At the end of January, I published a post about beginning to work with a personal trainer. I was a little apprehensive to share it at first, because I was unsure of the response it would get (in terms of reactions to my comments about my weight and body image). That being said, before moving forward with this post – I do not claim to be any sort of fitness professional, fitness advice blogger, or anything like that; and I do not claim to speak for everyone who works with a personal trainer. I’m simply sharing my experience.
With any new situation, there are always going to be both negative and positive changes, and working with a trainer is no different. I’m gonna start with the negatives, because I was taught to always end on a positive note (shout out to DG recruitment). You might be thinking…
what could be negative about having someone there to push you, believe in you, and make your workouts for you?
Well, the answer is nothing. Literally nothing is negative about my actual trainer (except maybe when he makes me do burpees… and now he’s probably going to read this and make me do burpees, just for saying that) or my gym. The negative effects of having a trainer actually come from other people in my life.
It is no secret that I go to the gym every day. You guys already know your girl loves to Instagram story, and I like to tag my trainer so people will click on his account and watch his videos of his clients (@AskCoachKy on Instagram). I originally began going three days a week at five o’clock in the morning. After the first month, I decided to move up to going six or seven days a week. I found that on the days I wasn’t going to my trainer, I couldn’t motivate myself to go to the gym on my own; and when I did go on my own, I wasn’t pushing myself enough to have a good workout. Additionally, the monthly price wasn’t much more than I was previously paying, and I felt that it would be worth it for me.
Because people are very aware of my situation – both from being involved in my life directly or following me and seeing my posts about it on social media – people ask me about it all. the. time. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me. I’m used to people that I wouldn’t normally talk to reaching out to me about a blog post or an Instagram post, simply because I’m someone who shares a lot about my life online (especially about past relationships, my faith, and now my fitness journey; apparently all thought-provoking topics). In the beginning, though, the questions people would ask me were just straight up annoying.
At least once a day, someone would ask me “do you see results?!” or “how much progress have you made?!” or “how much weight have you lost?” or something to that effect. You get the picture. Everyone thinks that because I go to a personal trainer, I’m some sort of fitness powerhouse who only eats protein and chia seeds and preps for body building competitions. Yes, I go (or try to go) to the gym everyday. But its been three months. Rome wasn’t built in a day, okay?! I am absolutely much stronger than I was when I first started. My turkey arms can actually do some lifting now. I’ve made actual fitness goals for myself, rather than superficial goals about how my body looks. For some reason that I will never understand, the people in my life think I’m going to go to the gym for an hour or two a day and leave with a six pack and a fat ass. As much as I would like that to happen, that simply is not the reality.
Something else I have noticed is a change in the way my body is viewed; both by others and by me. It seems as though people feel that they have more of a right to comment on my physical appearance now than before. I feel friends, family, and co-workers look me up and down when they see me, and make comments about my body – both positive and negative. I know that by posting about working out and changing my life style, of course people are going to notice, but I didn’t realize that people would feel like they were now allowed to judge my body to my face. They’ll exclaim a fake compliment or an unprecedented criticism, and ask me how I like working with a trainer. And when they ask this, they’re listening to respond, not listening to learn, or listening because they care about what I’m doing.
Before I’m even done with my sentence, usually telling them about how I like having someone there to push me, or I like how everyday is different, or how I feel stronger – they interject with oh, I could never get up that early! Yes you could get up that early, all you have to do is set an alarm. You’re the only thing standing in your way. Yeah that’s awesome, but that must be expensive! Like I’ve said before, I thankfully pay a good price, and it is something I am willing to spend my money on because I am determined to make a lifestyle change in terms of my health and physical fitness abilities. And it is a huge motivating factor for me (“I paid for this so I have to go”). Which workouts do you do? I want to do them on my own at the gym! First of all, I literally don’t even know what half of the things I do are called (lol – I need to start listening). Also, half of the reason you even have to pay for a trainer is for the workouts they create for or give to you. If he decides to post videos or pictures of his workouts online or on Instagram, then sure. But they’re not mine to give. I apologize for this coming off with a bit of an attitude, but it would be unfair!
