The Benefits of Personal Training

Today I had a consultation with one of the personal trainers at my gym. His name is Umar and he’s a six foot fellah with broad shoulders, a tiny waist and a bit of a cheeky grin. He’s also very, very good.

He approached me last week and said he’d like to talk to me about what I’m doing on the machines and, of course, I agreed. Earlier this week he showed me one of his clients and explained that he could give me a free consultation to talk about what he offers, how he works and what he could do for me in terms of fitness and body transformation.

. . . well, you know I’m all over that sort of thing, right?

So today, in I go and spend a good 40 minutes with him, doing a mini version of one of his full sessions. Lunges, squats, tricep-pully-things (can’t remember the actual name) and pull ups (fuck, that was tough!). I’m sitting here now, feeling the ache across my thighs, knowing that what I did in those 30 mins (the last ten was us chatting about prices and meal plans) was far more effective than the entire 90 mins I spent in that place on Monday.

So, personal training; what does it give you, just from what I saw today?

  • One on one, tailored support and exercise plans.
  • Encouragement and support (the amount of times I thought I had to stop doing those pull ups and yet I got to the end).
  • Accountability (not only do I know that there’s someone else waiting for me at the gym each session, but there is a cost involved too)
  • Structure (someone who knows what they’re doing in place to offer advise on reps, sets and weights is bloody helpful)
  • Measurable inputs and outputs (Umar’s meal plans all have weighed food and he ensures clients have before/after photos to look at)

So . . . yeah. All in all, the idea of a personal trainer is very attractive to me. Previous to this, I had thought that PTs were only for celebrities or other otherwise rich folk and I won’t deny that cost is a major factor here. But the fact that he and the other trainers frequent my local gym means that they are always accessible and not as aloof as I may otherwise have considered.

Basically, this is something I need to do a lot of thinking about, because it isn’t cheap. On top of finding the money to use the gym in the first place, this would be an additional wedge of cash to book the sessions. Balance that with my up and down relationship with food (more on that another time) I’ll have to think long and hard about whether or not this is something I can pursue.

For now however, the knee-jerk reaction is, ‘hell yes, that would be a great thing to try.’

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So. Much. Pain.

So . . . I went to the gym on Sunday. The one ten mins from my house, no cycling required. I had a quick induction then fell back onto my old loves: elliptical trainer, rowing machine, resistance machines. 20160403_144846.jpgIt felt so much like going home that I nearly cried.

I can’t believe how much I missed it. I can’t believe that I missed it at all!

Anyway, come Tuesday I decide to take advantage of the 24/7 schedule and take myself to an early class. By early we’re talking 6.30am.

No joke.

Tuesday morning, 6.30am I stood in the studio of my local gym with twelve other lunatics, ready to sweat it out for half an hour in a Pure Fat Burn session. 20160403_143914.jpgSomething burned alright, but I’m not sure it was fat. >.<

I left the session sweaty, stinky and jelly legged, feeling pretty damn proud of myself.
Hyped up enough at 7am to hop onto the treadmill for a very gentle walk to calm myself down and then a good 20 minutes across my usual resistance machines.

No problem. My body can handle that. I know it can. The urge to run was huge (the treadmills are so puuurdy!) but I resisted since I don’t want to bugger up my ankle.

However, what my body couldn’t handle was the subsequent two hours in the park with the sprogs (it’s hard work pushing swings) and the further hour and a half on foot after that, pushing the double pram (mostly uphill) to buy fabric for my latest sewing project.

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Can you tell what it is yet? ^_^

So. Much. Pain.

By 6.30pm I was wobbling around the house like a cripple, begging for bedtime. By 8pm I could barely get off the sofa.

