After joining the gym then erm, not really going, I realised that I needed a bit of a kick up the arse so £25 wasn’t leaving my account every month for no reason…So I booked an hour long session with a personal trainer.
I’ve always found the idea of a personal trainer really daunting as I imagine most of you do. I think the majority of us have that vision in our head of a shouty-work-you-til-you-pass-out kind of trainer but most of the time this isn’t the case.
Rather than find my own PT I decided to go with my husbands. They get along great (They’re even text buddies) and husband highly recommended him so I thought why not? He charges £25 an hour which is fairly reasonable and if you block book you get a discount – For now though I’m just going to have a session here and there.
I decided to book in on my lunch hour as the gym is usually dead at that time. I was actually a bit jittery all morning as I wasn’t really sure what to expect but I had nothing to worry about really. Jake was really patient with me, was super encouraging and uber patient when I needed to take a minute to rest.
I know a PT session can be a bit daunting for some so I thought I would share my experience to de-mystify it a little bit!
It was the motivation I needed to get my lazy butt to the gym.
The handful of times I’ve been to the gym since joining I’ve really half arsed it – 5 minutes on the cross trainer or bike then a 20 minute dumbbell workout that I’ve found online – but going with a personal trainer was really motivating. He showed me exactly what I need to do to achieve my body goals (toned please), how to do it safely and gave a quick plan that I can power through at lunch time or after work. Now I can go in confident that what I’m doing is right for my body, my goals and my level of fitness.
Stretches are super important.
Due to my terrible level fitness I’m not exactly flexible so my PT showed me a couple of stretches that I need to be doing so I don’t hurt myself and can push myself even harder. It’s never even crossed my mind to stretch before doing weight training so this was a good tip for the future.
The stair master is your friend.
When I went for my induction the other PT at my gym told me not to bother with the stair master…But my actual PT told me it’s the best cardio machine you can use and it’s what he uses when he fancies doing a bit of cardio. Well I have been missing out big time! I did five minutes on the stepper and burned 40 calories – It would take me ages on the bike or cross trainer to burn that amount! It gets the leg muscles going aswell so from now on I’m not even going to bother with the other cardio machines, stair master for life.
Lifting weights won’t make you bulky, especially if you are doing cardio based moves.
I already new this thanks to my forays in fitness in the past but some women are apparently quite scared of weights as they don’t want to bulk up? Well that doesn’t bother me in the slightest but if you weren’t aware it’s always good to know! For my lower body Jake gave me some varied cardio positions involving kettlebells, my own bodyweight and a bench, all of which were designed to get the heart rate going…Therefore burning fat aswell as building muscle. As I want to get fitter and tone up the combination is ideal for what I’m hoping to achieve.
If you can’t push through or feel ill and need to stop – STOP.
Whilst doing the aforementioned cardio moves I went super dizzy and had to sit down for a moment. It was apparently due to a combo of various things – lack of food and hydration, fitness level and the shock to my system – but Jake was totally cool with me taking a few minutes to recover. Believe me when I say your PT would much rather you sat down for five than threw up or passed out on their watch so always tell them if you’re feeling a bit funny.
Don’t forget water or a sugary drink, especially for your first few sessions.
Like I said, having a PT session can be a big shock to your system if you aren’t used to it so take some water or a sugary sports drink to help with hydration. Sure sugar isn’t the best thing for you but if you go dizzy the glucose can really help bring you back round. I suppose taking water’s a given isn’t it?
It will make the big boy weights room a hell of a lot less scary.
In my gym there are two rooms – The cardio/dumbbell room and the weights machine/barbell room. I found the machine room really daunting as it was always full of big lads and I didn’t want to embarrass myself by struggling to set up the machines (like the leg extension one). Jake showed me how to set up all the machines I would be using and made me do it twice so he was confident that I could do it on my own. It definitely de-mystified the weights room and now I’m not worried about going in at all.
If you are short on time go for super sets.
So a superset is basically doing one move on one machine, then moving straight to another then having a rest. For example: Leg curl then on to leg extension then rest. The leg curl works your hamstrings then the leg extension works your quads. These are great if, like me, you go to the gym on your lunch hour and don’t have a lot of time to do proper sets.
Have you ever had a personal training session? Or would you rather walk across hot coals?