Today was my very first ever session with a personal trainer. Let me say this as bluntly as possible. She kicked by butt! Seriously, I never work that hard. I mean, you think you do, but you don’t. No way. After half an hour, I felt like curling up in the corner and dying. I mean I felt great, but I worked crazy hard.
Here’s what I learned. They simply know how to get you going until you’re barely able to walk. They know how to guide you through exercises. They know how to motivate you. They know to use that crazy machine in the corner everyone avoids. This woman taught me how to work every muscle in my body in half an hour to the point of fatigue.
This is definitely not for everyone. Some people will hate the high intensity, and the quick pace. This woman even walked from machine to machine quickly so I was scrambling to keep up. It’s tough, and it’s definitely something you need to be mentally prepared for. You need to be prepared to feel like you’re going to vomit and pass out. You need to be prepared for the feeling of ‘I just can’t do another one’.
Most of the workout was done with body weight. She used this contraption called an ‘Artarix?’ device. Basically it’s straps with handles and adjustable sections that you set up to a bar, and then use your own body weight to do moves. It’s fricken hard. It’s really all about form. Everything should engage your core. Everything should burn. I did the lean back and pull your body up with a row. I did the lean forward and push yourself back like a push up with stability issues. I did the crazy get way down in a push up position close to the flower, but your hands are hovering off the ground and you crunch you legs to your elbows. Seriously, that one almost killed me.
But there were others that I could definitely do myself. The sit up with the medicine ball throw. The elbows on the bench in the plank position and knee to elbow crunches. Everything we did burned a certain muscle, and boy did it burn.
After my first personal training session, here’s what she told me.
1.) I have stability issues in my knees. That’s actually good to know, because a knee injury a few years ago is still affecting me when it shouldn’t.
2.) I work at a desk 🙂 She caught that one right away. My back muscles are weak. She said slouching is the main problem with weak back muscles, which sucks, because your back is really… well the backbone of your whole body 🙂
3.) I’m pretty strong for someone who doesn’t to much weight lifting. She said I follow instruction well, and I know to pay attention to my form instead of just how many I’ve done. That made me feel proud. I’m glad I’m not starting at the bottom. I’m glad that I’m strong.
4.) It’s not a good idea to focus on different sections of your body right away. I’ve been going to the gym, and doing legs one day, chest another, abs another… she said that this is not wrong, only it sets you up for injury because you’re failing to work the muscles in between the major muscle groups. She said most people she start with a full body work out to ensure those muscle get strong, before they focus on specific areas. It will help your stability, make sure you can properly maintain form, and help you work harder than you thought you could.
I certainly liked my session today. I’m really not convinced it’s something for me. I worked hard, and she kicked my butt, but I still enjoy my time at the gym on my own. Is it worth the money? I think it probably is if you’re going for strength. She taught me things in one session that I will remember every single time I go to the gym. But it’s $75/approx a session… I have a hard time justifying that when I know I’m doing really well on my own. I think if you’re beginning, you need to have at least one session. I think if you hit a plateau, you need to pay for a session. I think if you’re at your personal max, and you don’t know how to push harder, you need to go. But where I am right now, I’m not sure the price makes sense for me. One day I will hit a plateau, and then I’ll spend the money to help push me farther.