Cue this morning, trying to get out of bed? Not pretty. Though I did—finally—get  to the hospital for my physio referral. I now have plenty of exercises to do for my ankle and appointments for other bits and bobs that should make life on my feet easier. All hail the NHS! ^_^

Now . . . I’m going to sit down. Again. I’d clocked 10,000 steps before midday given all the running around I had to do for various bits n bobs and the day hasn’t slowed much since then. I’m actually grateful that most of tomorrow will be spent in a car. o.O

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2016 Week Four Complete

Monday

Today I did another hour in the pool.
Today, I swam that hour with a blue and white Tesco bag on my head.
-_-
Finding a swimming cap to fit my locs is a joke (!!!) and I’ve ended up having to order one from a company in Australia. AUSTRALIA! They’re the only place I could find decent reviews and a real live person review for (a woman at the pool, with locs longer and thicker than mine, uses the same product). *sigh*
Talk about a gap in the market. Anyway, I’ve decided, if I can manage it, I’ll swim twice a week until I get my cap and then up it to three times a week. In the mean time, the bag actually does a pretty good job of keeping my hair dry.
1,050m today. So chuffed. ^_^

Tuesday

Right. Something needs to change. My back is killing! No idea what’s going on, but when I finish my runs these days I’m virtually crippled for a day and a half hours. Hmm. Who should I talk to? Still, I’m pleased that I did the run. Another of the CT5K+ ones (Stepping Stone again) and a pretty consistent 2.79 miles (4.5 km). I’ll hit that 5 km soon. I’m soooo close, I can almost taste it. Maybe that should be this month’s goal? To push that little bit harder and see if I can make the 5 km? Heh, we’ll see.

Wednesday

Reeeeeeeeeeeeest! I have no idea what is up with my back/hip but I think a day off anything strenuous will help. Meanwhile I’m researching what’s up with that. Oh, though today was my Get Healthy meet with Deepa. We’re both thrilled at the progress I’m making and her scales clock me at 115.9 kg. Not bad right? 😉 Can’t wait to see what the scales say tomorrow.

Thursday

I’m injured!!! *whimper* No idea what I’ve done between now and yesterday, but my ankle is killing and walking on it is painful. Running is out of the question. Hopefully I’ll be able to cycle to the pool tomorrow, but at this point, it doesn’t much feel like it. 😦 Oh, my check in is complete too. Disappointing, but let’s move on.

Friday

This isn’t looking good. Walking on my ankle is really painful and other parts of my body aren’t playing along. I may have to write this week off. o.O

Saturday

I was right. This week is a bust. I’m in bed. I have been all day. I don’t think tomorrow is going to be any better. Boy, oh, boy when I get ill I get ill. 😦

Sunday

Still in bed. Managed to fill the slow cooker with some food and hang some clothes out to dry. Way more than yesterday but still I’m begging for my bed. I have to be at least semi functional tomorrow as the other half is back at work. *sigh* Oh well, duvet day it is. I have no idea what next week is going to be like for exercise, but I’ll update as usual regardless. Who knows, maybe I’ll wake up tomorrow spritely and energetic. Pffft!

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2016 Week Three (ending 17/01/16)

Monday

20160111_075134.jpgGym! Again, really not feeling it. Even though I managed some rowing and elliptical, I’m really only there for the weight machines now. Hmm. 20160111_075847.jpgReally is time to mix it up because I’m enjoying the fact that I’m a runner now and I don’t want that to slip away. Maybe I could look more into the classes that my membership offers? I know there’s a Legs, Bums and Tums sort of thing on Wednesdays as well as a cardio something or other on Thursdays. Whatever it is I do, I don’t want to waste the last three months of membership I have, but I do still want to run. Heh, talk about first world problems!

Tuesday

Another run down. This was my third go at the ‘Stepping Stone’ podcast on CT5K+ and though it wasn’t as easy as Sunday’s I still did pretty good. Only 0.1 miles off my previous best so I can’t have done that badly. Though I did have breakfast before I ran: that does seem to make a difference. Oh, and I that pain across my left hip is back. It’s definitely to do with running, so I need to figure out what’s wrong with my form/posture/style/technique so I can nip it in the bud. I’m enjoying running far too much to stop now. Tomorrow—all being well—Legs, Bums and Tums! ^_^

Wednesday

Legs, Bums and Tums . . . aaaaah, no. -_- Just didn’t work out in the end. Too much other stuff going on and little kiddie winkles to be looked after. No worries, I’ll make it up tomorrow.

