When my family moved, we had to find a new gym. My husband zeroed in on a new spot and had a membership right away.
I was slightly less motivated.
It was the holidays. I was busy shopping...wrapping...cramming something pepperminty in my mouth each and every time the opportunity presented itself.
My husband nudged me.
“Do you want to go to the gym tonight?”
“Hey, I got you a one week pass to the gym.”
And, finally: “I made an appointment for you to sign up for a gym membership on Saturday morning at 10:30.”
So I shuffled down to the new gym and dutifully signed up for a membership.
As I wrapped up my paperwork, a very nice, very fit young man took a seat next to me and opened up a big appointment book. He let me know that with my new membership, I was entitled to a free personal training session and assessment.
So we chatted about fitness goals and he asked me what I wanted to get out of my new gym membership.
I let him know that I’d lost about 50 pounds in the last 18 months and that I was just looking for a new gym since I’d recently moved. I let him know that I knew all about weight training, nutrition and didn’t really feel like I had any fitness goals outside of maintaining my weight.
“Great! Sounds like you’re on track. Let’s work out.”
Translation = I’m about to serve you up a giant slice of humble pie!
This guy absolutely kicked my butt.
I was shocked...and I felt like a complete jerk.
I had essentially waved him off with a “I’ve got this” and he spent 20 minutes helping me understand that my abdominal muscles were functionally useless.
But he really could not have been nicer. Much nicer than I probably deserved and so I ended up signing up for weekly sessions with a personal trainer.
The personal trainer that I work with every week is an amazing woman that I simultaneously love and hate, named Melissa. As someone who NEVER thought they’d work with a trainer, I wanted to share a few things I’ve realized in the last two months.
Perks of Working with a Personal Trainer
You learn new things.
Oh sure, the internet is filled with free fitness instruction resources that I could use. Heck, I’ve got oodles of stuff pinned on my Healthy Living for Mom board on Pinterest, but I highly doubt I would do any of it correctly, because quite frankly, much of what Melissa has taught me feels like complete nonsense.
At least once a session, she shows me some exercise and I wait for her to admit that she’s serious.
“You really want me to squat down and drag two 10 pound weights along the ground for the whole length of the gym?”
You push harder.
I considered myself highly motivated. But working with a trainer has helped me push harder and be more efficient with my effort. When you’re alone, it’s easy to kill time between sets by checking your email or perusing Twitter. It’s easy to think, “I’m tired, I’ll do more tomorrow” when you’re alone.
Nothing beats the I-don’t-want-to-go-the-gym-blues, than an actual appointment to go to the gym.
Also, trainers like to take measurements at regular intervals. Which is sometimes just the right motivation to help you skip that office donut.
What to Look for in a Personal Trainer
The right motivation style for you.
I know that some people love the whole “boot camp” training vibe...the kind where the instructor calls you names and belittles you for not pushing hard enough. Thanks, but no thanks.
If I’m paying, you don’t get to call me “chubby”. My money, my rules.
The right schedule.
My schedule is nuts. I’ve had to reschedule training sessions due to illness and work commitments. Melissa gets it. She’s offered to teach me exercises I can do at home and has been flexible about rescheduling. She’s built programs for me that are designed to give me a complete workout in 30 minutes or less. She’s had me do a 16 minute circuit that almost made me throw up.
The right personality.
Health is important. I get that, but in the grand scheme of what I’ve got going on, I do not have the time and energy to wring my hands about my measurements. As long as I’m generally staying on the right track, I want to minimize the judgement and maximize the laughter.
At the risk of sounding like a cheesy motivational speaker, trying to be a healthy person should come from a place of positivity and pleasure.
We’ve all got more than our fair share of stress and worry. Working out should be a way to get relief from the stuff that weighs you down. I have found that working with a personal trainer has been a really great step for me in what, I now realize, is an ongoing process of learning how to be a healthy person.
You can read the whole Healthy Living for Mom series here.