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Free Hour With a Personal Trainer - How Should I Spend It?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One of the perks of my new gym (I will stop referring to it as "charming" "petite" and "quaint" because I really like it - despite its intimate coziness!) is that I get a free hour with one of the personal trainers. Rick the trainer interviewed me extensively by phone. To try and get the most from the upcoming hour, I advised him of the following:

1. My physique, level of healthfulness and overall stamina is akin to a deflated basketball.

2. I am not a bodybuilder and do not aspire to be one.

3. I come in during the early mornings, when others are not around. Do not count on the existence of a spotter.

4. My gym goal is weight loss - I told him about the glide-path to weigh zero and such.

5. My PT goal is to learn techniques to make the most beneficial use of my gym time and energy.

6. The measure of a successfully intense workout for me, is not necessarily to be puking up my own pancreas when I am done (I have seen PTs overwork people).

7. I've been more-or-less overweight to obese my entire life. We are not restoring some past measure of slenderness and healthfulness, as in point-of-fact said condition never existed in my personal history.

What else should I share?

Of course, Rick will want to sell me on ongoing regular PT sessions for the rest of my natural life. Of course, the money tree remains bare. What would you want to get out of a single PT hour, in that context? Am I wrong to focus on techniques (i.e., how to use all the equipment, proper routines for the free weights, etc.?).

Thoughts, anyone?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DRB13_1
    If you are not having an assessment and blood pressure check, make sure to warm up with some light cardio on your own BEFORE meeting with the trainer - at least 10 minutes, 15 is even better. That way you can get right into the training session safely. Never pay your trainer to watch you do cardio!
    If I only had an hour, I'd want the fitness asssessment. That way we'd both know what areas to work on.
    Have fun!
    2799 days ago
    take a note book with you then have him show how to use the machines and in what order that way you can get a plan in place. don't forget spark guy has a work guide and you can then make one for your self using those exercise. maybe the money tree will grow and you can get a second hour before summer we all know how much you enjoy swimming . enjoy the hour but don't get hooked on a trainer emoticon
    2799 days ago
    When I had my free half hour with a PT that is exactly what I focused on. How to use certain machines and the proper technique for using the machines. I had already had my physical therapist show me a lot of the machines when I had physical therapy. The only ones I needed instruction on were the treadmill and the elliptical. I swear the elliptical was made to kill people. I lasted all of 3+ minutes before almost passing out. I was afraid of the treadmill because a few years ago when doing a stress test, the treadmill threw me and I hurt myself. Now they have a clip that you attach to you. Good luck with the PT.
    2799 days ago
    I had a free session with a PT at our gym years ago - friend and I wanted to build strength, so first he took us around the machines, then free weights, and worked up a routine with us. He'd periodically check up on us, give advice, etc. Totally free, though I did some artwork for his logo for him. (He eventually became a good buddy, and was our wedding photographer.)

    Anyway, that's what we did with the free PT session.
    2799 days ago
    Learning the proper techniques is of utmost importance!!!! Also like someone else mentioned have him give you a written plan
    2799 days ago
  • POPSY190
    Will my free 20 sessions for osteoporosis I aim to learn proper form so that I don't have to pay exhorbitant fees to join but can continue on my own at home. This is on machines and also doing exercises using body weight. I think you are thinking along the right lines.
    2799 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    One more thing, any PT worth his salt will have a written plan to give to you. Any I have ever seen, have done this. It should be detailed, how many of what, at which weight, how often, etc. That's part of their job. Insist on it if it isn't offered. That's probably what the phone interview was for. And most don't usually try to pressure you into signing up for more lessons.
    2800 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/20/2013 12:45:58 AM
    I agree with your pal. Don't buy what you don't want/need
    2800 days ago
    Be strong and don't let Rick sell you anything you don't need or want. Have him show you a routine that you can continue without him that allows you to focus on the parts you want to strengthen.
    2800 days ago
    I've been using a PT (the same guy) for 3 years now, working with him 3x/week. If you find the right one and can budget for it, they are worth their weight in gold.

