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A First Hand Account of Working With a Personal Trainer

I had my first-ever personal training session yesterday. Here’s a dispatch from the trenches:

  1.  First things first, we established my goals. My primary goal is education — What does VO2 really mean? If I use one of those assisted pull-up machines, will I wind up caught in the top of it like the 30-foot extension cord I use for my weed whacker and have to have some brawny weightlifters come untangle me?
  2. My second goal is to put on some weight. My personal trainer said, “Oh, I’m great at that. That’s what all my female clients request.” (I think he was kidding.) I dropped about 10 pounds over the winter — in part, I think, because I gave up dairy — and can’t quite put it back on. As an aside, I feel great sans dairy. I’m less stuffed up and my skin is clearer and I feel lighter generally — though I’m small to begin with and I want at least five of those ten pounds back!
  3.  Then it was “establish a baseline” time. So Steve, my PT, measured my muscle size, body fat, sprinting speed, agility, flexibility, and ability to run a mile on a treadmill at top speed. The high-tech body evaluation tools? Measuring tape and calipers. The calipers made me giggle. I felt like I was in some old-timey doctor’s office where they measure how much skin they can pinch on your waist and then tell you your personality traits (“focused” “conscientious”). But it will be fun to see how my body changes and how.
  4. Back to the running on a treadmill at top speed for a mile: I learned that I have almost no stamina for running. I burned out on that treadmill after a quarter mile and by half a mile was certain I wouldn’t be able to finish. I did finish, but with a new and painful self-image of myself as someone who couldn’t outrun an arthritic dog. The benefit, I guess, is that I can add another goal to PT: get better at running.
  5. What I noticed so far about the PT experience: having someone right there, focused exclusively on me, made me strive harder and be more accountable. I can tell already that I’m likely to make fitness strides with my PT that I wouldn’t push myself to do (or even think to do) on my own.

To be continued next week…..

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