‘Leave Your Ego At The Door’ | PT Reveals Pet Peeves In The Gym

As gym-natives, PTs have a wealth of knowledge. And they’ve seen it all from weird and wonderful ways of using machines, to ego lifting.

We caught up with Nerissa Shea, Myprotein PT, sport and exercise psychology consultant and qualified nutritionist to hear what she wishes her clients knew and her pet peeves in the gym.

“If you want a diet to work, it actually needs to become a way of life”

Diet culture can be awful, especially around the new year when the ‘New Year, new me’ brigade take over. Not seeing progress can be frustrating but cutting out whole food groups to see progress is usually both unrealistic and unhealthy.

“People come to me and they tell me of the times they cut out carbs and lost a lot of weight. It’s just not sustainable. If you want a diet to work, it actually needs to become a way of life and by cutting out entire food groups it’s just not sustainable.”

A healthy calorie deficit is the tried and tested way to lose weight sustainably. And hitting the gym, lifting weights works wonders for your mind and body.

“Labelling food as good and bad is just not helpful”

We’re probably all guilty of it. ‘I feel so guilty, I ate so much chocolate’, or ‘McDonald’s is so bad for you’. This is no way to live. While things can be better or worse for you, that shouldn’t be all you think about when you eat them.

“Labelling food as good and bad is just not helpful. By labelling a food, or an entire food group as bad it instills feelings of guilt after you eat it.”

This is just a fast track to an unhealthy relationship with food. Rather than having a ‘cheat’ day, why not have a ‘treat’ day. Just changing small words can have a huge impact on your relationship with food. And after all, a huge slice of chocolate is not a cheat, it’s a treat.

On the subject of food. Meal plans are another red flag for Nerissa.

“If someone is blanket recommending you 1,200 calories and a set meal plan, my biggest piece of advice is just question it a little bit. Make sure that they’re looking for your best interests and not their own benefit of getting the best before and after shots for their own promo material.”

Although, it makes sense. How can 1,200 calories be right for everyone?

“You learn more from the bad weeks than you do from when everything goes perfectly”

Nerissa is all about mindset, exactly what you’d want from your PT.

“You learn more from the bad weeks than you do from when everything goes perfectly. You learn and you grow, and you learn to navigate through. It’s consistency over time that’s going to get you to your goals, not just having a perfect day or a perfect week.”

Running a six-week training programme with some of her clients, Nerissa sees them smash all of their goals and workouts in the first six weeks, but often things can go downhill from there. Of course, they do. Life gets in the way, how could it not? But Nerissa’s on hand to pick them back up again.

“Don’t be afraid to fail. People learn more from when they make mistakes than when everything goes perfectly.”

“Ego lifting! It drives me so mad!”

We asked Nerissa about her gym pet peeve. And I’m sure she’s not alone in her response….

“Ego lifting! It drives me so mad! Just drop the weight, leave your ego at the door and pick up a weight so you can actually perform the exercise correctly.”

As a PT, Nerissa understands why you’d want to look stronger than you are, but in fact ego lifting does the opposite. The people around you can see your missed form and your inability to do that exercise with such a high weight.

Take Home Message

Our chat with Nerissa revealed some important topics. If you want to look big and strong at the gym, work for it. Ego lifting will only get you so far, in other words it will get you injured. And blanket diet plans are very unlikely to be sustainable. Other than that, we’re headed for a big old slice of treat cake.



Enjoy this article?


Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you’re concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Emily Wilcock

Emily Wilcock

Writer and expert

Emily is studying Business Management & Marketing at the University of Birmingham and is currently on her intern year. She has a keen interest in both writing and fitness, so is happy she can now combine the two. She likes to spend time with her friends, both in & out of the gym.

Up to 35% off - Use code: BEST Be quick, shop now!