I decided to note the way I view myself as a negative change because at first, it was. For the first few weeks, I was acutely aware of the things my body could do, but focused more on the things my body could not do. Or the way my body didn’t look (yet). There was definitely a short adjustment period where my confidence was knocked down a few pegs, where all I wanted was immediate results, like a flat stomach or toned arms. It was hard to accept that my body and body image are a work in progress, ESPECIALLY with people asking me about possible changes in appearances everyday, or making comments about my body, or always asking me about the gym.
You could say that some of that is on me, because I’m the one who posts about it, and advertises that I’m at the gym – but I don’t regret doing that. I have had so many people reach out to me saying that they felt the same way I did in high school, and that they were either going to look into also getting a trainer, or that they felt more motivated to go to the gym on their own reading about why I started going to a personal trainer. Posting about it is worth it to me.
NOW, FOR THE POSITIVES! I’m going to try not to go into extreme detail about every single one, because obviously I love having a trainer – enough to get up at 4:25am and work out. Every day. And trust me, that is saying something.
- Having someone else that is confident in you. There’s always at least one thing he’ll tell me to do that will literally make me cringe. I immediately assume I can’t do it, and (confession – sorry, Coach) start thinking of ways to get out of it. And yet every single time, he assures me that I’m completely capable, and every single time I find out that I am. And then I feel like the Hulk. Even though I’m still part beached whale.
- Having someone to shut you up when you complain. So, like I just said, sometimes I complain. I’m annoying. It happens. And then he reminds me that I’m the one that wants to be here, I’m the one that wants a flat stomach, and this is the only way for me to get there. And he’s right, so I shut up.
- Being told exactly what to do, and why. The worst part about going to the gym on your own is not knowing what to do while you’re there. This is probably the most important ‘positive’ in the whole list because, let me tell you, I didn’t know jack about working out. Obviously, I could navigate my way around planet fitness enough to do more than just cardio, but my knowledge was very limited. I have learned so much more in three months than I even knew existed.
- Tracking your progress. This is another important one. Going to the gym on my own, I never pushed myself. I rarely ever increased my weight while lifting, aka I was basically doing nothing for myself by working out. The first week of March, my back squat was 65×5. The second week of March, it was 95×5. Today, it was 125×5. It went up 30 lbs in one week. TWICE. This is what I meant by “I’m getting stronger.” Also, the fact that I even know what a back squat is is a huge improvement for me… lol.
- Having someone who doesn’t get mad when you say ‘I hate you’ to their face. And having that same someone text you after the workout and tell you that you did a good job (aka texting you in all caps calling you a fire-breather).
- A good environment. The gym I go to is a personal training gym. There are several trainers who pay rent, and you pay them – you don’t pay to be a member of the physical gym yourself. Everyone there (whether it be the other trainers, their clients, or my trainer’s other clients) is as committed as you are. When I don’t go for one day, I have at least two people ask me where I was or why I thought I got to skip the gym. If I’m doing something wrong, one of them will correct me. If I look like I’m dying, one of them will yell “you got this!” or better yet, get down on the floor and do it with me. This isn’t something you would ever get going to a normal gym on your own.
Working with a trainer was the absolute best decision I could have made for my body. There is no way in hell I would have ever been motivated enough to work out on my own. When I weighed myself in February, I was 164 pounds. When I weighed myself this morning, I was 150 pounds. I am 25 pounds away from being able to squat my weight (one of the only actual fitness goals I had when I started). When I first started, I couldn’t even do one burpee. Yesterday, I challenged three of the guys to stop what they were doing and do 50 with me. In January, I could barely do a sit-up. Now I volunteer to stay at the gym after I’ve finished my workout and do medicine ball sit-ups until I can’t anymore, because I feel like I can keep going. Three months ago, the only restriction I had on my diet was “you probably shouldn’t eat too much chocolate.” Now, I follow an actual meal plan from a nutritionist and literally drink protein shakes everyday.
I literally NEVER would have expected that I can do even half of what I’m capable of doing now, and I owe all of it to him! SO – with that being said, if you are looking for a trainer in the Worcester area, feel free to ask me for his information! And if you don’t live in my area, my advice to you is to get your ass on Google and search ‘personal trainers near me’ like I did.
Thank you for reading! XO