Great trainer/doctor in New York to tell me how to sculpt my body?
September 22, 2007 12:35 AM   Subscribe

I am an overweight male. I want to look trim, have a 6-pack, and so on. I am willing to put in the necessary exercise and diet. I need a REAL expert in Manhattan with the knowledge and experience to tell me exactly what to eat and precisely how to exercise in light of my body, lifestyle, and history, and who could train with me on a regular basis. Where can I find such a wise person in New York (or persons? -- trainer + sports nutritionist?)?
posted by Malad to Health & Fitness (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My friend, it is called Weight Watchers. Look it up, it in the phone book under "Weight Watchers".
posted by parmanparman at 2:23 AM on September 22, 2007

Parmanparman is more or less right. The person you seek is yourself. I think if you had asked for a simple reference for a personal trainer, that's what you'd be getting. But your wording makes me think your search for the perfect trainer is distracting you from simpler work. (I recognize myself in your post, so I'm not just being a smartass.)

I need a REAL expert
exactly what to eat
precisely how to exercise
in light of my body, lifestyle
such a wise person

(emphasis added)

I'm going to guess that you will go through a few trainers and, when the weight doesn't come off fast enough, you'll decide they weren't very good. At the start, weight loss isn't about building six-pack abs. It's about moving more and eating fewer calories. Pretty much that simple. Of course you want to find someone who gets to know you well enough to say "I know you hate crunches. Here's a fun way to work crunches in..." Or, "It looks like you have a hard time exercising after lunch. I want you to try exercising for 15 minutes as soon as you get up and see if that works." But any trainer worth his/her salt will help you in those ways.

If you don't know a lot about food, a nutritionist-trainer combo might be a good approach. But I strongly second Weight Watchers. I'm a formerly-very-athletic person who could not get rid of a bunch of weight after I had a baby. It was a huge psychological leap for me to consider WW but having a weekly goal and actually tracking my food and exercise so I could make fact-based eating choices was the only thing that helped. Good luck!
posted by cocoagirl at 3:11 AM on September 22, 2007

Does weight watchers involve personal fitness training or just selling you their food to help you diet?

I'm not from NYC so I can't offer you direct names, but you may have more success dividing it up between a couple of people -- go to a nice gym and find yourself a trainer you get along with and let him or her develop you an exercise regimen. Separately, find yourself a nutritionist who can advise you on a balanced diet.

Sorry I can't be of more direct assistance!
posted by modernnomad at 3:11 AM on September 22, 2007

Not an answer, but related:

The best exercise to do in the beginning of an weight-loss-regime is to walk. Brisk. Steady tempo. No slouching or windowshopping.

It's easy on your body and ligaments, you can do it anywhere, won't need any special equipment so on and so forth.

And since you aspire to the six-pack I guess that you're somewhat competative. Right? Yeah, well - with walking you have the perfect challenge.

Clock yourself walking one block to or from work/studies. Next time, do it in shorter time. When you can't cut anymore time. Do it again, with two blocks.

Or, jump of the subway one station earlier every week (moving closer home) and walk from there. And get to work on time.

Walking is an fat-burner, it revs up the metabolism and gives your hearth/lungs an workout.

And whatever exercise och meal-plan you choose to follow later on, will be elevated by brisk walking.

Take care.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 3:54 AM on September 22, 2007 [1 favorite]

I think people are making perhaps-incorrect assumptions, and some clarification from the OP might help. A self-description of "overweight" could mean anything from medically underweight (but not skinny enough by personal standards) to very, very big. Advice may be needed on the basics, or the OP may already know what to do in general but be looking for small optimizations or assistance. I know I personally wouldn't start lifting significant weight without a pro to check my form.

Now, on to making my own assumptions: if you're significantly overweight by medical standards, I would ask your doctor about medically-supervised weight loss programs. While these tend to be pitched to people looking for bariatric surgery (since it's often a requirement for insurance purposes) and the documented long-term success rates are terrible (like every other weight-loss method), they do usually provide expert, customized advice on diet and exercise. When I looked at such programs last year, I was generally impressed with the design and execution; the terrible long-term success rates kept me from signing up. I might have felt differently if I had found the educational aspects more useful -- I already knew what I had to do -- and I was glad I check out the options, since it drove home the idea that success depends entirely on the person, not the program.

Of course, the advice such programs offer tends to be very, very similar to that offered by Weight Watchers for most people, but it may be worth it if you have specific needs or if you just want to know you're getting good advice.
posted by backupjesus at 4:50 AM on September 22, 2007

I think Crossfit trainers are generally much more competent than the average personal trainer in both exercise and nutritional knowledge. You might want to look into the local affiliate, Crossfit NYC.
posted by Durin's Bane at 6:36 AM on September 22, 2007

I just posted this question about finding a personal trainer.
Most of the good gyms in NYC are going to have personal trainers and a nutritionist or they will be able to refer you to one. The person I found through ACSM is going to school for nutrition. Also, Sitaras Fitness got rated by New York Magazine best personal trainer.