Thursday

A run in the morning, boy that was tough. I decided to try a new 5k+ podcast today. I did the ‘Speed’ one. 20 minutes of interval running, alternating between 165 bpm and 150 bpm. Ugh, I about died! But I’ll defo be doing it again: I really enjoyed the faster bits (even when certain I was going to pitch and hit my face o.O). Aaah yes, and check in done too. Looking good! ^_^

Friday

Today I swam 950m. ^_^ And, if I’m to believe what my vivo tells me, then sweating at the gym can fuck right off! According to my vivo, that hour in the pool burned 1184 calories. o.O I dunno if I believe that, but my most intense gym work out has barely made half of that. And, regardless of whether or not I believe the figures, I feel AMAZING right now. My arms have a pleasant ache in them, as do my legs, but my body knows it’s been worked quite hard at a low, manageable intensity. If I can manage to get a swimming hat that fits all my hair, I’ll happily do that three times a week. ^_^

Saturday

Not quite an intentional rest day, but probably a much needed one. I could have squeezed in a run this morning, but I’ll do it tomorrow instead. That way things are spaced out much better and I still get the all important slower days that my body needs to recover.

Sunday

Snow. I hate snow. -_- Not much of it but enough to complete cover the route I use for my park runs. Really wish I’d gone yesterday now, as I can’t see where I’m going to fit the run in today. Darn it. I Need to do better at fitting these runs in: I’ve come so far and done so well, I really don’t want to lose the level of fitness I’m at through inactivity and poor planning. Next week. Next week will be better!

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2016 Week Two (ending 10/01/16)

Monday

Run around the park. First one using the Couch To 5k+ podcasts. That was tough, I mean reeeeeeeeeeeeeeally tough! I didn’t hold the pace anywhere near what I was meant to, but I think I was fractionally faster. I seemed to go further in less time. Apparently 150 beats per minute (bpm) is a good pace for me when running under my own guidance but 155 bpm is way too fast. Hmm. Guess that means I have something to work towards! 😉

Tuesday

Rest day. Didn’t even make my 10,000 steps. Ha! Oh well. Bring on tomorrow.

Wednesday

GYM! Weird being back there after so long. Boring actually. And for some reason my Vivo didn’t pick up the 15 minute (faster than ever before!) run I did on the treadmill. -_- Bit annoying. Aaah well. At least I got some weights in too.

Thursday

Lots of running (not literally, by the way) up and down the hill into town but still didn’t make my 10,000 steps. Hmm. Much try harder. Check in done though.

Friday

SWIMMING! Hey, I can swim, who knew? I used to do a lot of it when I was younger, but aside from one mad aquafit session last year, I haven’t been in a pool for very many years. Today I swam breaststroke for 45 minutes. I paused occasionally (obviously!) but I was pretty consistent with it, including a few periods under water to remind myself what that feels like. Oh, there was also a (terrible) attempt at the front crawl. I’ll have to do better next week, but that was SO much fun. ^_^ Note to self, find a swimming hat that can hold my locs.

Saturday

Another rest. Lots of marching around town but no real exercise. Hmm. Guess I’ll have to make it up tomorrow.

Sunday

New PB! ^_^ Went for a run today using the Couch to 5K+ stuff and managed 2.8miles which, I believe is something like 4.5km. I’m getting closer to the goal. Nearly there! And, even better than that, I managed to keep up with the pace outlined by the podcast, even up to 160 bpm, which caused me lots of trouble before. I realised that taking shorter steps helps me hold onto the pace and that when I get comfortable with that, I can then take longer strides. So . . . all in all, I think it’s been a pretty good week! Now, I think, pancakes for lunch. Mmm. pancakes. *drools*

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Gym Day Thirty-Seven: Emergency Stop!

