the trainers at the y are fresh out of high school regular gym staff. probably trained in a three day course. i meanwhile have been working out all my life, and my first word of advice would be to say that when you lift, do not keep your back straight. if you allow your back to bend it will force it to get stronger. also lifting in a jerky, sideways halting motion really helps get your back ripped. always drop the weights, and when benching, always put 25 more lbs on than your previous weeks max, because your body will get stronger faster. and never use a spotter, they will just drop the weights on you anyway.