I was not new to working out at gyms when I began with my coach. In my earlier life, I had used gyms primarily for cardio workouts. At best I would add a couple of sets of crunches and lift some dumbbells for my upper body workout. Though I have never engaged a personal trainer earlier, I was familiar with what it entailed. I had seen how personal trainers worked with their clients in the other gyms I had been to.
As far as I recall, the primary responsibility was to make sure the client walked or ran on the treadmill at a said speed for a said number of minutes. When the (poor) client gasped for breath and frantically tried to make eye contact with the coach, the trainer had eyes only for the timer, and kept encouraging the client to hang in there and not give up.
They showed the client how to use the different equipment and machines, and when the client struggled with the completion of sets, stood next to them counting the reps. At the end of the hour long workout, when the client was out of breath, after cardio and weight training, the trainer also had to show them floor exercises for the evasive abs. The trainer also assisted when the clients had to stretch their muscles post workout. Some trainers even sat on the client and gave them that extra push to help the client maneuver their belly fat to reach their toes.
My coach had emphatically told me that I would not be engaged in any cardio activity when she was around. That did not mean to say that she discouraged cardio activities. She knew that I walked Maxx, (our almost 3 year old Golden Retriever) every morning and that I clocked about 5 kms on an average (I know because I use RunKeeper). “Even if you don’t step up your cardio activity, walking your dog everyday is the bare minimum you have to keep at”, she advised. I loved my walks with him and this gave the impetus never to give up. I walk Maxx most every morning and we discover new trails that help us both clock 5 to 5.5 kms in an hour. I have witnessed some amazing sunrises and beautiful morning scenes, thanks to these walks. I even have a gallery on Instagram where I showcase my pictures.
At the beginning, she tested me for my balance and core strength both of which were incredibly poor. Even in my earlier stint at gyms, I would stay away from people who talked about core muscles and how important it is to strengthen the core. My pituitary was pumping enough endorphins with just a 45-minute drill on the treadmill or elliptical. To me then, core exercises were for people who wanted six pack abs (where as in reality, when your core is strong then there is no chance of hurting your spine when you lift weights).
The first few sessions of my personal training was targeted at preparing my body for what was to come later (The ominous killer-workouts that she customized for me). Like I said, my lack of balance and zero core strength, gave me enough to pant about without even setting eyes on the weights and other equipment that I would use later.
The gym at the condo where I live is really tiny and unimpressive. ‘You don’t need a gym to work out’ my coach chided me when I brought it up. “All you need is a *greek sounding* ball, a *mumble-mumble* bell and another *latin sounding* ball and you are set”. I did not understand any of what she said and was waiting for her to explain it to me in plain English. It was then that I was introduced to the new equipment that I had never heard of or used before. Among the list of things I had to pick to assist me in my quest for a trimmer me were three pieces of equipment – A Kettle bell, a Bosu ball and a Medicine ball.
Other than the standard equipment available in most gyms, what new equipment have you used for your workouts? Share your experience in the comments section.
The eighth and the last post in this journey here.