I wanna show you my butt!

. . . yes, I realise that’s an odd opening, but I spent some time looking in the mirror yesterday—really looking, something I’ve not done for ages—and I found some interesting changes. The top half of my body (we’re talking ribs, upwards) has shrunk loads. I mean, loads. I hadn’t noticed before because 1) I don’t look in mirrors and 2) my boobs were in the way. So I lifted them aside to have a look at my ribs and arms and whaddya know, those areas are visibly smaller, even to my eyes. Sure, I’m nowhere near where I want to be and I know I have a long way to go, but the fact that I can see the difference for myself is amazing and a wonderful Christmas present.

But my butt? I was looking at that too and I noticed the shape of my lower half. I have wide hips, always have and my butt is quite high. Not perky or anything, it just sticks out in a way you tend to find on women of my ethnic heritage. I used to hate it, but I noticed yesterday that it isn’t actually all that bad. That for all it’s size, the shape is ‘nice’ and the overall size has reduced since I last dared to have a look.

I don’t mean for this week to be all about my body image but I think it’s important for me to log these changes in how I see myself. It’s all part of the journey.

So yes . . . I want to show you all my arse, but I figure, that’s probably not a photo I should be putting on the internet. 😉

ANYWAY (!), today was another gym day and I nearly didn’t manage my run. Given what I said last time, I knew it was risky to go back there intending to use the treadmill, but when I arrived there was no bugger there and I know for a fact that Monday’s are heavier than other days I frequent. So I risked it.

So there I was, running along, listening to Joanna Penn at the 15 minute mark. Only another 18 minutes to go. Then my swaying hands catch something on the front of the machine and the belt comes to a horrible, dead stop. -_- It nearly knocked my teeth out! I’m lucky I hadn’t been going any faster because I wouldn’t have been able to catch myself if I had been.

So what happened? I hit the emergency stop. Not on purpose, mind you, but the swing of my arms on that particular machine makes it significantly easier to hit that button by mistake. Given its purpose, the button is also very large and easy to press. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

I nearly gave up then: sod the remaining 18 minutes. But then I realised that I’d only hate myself if I did. So . . . I started back up again and ran the last half. Oh, and I did something I’ve never done before. The last 60 seconds is usually when I crank it up a notch. Today I took it quite a bit further and ran at my fastest yet. I think that’s something I’m going to do more often: tack a faster pace on the end of each run and gradually increase the time spent at that speed. If I ever want to make an actual 5k in 30 mins, I need to go A LOT faster, so this is just a small way I can help myself get there.

Couch To 5k: Week Eight, Run Two: Complete

To make matters worse, right at the end of my cool down, I hit the button again and had to clutch at the bar while flailing like an idiot. The poor man next to me looked ready to leap to my rescue—bless him—so I did the only thing I could: laughed it off and fled to the toilets to hide the heat in my face.

-_-  *sigh*

Oh, and that grumpy lad was there again today. By the time he arrived I was already pushing weights so he didn’t have to wait, but he was still grumpy as anything. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him smile.

 

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Gym Day Thirty-Six: Time To Face Facts

I came to two very important conclusions this morning: things I need to admit lest the next few weeks of my exercising life become very difficult indeed.

One: I can no longer run at the gym . . . I’m simply running for too long. :-p Today, after running for 28 minutes, I found a young lad glowering at me while I completed my five-minute cool down, clearly waiting to use the machine (even though there were two free machines on the other side of the space). I had been on that treadmill officially 18 minutes longer than I should have and he was most unhappy . . . aaaaaaaaah well.dsc_0142.jpgTwo, and perhaps most importantly: I need new leggings. My current selection are now horribly baggy and collect arse-sweat in the little folds of fabric as they gather around my evidently slimming thighs. This collection of moisture leads to severe discomfort and embarrassment when I then transfer to the weight machines, leaving sweat patches on every available surface.

-_-

Whatever shall I do?!

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