Finally, not sure how overweight you are, but you could also go to your doctor and get a referral. They usually will no someone or be able to refer you to someome.
posted by hazyspring at 6:56 AM on September 22, 2007

Don't let the desire for "exact" and "precise" stop you from doing things that are approximately right now, and improving as you go. Looking for exact and precise can be a subconscious delaying tactic.
posted by dws at 8:31 AM on September 22, 2007 [3 favorites]

modernnomad: Weight Watchers does not sell food products. They are a bit gimmicky with the "points" system they use for diet logging (WW points are a function of calories and fiber,) but they're definitely the best of the major weight-loss companies. I know a couple people who've used their meetings with good results. Basically they're just a support group for dieting, giving you someone to commiserate with and be accountable to at weekly weigh-ins. Also, if you do well they give you a gold star!
posted by contraption at 8:38 AM on September 22, 2007

modernnomad and contraption: The WW I went to did sell food products. I think, though, that one of the biggest reasons I kept going was the particular leader - witty, self-deprecating, hitting just the right balance (for me) of in-your-face commonsense and support. And now that I think of it, he almost never mentioned the food products. I also get the sense that within the last few years WW adapted its approach a bit and now does a fair amount of evangelizing about exercise, too (and I mean that in the best way). At every meeting we gave ideas for how to incorporate exercise or head off the excuses we made not to exercise.
posted by cocoagirl at 8:51 AM on September 22, 2007

Thanks for the answers so far.

I think people are making perhaps-incorrect assumptions, and some clarification from the OP might help.

This is a good point. I am definitely only moderately overweight (176 lb, 5'9"), and the issue is about how to get muscular and look great, not merely lose a little fat and get healthier.
posted by Malad at 10:47 AM on September 22, 2007

I have to say, while I sort of hate the proselytizing of crossfit on the net, this might actually be the thing for you. Since you aren't REALLY overweight, just carrying say 20 extra pounds, those workouts will get you in excellent shape and frankly you will probably need to make minimal changes to your diet to support it (unless you decide to go all the way to six pack abs, and then yes, you will have to eat clean as a fucking whistle). If you decide to do this I know the CFNYC has a new beginner cycle starting in October (I don't work out there but do lurk their blog).
posted by ch1x0r at 11:15 AM on September 22, 2007

I worked with an excellent but very pricey personal trainer in manhattan. this person came to my gym once per week, showed me how to do the program for the following seven days, emailed me a full list of routines every week and I just did it. well, just is an understatement. I lost lots of weight this way but it was expensive. the fitness industry is a gigantic pit of money. I think I paid her $110 for an hour once per week and she constantly pushed me to hire her twice or three times per week, which I just couldn't do.

good nutrition is easy to come by in NYC: sign up for nukitchen. don't go for their 1500cal option right away or your body will completely shut down in shock, do the 2500 cal option for three months. they will deliver every meal every weekday and if you eat nothing else, you'll be stuffed AND losing weight. this program works but alas is expensive as well.

forget weight watchers, forget magazine workouts. cookie cutter methods are a waste of time. personal trainer is the way to go. do cardio every day and weights every other and within three months you will be in a routine that'll be far easier to keep up than break. it's a long process and it takes dedication. keep in mind that you will arrive at a level you will be really happy with not in 3-4 but 12-15 months. you won't see it at first. other people will point out you've changed and you will think they're full of it until you realize you hear this all the time now and that old shirt is waaaay too wide now.

(yes, I could post the trainers name here. but I didn't think I should do that, google and all. email me if you would like to have it.)
posted by krautland at 6:54 PM on September 22, 2007

oh, I didn't see you were just 179 and 5"9. that's not nearly half as bad as I thought from the original post. 20lbs is no problem at all. nukitchen, trainer.
posted by krautland at 6:55 PM on September 22, 2007

nukitchen, trainer.

Perfect, just what I was looking for. Thank you much. 5squares appears to be a good alternative too.
posted by Malad at 12:26 AM on September 23, 2007

yes, I could post the trainers name here. but I didn't think I should do that, google and all. email me if you would like to have it.

I would love to, but any hints on how I might do that? I might be missing something, but I didn't see it on your profile page. Thanks.
posted by Malad at 2:01 AM on September 23, 2007

ah, my bad. I deleted the email a while ago and forgot.

email me at chrispc77neargeemail(youknowwhatImean)
posted by krautland at 10:17 AM on September 23, 2007

Re: Durin's Bane. Has anyone here actually done Crossfit?
posted by annabellee at 11:18 AM on September 23, 2007

oh, one caveat: nukitchen's food is great but their billing department isn't really dependable. they messed up once or twice and billed me when I had cancelled orders for specific days. I don't think that was anything more than a mistake on their part (and they were really nice to deal with when I called about it) but you should stay on top of how many days you have just in case.
posted by krautland at 1:54 PM on September 23, 2007

Yes, I followed the posted WOD for about 1.5 years, learned a lot, enjoyed it immensely, lost some fat, improved GPP a ton, etc. As a bit of a powerlifter, I found I wasn't improving max strength much so I've since shifted to my own mix of heavy lifting, gymnastics, and CF-inspired circuits.

posted by Durin's Bane at 9:33 AM on September 26, 2007

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