Guess what? This weekend recap is not going to include the usual pictures of the food that I ate and details on my social engagements over the past few days. Why? Because there’s not all that much to report. Some yoga, some BODYPUMP, shopping, packing and downtime. And absolutely no pictures to share on the blog (except for 25-30 selfies I took of Rudy and me and sent to Dave, who was away on a guy’s weekend with his dad). Remember on Friday when I said I hoped to not change out of workout clothes or pajamas? Mission accomplished.
Instead, today, let’s talk about the gym. As you know, I don’t spend as much time there as I used to when I worked as a personal trainer at Equinox, but I still go pretty often and have a good routine down. But most recently, I switched things up by working with my own trainer for six weeks in a row, going for a full-hour (sometimes longer) session each week. I’ve finished up that initial package, but figured it would be fun to reflect on it.
Six things I like about working with a personal trainer
By the way, because I’m an employee of 24 Hour Fitness, I was given a free package of personal training sessions and chose to work with a fellow Les Mills instructor, Will, who also teaches at the Walnut Creek gym, where I go. I told Will that my only goal was to get stronger. And after six weeks, I absolutely did.
During the time I was working with Will, I had only been teaching BODYPUMP once weekly, so the training sessions I did with him totally got me into the shape I needed to be to go back to teaching BODYPUMP twice a week, like I am doing now. (And for the record, teaching or doing BODYPUMP once a week is super tough, because each time you teach it’s painfully hard. While it’s still hard to teach twice a week, that’s only because I’m putting more weight on the bar and pushing harder.)
But I digress. As someone who is a certified personal trainer who knows how to build workout programs, why would I choose to work with someone else? Many reasons!
For instance …
1. Not having to think about what’s next or what to do in my workout that day.
My favorite part about working with Will was that I didn’t have to think at all. I would show up to the gym and just listen to his instructions. It was awesome. The gym turned into “me” time, instead of time that I was working or focused on the workouts of those around me.
2. Not having to count my reps, select my weight or rack my weights.
Doesn’t seem like counting reps is a big deal? It is for me. I constantly lose count. (And may or may not have done that as a trainer too hahahha!) When I worked with Will, I just kept going until he told me to stop. Sometimes I’m sure I did more or less than what was set out, but that was totally okay, because it wasn’t up to me. And even better than that, when you work with a trainer, a lot of times they grab your weights and re-rack them. It’s awesome. Because at the end of a set, the last thing you feel like doing is lugging a heavy weight back across the gym to replace it. Thanks, Will!
3. Getting out of my comfort zone, outside of the group fitness room.
Change only happens when you make the effort. Even though I’m religious about keeping up my workout routine and going to the gym, I don’t always get out of my comfort zone or try totally new things. While I love teaching Les Mills group fitness classes, to be totally honest, even though I change the programming regularly, the motions are similar, and my body craves diversity and doesn’t always get it. When I worked with Will, I told him I wanted to do absolutely anything that I wouldn’t do in the classes I teach. That means I was doing box jumps, walking lunges, incline chest presses, Turkish get-ups (my favorite) and even plyo push-ups (gag me). And for the first time since I worked as a trainer at Equinox, I went into the squat rack and did heavy squats. I also picked up a heavy bar with bumper plates for deadlifting (bumper plates are those big plastic ones that don’t make noise when dropped on the gym floor, by the way), and I did some ridiculously hard core and upper-body exercise moves on the TRX. It was never easy. But because I’m always up for the challenge, I looked forward to the workout of the day and felt so good after I had completed something that was very hard for me, and I may not have been good at.
4. Having a professional nitpick my form.
I know what good form looks and feels like, but I’m also human. When working with Will, I learned a few things that I need to work on. For instance, during stationary lunges, I need to pull my shoulders back over my hips more. I was leaning just slightly forward, which took a bit of the work out of my glutes. He told me that one time, and I instantly fixed it and have thought about it during every workout including lunges since then. This is a good lesson. For anyone working out in group fitness or with a trainer — take what they say and make the change not only in front of them, but after the fact, so you can improve. It’s so good to get feedback on your form, and I encourage everyone to seek it out. (For instance, if you always work out at home without anyone seeing you, consider going to a gym or class one day and getting some insight on how your body is actually moving. It could be eye opening!)
5. Being motivated by someone who wants me to succeed.
Nine times out of ten, I’m the motivator at the gym as the person in charge. But when I was working with Will, he wanted me to lift heavier, finish the last rep with great form and go harder. It felt good to have someone in my corner, and it sure made me want to do a good job.
6. Remembering what it’s like to be a student.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be bad at things or new at things. But that’s life. Working with Will humbled me and reminded me what it’s like for people who come to my classes for the first time. It’s not easy. You aren’t always sure of what you’re doing and that makes you second guess yourself.
Overall, those six weeks of working with a personal trainer were really good ones for me. I definitely had a few days where I was super sore, and I ended the whole thing with some results. How do I know I got stronger? Because I’m finally back to lifting more weight on the bar while teaching BODYPUMP that I was when I used to teach a lot back living in San Francisco. I’ve also been doing way more push-ups on my toes than knees.
(If you’re wondering whether you should work with a trainer, check out this post I wrote a while ago: Top six reasons to work with a personal trainer for some food for thought.
The key takeaways for you
I hope my experience as a “student” gives you a little inspiration to be a student in some way in your life. While it doesn’t have to be in the gym, it can be in the kitchen, in your church, or wherever you think you need some growth. It’s okay to stumble and fall when you take on something new, because you’re sure lapping those who are on the couch.
My weekly workout recap
Speaking of workouts, let’s take a look at all of the workouts I completed last week, which we always do on Monday. And sadly, no personal training sessions occurred …
- Monday: Rest day
- Tuesday: Taught a one-hour BODYPUMP class
- Wednesday: Took a one-hour CorePower CP2 yoga class
- Thursday: Did 30 minutes of weights
- Friday: Took a one-hour BODYFLOW class
- Saturday: Took a one-hour CorePower CP2 yoga class
- Sunday: Took a one-hour CorePower CP1 yoga class
Overview of the week
Holy yoga! I fit in three sessions of yoga this week, thanks to a free week pass at CorePower in downtown Walnut Creek. For the first time ever, I tried out the CP1 class at CorePower, which of course, is much less intense and slower than my usual CP2 experience. It was the perfect flow and stretch session for a Sunday. Overall, three resistance sessions were included, so it was a good week. Cardio you ask? Oh, I forgot to fit that in this week. Whoops!
Hope you go off and have a great start to your week!What you can learn from working with a #personaltrainer - talking #fitness #weeklyworkouts and more Click To Tweet
P.S. Thanks to Meghan for today’s “Week in Review” link-up.
Questions of the day
When was the last time you were “new” at something?
Have you ever worked with a personal trainer before? What did you think?