Have you ever hired a personal trainer? After many years of attending gyms, I finally decided to try that free personal trainer session they offer you with a new membership. The results were surprising!
To tell you the truth, I stayed away from personal trainers for a simple reason: group fitness classes were my jam! I rarely used the weight room, and when I did – there were a few of my favorite exercises I did allllll the time. So allegedly I didn’t need any help in that department.
It wasn’t until we moved to Tucson, and the class selection wasn’t that great in my nearby gyms, that I started venturing out on my own. Since then, I’ve developed a pretty good routine that worked for me. I do a combination of home workout programs, yoga studio classes, an occasional Orangetheory Fitness sesh and cardio + strength straining at the gym.
A few weeks ago I popped in at my gym to cancel my membership (since we’re moving to Vegas now) and it occurred to me that I never took advantage of their free personal trainer session. So I thought – what the heck, let’s do it! I made sure to ask for “the best trainer they had” and scheduled the time.
Session #1 with a Personal Trainer
My personal trainer’s name was Hailey, and from minute one I knew she was going to be awesome. We spent the first half hour discussing my fitness routine, diet and goals. I said that I already knew the basics and was looking to take my training to the next level with some new exercises.
Hailey also wanted to know if my goal was to lose weight, get lean, build muscle, etc. I said I was interested in leaning out.
Next, she recorded my weight and used a fancy machine to measure my body fat. You hold two rubber handles tightly in your hands and it tells you your percentage of body fat. Mine was at 26%, and it felt pretty insightful to know that I consist of one quarter fat haha.
The last 30 minutes we spent on the gym floor. I asked Hailey to show me how to use a few gym machines and a proper form during Smith machine squats. That’s the one where a barbell is fixed within steel rails allowing for only vertical movement. I saw lots of Instagram fitness gurus crushing this workout and wanted to try it with professional guidance. We started with 40 lbs and I could definitely feel my legs shaking afterwards.
At the end of 60 minutes with my personal trainer it felt like my workout routine just got a face lift. I knew there was more to learn from Hailey, so I signed up for two more weeks (which ended up being my last two weeks in Tucson!)
Session #2 with a Personal Trainer
I asked for a leg day. We spent 30 minutes doing completely new to me exercises which was super exciting. The entire time Hailey was giving me tips on proper form and cheering on me when I was about to give up. It was so fun to do a workout specifically designed for my fitness level and goals. At the end, my legs felt like jello – sign of a productive session.
Session #3 and #5 with a Personal Trainer
My PT and I thought it would be fun to incorporate HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) into our training. It’s definitely one of the most effective ways to burn calories and speed up your metabolism (think afterburn!) when you’re short on time. Usually a 20-30 minute session is all you need for a quality sweat sesh!
Hailey set up a few stations in the workout room: Bosu burpees, lunge jumps, kettlebell swings, etcs. The plan was to do each activity for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds rest in between. Going through all 5 stations once would complete a round, and we were shooting for 3 rounds with a little break in between rounds.
It looked easy (at first) but by minute two I was sweating, by minute three I was panting for breath, by minute four I couldn’t talk. It was brutal! If it wasn’t for Hailey, I’d probably quit half way through. But there she was – my awesome and relentless personal trainer with her little timer – telling me “half way through”, “5 more seconds”, “good work”, “almost done”.
In the end, I’d say HIIT sessions were my favorite. It felt like a quality workout and Hailey definitely pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. I’d probably cut corners and made call it good by 35 seconds haha! But it’s always the last seconds that count the most.
This was our upper body day. I was absolutely loved the one arm lats pull Hailey showed me. It was nice to spice up the upper body routine and my back was sore for days (=sign of a quality workout session).
Since this workout felt pretty easy, I found enough energy to go into the theater room for a cardio session. Thirty minutes on a tread milll later, I felt like a total champ haha!
So were Personal Training Sessions worth it?
I’d say YES! Here are 5 reasons why:
- You will walk into a gym like a boss. Have you ever looked at a piece of gym equipment and wondered what the heck is it? I was definitely intimidated by a few machines (…and by the grunting men with serious sweaty faces using them haha). A Personal Trainer can help you get comfortable with things around the gym, show you a proper form and advise on weights/# of sets appropriate just for YOU. Because we all want to workout smarter not harder, right?
- It will become a habit. Scheduled sessions with my PT made me show up to the gym consistently, despite a number of excuses I’d normally have that day (not enough sleep, too much to do at home, errands, etc). By the time my sessions with a personal trainer ran out, I was already used to this schedule and kept showing up.
- Focused results. Spending one-on-one time with a professional trainer allowed me to focus on areas I was seeking improvement in. There were a few specific exercises I was dying to try – such a smith machine squats – but I know how easy it is to injure yourself if not done properly. My PT checked my form, noticed tightness and showed a few handy stretches to do before certain workout. Once our sessions are over, I know I can safely continue practicing on my own.
- Workouts designed for YOU. Each session my Personal Trainer created a workout plan for the day, along with the number of sets and weights to use. Later she wrote them down for me, so I took home FOUR different plans (2 HIIT, 1 upper body and 1 leg day.) specifically designed for me. Since our sessions ended, I’ve used these workouts on my own and it’s so fun to walk into a gym with a purpose and a plan.
- Accountability during and after. My Personal Trainer pushed me way beyond my comfort zone. Those last 10 seconds in a round are always the hardest. Let’s be honest, if it was just me – I’d probably cut corners and call it good way sooner. With guidance and cheer from my PT I finished rounds all the way and felt like a total champ! I knew I was burning serious calories, because I was sweating up a storm! Now when I go to workout on my own, and I feel like quitting at count 12 instead of 15 – I say to myself WWHD “What Would Hailey Do”? She would surely not let me slack off. So I keep pushing 🙂
Overall, I am very happy with the results of my Personal Training sessions. It definitely took my gym game to the next level! I feel like I received a huge value from our sessions. With all the takeaways, I can continue practicing on my own using new skills and workout plans designed for me. I am also grateful that Hailey and I clicked right away, which made our sessions even more fun. If you are ever in Tucson area – look her up!
Tell me friends: have you ever hired a Personal Trainer? What was your experience?
Hope you have a wonderful weekend!