    I had a hip replaced in 2010 right before I joined SP and knew that I needed professional counsel and help to get back on track.

    For me, it's a partnership. I can do cardio on my own, don't need a trainer for that, so I focus his efforts on strength training. I do a lot of research and expect my trainer to be able to answer all my queries. I tell him my goals, he develops the plan, and makes sure I meet my goals with these caveats;

    1) first do no injuries!
    2) make sure I am doing everything correctly with the right form....I'm not worried about numbers on the weight stacks
    3) A balanced approach, strengthening all body parts....strength and muscular endurance

    I agree with the folks here that say pushing and pulling heavy weights against gravity is a real good thing!
    2800 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/19/2013 9:15:01 PM
  • no profile photo HANSBRINK
    My suggestion is to go to the library and borrow a recent book on men's health. Look over the programs for weights, whether it be free weights or the machines. Compare them with what your personal trainer comes up with. Focus on major muscle groups to start.

    If you want technique, use the Sparkpeople videos. Have him fine tune any of your technique.
    2800 days ago
    I'd go for a baseline assessment and a six week written program with a balance of cardio, weights, abs, and balance exercises.

    Then at the end of six weeks . .. you can check your measurements, see what progress you've made . . .

    And: enjoy it! Any personal trainer who spends that amount of time in pre-interview over the phone is pretty dedicated.
    2800 days ago
    Any of their fitness experts can show you how the machines work....that's their job. Don't waste your time doing a full session on each machine. Get a good mix of cardio/st equipment and 6 week exercise agenda from him. Then you can decide what to do from there.
    2800 days ago
    I would suggest using your hour to get an accurate baseline assessment (and measurements). Find out if he can give you a written plan as a follow-up tool. A written plan is important because one PT session will not get you a realistic demonstration of a full body workout --- generally, at least a 3 day cycle. Knowing your baseline is critical so you can track gradual improvements and avoid injury --- even for those of us not planning on bodybuilding competition.

    I invested in a PT for years and truly value the services. It is easy to "cheat" and use poor form --- even with all those mirrors! But a trainer cues you through full range of motion and proper posture. And the encouragement and faith of my trainer pushed me to limits I never thought of reaching!

    Lifting heavy objects is fun! Enjoy!

    2800 days ago
  • PICKIE98

    IMHO...Ask what machines, do what.. (I want to lose my gut, strengthen my calves, build upper body, etc,, ) what equipment will achieve that, Give me a quick rundown on it.. remember, you can get the skinny(no pun intended) on the equipment, then check out Nicole's vids or ask her how to do it or print out the exercises later.

    If you think the trainer will be P.O.'d if you write things down,, tell him you want to know the names of the stuff so you can come in on your own sometimes to use it.. Nicole can sparkmail you to tell you how to add reps or whatever , later.. get teh technique down and you can add to it later..
    2800 days ago
    Never having used a personal trainer, but reading about thngs to ask and so on, I think Maryann has the right idea. You definitley neeed the right technique with each machine and can go from there.

    Think you're right too . . . the trainer will probably try to sell you a lifetime subscription!

    Good luck and have fun with it.
    2800 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13099273
    For me PT is about learning the correct ways to utilize the equipment for my needs to obtain a quality workout in my allotted time that also provides knowledge of a range of muscle groups to work on - for alternating days. That 's what works best for me - Good for you- have fun and enjoy your workout . emoticon
    2800 days ago
  • MARYANN2323
    I think using proper techniques is of the utmost importance. No point shelling out that hard earned cash to come up lame from doing something improperly, and having to sit out doing what you are there for, in the first place. Find some techniques that you can build on. Adding to, as you go along. So many people tend to forgo weight training, stating they don't want to "bulk up." Let's face it, unless you spend countless hours lifting, you won't. What you do want to do, is build some muscle, that will in turn burn extra calories, even at rest. Hey, you may even grow to like it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2800 days ago
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