All Personal Trainers Are NOT Equal!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
My gym was bought out last year by another large chain. We lost all of our personal trainers. Every last one. Most went to a new gym that one of the best trainers started. But it is a little further away, and a little more expensive, so I stayed where I am.
Now that they have new trainers, they are offering 2 free sessions to current members to try to get us to sign up with a trainer. Not a bad thing - that was how I had found my trainer before. So I was willing, and yesterday I met "Mike" (not his real name). We spent 20 minutes doing paperwork - non of which involved measuring except checking the body fat. Mike was not thrilled when I told him that I would not be a regular client - can't afford it - but that if we clicked I would be interested in once a month or so. But, he did start me on a new program.
Mike is a body builder, and he also trains women or bikini contests. there might be a small mis-match here... He has one of those muscley bodies that make it dificult for him to put his arms down, or to walk normally. Obviously, he is not a runner.
His first recommendation is that I stop doing cardio first and strength training last. That is not going to happen, because for me heart health is the most important part of my physical condition.
Next he asked me how old I am, and told me I should never let my heart rate get above 112 when I am doing cardio. Otherwise I will burn muscle as well as fat. OK, I have seen this controversy before, but I believe that a calorie burned is a calorie burned, and I burn them a lot better at 128 than at 112!!!
I told him I have bursitis in the hips, bad knees, tennis elbow and carpal tunnel. He pretty much ignored that, other than to say that it was OK when I only did 6 jumping jacks and quit because I am not going to mess up my knees again!
He suggested I train only one muscle group at a time - shoulders and triceps on Monday, Legs on Wednesday, and back and something on Friday. So then my muscles don't get a rest day, they get a rest week. I don't think that is all that effective to build strength...
He also suggested I use the machines, rather than using the weights and my body weight as I have been doing. I did do 4 machines, and I can feel them in my chest and shoulders. That was good, because I haven't been doing much upper body since the tennis elbow set in. He also gave me a "dynamic warm-up" consisting of a series of walking exercises. I liked that, although I had my heart rate at 115 doing that!
I won't be going back to Mike. He really didn't listen to what I want, and tried to give me his one size fits all routine. I will take what I like from him though - so it wasn't wasted time. And although he didn't pay attention the answers, he did ask me some of the same questions that the 5% Winter Challenge asked me.
I may have to consider changing gyms after all... a couple more miles when I am already in the car, and a few more dollars seem like a small trade-off for my health!