I signed up with Suzanne from Workout Nirvana for her virtual personal training recently. I’ve been Twitter friends with Suzanne for years now and she’s always been generous with her weight lifting advice. I’ve even shared some awesome posts by her on my site:
I figured it was time to try it out for myself. I had two reasons for doing so. First, I have most definitely been stuck in a rut this winter with my weight lifting–well, with all of my workouts honestly. I needed something different and for awhile Body Pump was getting me out of that rut.
The other reason I decided to (finally) sign up with Suzanne was my most recent physical therapy appointment. My physical therapist said that my quads were really strong but my glutes were still weak. Hence, my knees STILL weren’t healing. I was so frustrated when I went home from my appointment. I was starting to feel like I’d been wasting all my time ALL WINTER long and not seeing any results. My hope is that focused work in addition to my physical therapy exercises will do that.
It was super easy to get started with her. I filled out the questionnaire as thoroughly as I could, including doctor directives (i.e. no “explosive jumping” or lunges) and my goals (glutes mainly). Within a week we had everything worked out and I had my training plan for the next 6 weeks in my hands!
I’m not going to share specifics of my training plan other than a few things and a few observations. I encourage anyone wanting to get started weight lifting to contact Suzanne and find out if she can help.
I think a virtual training program like this works well if you follow the instructions and don’t half-ass it. If you’re more of the type of person that needs an actual trainer standing next to you motivating you to do it, it’s probably not for you. I’m a self-starter and I tend to go “all in” with whatever I’m doing so I don’t really feel like I need the motivation of a trainer with me. My only concern about doing something virtual was my form. With all the various injuries I’ve had in the past, I’m overly cautious now about proper form and wary of every little ache and pain.
My physical therapist told me last month to start keeping track of all my workouts/PT exercises/body aches and pains. So I bought a journal and I’ve been diligent about logging everything (even though it feels redundant week in and out). I printed of Suzanne’s training plan for each workout and taped it into my journal to keep track at the gym.
So my goals were this:
1) Strengthen my Glutes (to fix my knees).
2) Tone up my triceps (as much as I can, I have loose skin from the weight loss).
3) Tone up my abs (again, same as triceps, I have some loose skin).
Suzanne said that my biceps are pretty strong already so her focus is triceps and glutes, which I am happy about. I hope after 6-10 weeks I see a visible change! Above is my “before” picture. I have to admit, I was anxious to post it. The loose skin on my under arms is pretty much all I see when I look at that photo. It’s hard to think positive and how far I’ve already come.
I’ll break this up into two posts. This one is going to cover the first few weeks, the next one will cover the last few weeks and have a final update.
Week One –
The first session was harder than I thought it would be, but not for the reason you’d think. What I struggled with was actually doing the moves. I watched all the videos she sent me and knew a lot of the moves but once I got to the gym I seemed to forgot how to do them! I found that frustrating and I ended up going really slow while I tried to figure it out.
The day after my first session I was really sore in my triceps and delts. That was awesome!
That’s a pretty good number for my very first session! Especially considering that I felt like I had to rest a lot and put equipment together. My second session that week was pretty similar and it was solely weights–no cardio. In one hour I burned 513 calories. The second attempt was pretty good because I had a better understanding of what I needed and how to transition between the exercises.
Week Two –
This week my exercises were similar to week one but I was supposed to do them a little bit harder. The first week I was doing them at “65-70%”, meaning lighter weight and excursion. The second week it increased slightly, like 70-75%.
It was much easier doing the exercises after a few times. I knew the moves more and didn’t have to consult the videos. It still took a lot of time but I’m sure in the next week or two I will be more efficient.
I’m looking forward to seeing some positive changes!
QUESTION: Have you ever used a personal trainer? What results did you see?