Personal Training

My back issues started in earnest when I first started working out with a personal trainer (about 5 years ago). It was my first experience with a personal trainer ever. And I was out of shape (of course) but had never really exercised before. (I don't think P.E. in Jr. High really qualifies.) I was exercise adverse. I don't mean that I was / am against physical activity. I just was against the kind that involved a gym, equipment, looking stupid and sweating. I had several times in my life where I went to Jazzercise or Aerobics class (back in the day when we all wanted to look like Olivia Newton John as she "Got Physical").  But I digress.

I had amazing health insurance at the time and it paid for a medical program that included a weekly nutritionist, 3X / week personal training and periodic check ins with the doctor.  It was a one time program and I had to pay a portion, but I wouldn't have been able to afford it without the amazing health insurance plan. Anywho, the program expected dramatic results (which it achieved). And the personal trainer I was assigned to was a young man. I believe he felt pressure to be able to write down quick physical fitness improvements in my chart.  (The program was heavily monitored by a team of professionals that were evaluating the program as a whole as well as the results of individuals).

Lots of lessons AFTER I was hurt.

This seems obvious, I know.  But...there's this weird thing at work here. I'm paying this trainer to help me get into shape. I believe that what he is asking me to do will actually help me get into shape. I believe that he knows better than I and would not instruct me to do an exercise that I wasn't ready for. Whenever I wanted to say, "No, I don't like this", I wasn't sure if I just didn't like it OR if there was a reason I shouldn't do it.
Turns out, one of the reasons I got hurt was because my trainer DID have me doing exercises I was not ready for.  A big reason he didn't see that was because with each exercise he would show me, I would mimic fairly well. Because I was able to lift the weight or hold the pose I believed that I was actually seeing the results of my new workout routine. Trainer was happy because he could write down in the little chart that I was progressing.  I was happy because I thought I was progressing.

The things that were important were the things that were not visible to the eye. That is, I was doing the exercises by using the WRONG muscles. He said "Lift this", so I lifted it, period. What I learned in physical therapy was that all along I had been using my back muscles for every exercise. EVERY exercise. This whole exercise thing was new to me, so I had no idea how to identify that the correct muscles were working for each task.

This is exactly what I had to do. I had gone to the doctor with my hurt back and he sent me to the physical therapist. So I had to add physical therapy 2X / week on top of personal training 3X/week. I shared with the trainer that I was in PT and what I was instructed to change in my work out. But I had to really stay strong and confident because as I got physically stronger, he kept encouraging asking me to return to an exercise I had been doing before I was hurt.

Exercise is not supposed to cause actual pain. Discomfort maybe but not actual pain.

P.S. I'm linking up here for "Say Hi Sunday".

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  1. stopping by from Say Hi Sunday.

    I have never had a trainer. They do make me nervous. LOL

    1. Hi, Thanks for stopping by. I did get another trainer who was a woman and specialized in working with clients that were also working with Physical Therapy. She was great! But I couldn't afford to stay with it. You know...I don't know how/if I will use a trainer again. :)


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