Training Tuesdays: Diving into the World of Personal Trainers

It’s happened. I’ve broken down and got myself a personal trainer.  Our goal is to get me to single-leg, active weight bearing activities, at which time I will apparently be allowed to run again (hallelujah!).

It’s a strange experience for me to even contemplate working with a trainer. I admit that I’ve turned my nose up at the concept of personal trainers in the past. It’s partly that I’ve always been self-motivated to exercise (okay, maybe not always…but at least for the last decade) and I’ve tended to have what I thought was a fairly balanced approach to fitness. It’s partly the cost and my aversion to paying for things I feel like I should be able to do myself. It’s partly that I’ve also seen what’s required to get your personal training certification…and it doesn’t seem all that involved. Translation: I am just a giant cynic and I don’t like to admit that I might need help.

So why now? Well, for one I would like to be able to put my pants on like a normal human being some time in the near future. Beyond that, though, I need to work on getting my whole kinetic chain functioning properly again and I’ve realized that I have no idea what’s required to do that.  Although I’ve always had pretty diversified activities in my life–hiking, running, spin, and a sprinkling of strength training–it turns out that all my major activities use the same range of motion. That’s translated into unbalanced strength. In other words, I have quads of steel and glutes of jello. Also, I’m fundamentally terrible at paying attention to my own form, so I need someone watching me like a hawk at all times.

Enter personal trainer.

For all my cynicism around trainers, my criteria for selection was relatively simple:

1.Must be recommended by a trusted source. In this case, both my physiotherapist and my boss vouched for the trainer. In fact, my physio works directly with trainers at this studio so my program will be designed in partnership based on my progress in both settings.

2.Must be able to explain the why behind everything. So far, all I’ve done with my trainer is my first assessment, but she has been able to explain absolutely everything she’s saying to me. If you can’t tell me why something’s not working and why you’re suggesting exercises, I’m probably not going to do them. Yes, I have problems with arbitrary rules.

3.Must be accepting of my stubbornness. Again, I have one session to go on but she didn’t flinch when I talked about hiking again this month or when I basically said I believed I can will myself to getting better. My trainer needs to get that I’m a happy blend of stubborn and crazy.

Here’s to a fun new chapter in recovery and, eventually, getting back on the training horse!

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