the personal trainer training with a personal trainer

the personal trainer training with a personal trainer

Once upon a time I was reading an article about Jillian Michaels, the celebrity trainer most known for her role on The Biggest Loser. She was asked about her own daily fitness regimen, and she basically said she owed it all to her personal trainer. I was shocked and outraged by this comment. Why would she need a trainer?! I smelled a fraud and I was mad.

But over time, and since I’ve become a trainer, I guess I understand where she’s coming from. There’s so much pressure to be fit as a trainer since everyone is looking to you for advice, so why not take your hard-earned money and put it back into bettering yourself? Especially if you are on television showing the world how fit you are. I was curious about the experience of being a personal trainer and training with a personal trainer, and I recently had the opportunity to test those waters.

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photo: Lifetime Fitness

Do you guys ever use the free personal training session that gym memberships often offer? I always used to be on the fence about it simply because I hated being pressured into buying a training package, but now I have embraced them. As a trainer myself I understand how important it is to do that first free session–you, as the client, are feeling out the trainer’s personality and style, while the trainer has the opportunity to wow you with his or her expertise and skills.

Well, the trainer was trained by a trainer because I had my free session yesterday! The gym I joined offers it with your membership, and I gladly signed up. It’s a funny feeling because, for me, it’s kind of like a doctor going to a doctor’s appointment, a waiter eating out at a restaurant, or a hairdresser getting her hair cut by a stylist. I’m going to a trainer to do what I do to people every day. The teacher playing the student, is that how the saying goes?

I have to admit, I was a tiny bit nervous/excited going into the session. The trainer knew my occupation, so I was worried he’d have these lofty expectations of my fitness level. He asked me what I currently do to work out, and what, if any, areas I was hoping to work on. I told him that I have been trying to fix my posture (years of sitting in front of a computer did not help me out) and would like a general, total body workout. He listened to what I told him and delivered!

I had also mentioned that I didn’t know too much about the machines (I am a free-weights believer) so he helped me gain a little understanding for some of the equipment. We bounced around doing sumo squats, variations of row exercises for my back, an interesting lunge on a machine, some deltoid raises, and the dreaded exercise that I always skip or avoid: hamstring bridges on a stability ball. Holy soreness.

All in all, I wasn’t really a fan of the workout’s structure. I had zero warmup, we literally just jumped into squats. He didn’t ask me if I had warmed up on my own, either. Weird. My other complaint was that none of the moves were really heart-pumping, they were pretty much basic resistance moves. Now, I like adding some plyometrics to my workouts so that I end it feeling spent and sweaty, and this workout didn’t include any jumps. I guess I should have mentioned that in the beginning.

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no counting for me during this session! adios, stopwatch!
photo: Greatist

There are definite pro’s to this experience though: I learned new exercises that I did not know before. I got some insight into machines on the gym floor that I now feel comfortable using on my own. I was challenged by an outside source, I didn’t have to push myself with motivational words in my head. I didn’t have to put any thought into my workout–someone else did it for me. And most importantly, I didn’t have to count reps! (That may seem silly to you all, but as a trainer you count a lot throughout your day. Reps don’t count themselves!)

So, if I had unlimited funds, I would consider having a personal trainer for myself. It would be a tough role to fill though–they’d have to mesh with my workout style, have fun and unique exercises, and basically make me wonder what I’d ever do without them. Until then, I’m perfectly content with playing trainer to myself!

Also, how many times can I possibly say “trainer” in one post?!

photo credits: Raw Body Bootcamp Lifetime Fitness Greatist