kinds of clients, Gaddour had tons of material to work with. While his video does garner lots of laughs, it can also be a tale of how to maximize your personal training sessions.
SHAPE: How did you come up with the idea?
BJ: My wife is a big fan of cruising the web for gossipy-type stuff and celebrity blogs. She showed me the original "Sh*t Girls Say" videos and the spin-offs, and we thought it'd be hilarious to put together a video of the things some of our clients have said to us over the years.
Women just share a lot more than guys do. Sometimes they share a bit too much and that's where the jokes come from.
SHAPE: What do you do when you're not wearing a bad blonde wig and making viral videos?
BJ: I am the CEO of StreamFIT, a series of metabolic training workouts that you can stream directly to any web-enabled device. Basically, it's P90X meets Netflix. We use a new school approach to toning your body using interval-based programming to stimulate the growth of muscles and create a disturbance that will have you burning calories for the next couple of days.
SHAPE: What is the weirdest response you have gotten from the video?
BJ: I have gotten sexual comments from both sexes. Also, YouTube brings out the scum of the Earth who just look for ways to insult people. But you have to have a thick skin if you put yourself out there. The best part is that I've also received a lot of encouraging comments from people who can relate to the video.
SHAPE: The best part of the video is the end when you go on a rant about Girl Scout Cookies. What's your favorite cookie?
BJ: It has to be a tie between Thin Mints and the Samoa. But I haven't had a girl scout cookie in five years. The trick is not to know any Girls Scouts.
SHAPE: When women start telling you about their bedroom lives and making random confessions during a session, what are you thinking?
BJ: When I hear stuff like that I think, "Why did I get into this field?" After a few months of working, I quickly realized that I did not want to continue life as a one-on-one personal trainer. It really is like an active form of therapy: You become a friend, they get an attachment to you, and it becomes awkward if you are unsociable like me. I prefer group sessions like boot camps.
SHAPE: Why do you think women reveal so much to their trainers?
BJ: Women are just a lot more open and emotional. But I'm surprised how amazing they are-they work harder and can handle more pain than men. Maybe it's because they are genetically designed to handle pain from childbirth.
Guys in the gym are know-it-alls, including myself. Women want to be corrected and want that reinforcement. They work their butts off. Men come in my boot camp class, go at 100 percent for 5 minutes, and then conk out. If I had to form a fitness army, it would have a lot more women in it than men.
SHAPE: How can a woman utilize her training sessions to the max?
BJ: The most important thing is to find a trainer with the same mentality as you. If you like to attack, you need someone like that. If you are results-focused, then find someone who gets results. When two people with similar personalities get together, it's a beautiful thing.
SHAPE: What is the biggest mistake women make when they get a personal trainer?
BJ: The biggest mistake most women make is that they avoid resistance training. This is a huge mistake, particularly for women who are older than 30. Resistance works your fast-twitch muscle fibers and once they go, so does your athleticism. It also helps your muscles look tense and toned at all times. Resistance and weight training will not make you bulky; you will not become a hulk. A good diet coupled with resistance training does a body good.
SHAPE: What is the overall message you want to relay with this video?
BJ: There is so much humor in fitness, with lots of grunting and groaning and sweating. The stress of losing weight and overcoming physical obstacles brings out emotion and we need to just laugh at it sometimes. Too many people in this industry take themselves too seriously. That's where I think this industry needs to be fixed. Some people have too much ego and are too focused on speaking exercise language to clients. Most trainers don't understand there is a big need to entertain. The trainers that do well find a combination of entertainment and empowerment.