6 Weeks to Strong Glutes

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:

Workout Nirvana

Reshaping Your Body with Weight Lifting

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?

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

16 thoughts on “6 Weeks to Strong Glutes”

  1. I think you look beautiful!! I would love to have a trainer, virtual or in person, I tend to work out harder in group situations, like at a group fitness class.

    I so need to add strength training to my routine! April is going to be our month! 😀
    Biz recently posted..The Easter the Oven Died.

  2. I laughed when you said you forgot how to do the moves once you got to the gym. I am the same way! I am still in week 1 with Suzanne’s training. You’re doing a great job! Cannot wait to read your results end of week 6!

    1. Glad it’s not just me. 😀

      I am excited to see what results you get too. What are your goals? Weight loss? Strength?

      After only 2 weeks I already felt stronger. Not only did I have to increase the weight amount but I felt like my glutes were rock hard. It was awesome!

      1. My goals are fat loss and strength. If I could lose 5 to 10 pounds of fat and put on 5 to 10 pounds of muscle, I’d be a happy camper. I want Linda Hamilton arms in Terminator 2!

  3. Hi, Lisa! Found you through Lori at Finding Radiance. I need a knee replacement and have decided to increase my strength training in order to get my knees strong enough to make recovery and rehab easier, and goodness knows I need help in the glute department! A virtual trainer would be great, so I’ll look into Suzanne’s plan. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for checking out my blog.

      I really hope you can either avoid surgery or make your recovery time quicker with exercises. Suzanne is great and has several plans.

  4. You look amazing. Once we get to our goal weight there are always parts we still don’t like. I’m not crazy about my thighs, even though I’ve lost 45lb and I’m a US size 6/8! I will probably always hate them but I try to remember that no one else cares about them so I shouldn’t either, then I put shorts on 🙂

    I don’t need a trainer, but I do like the face to face aspect that the trainers at my gym give me. Essentially they just design my program and leave me to it, but I can celebrate successes with them, and have them encourage me if I need it. I recently started doing unassisted chin ups, and my trainer and I hi-fived. Pretty cool to have him around for that!

    1. Thank you, Jess. And you are right — there will always bit parts that we’ll focus on, even if we lose a lot of weight. No one is perfect, yet somehow we expect ourselves to be.

      Way to go on unassisted chin ups! So impressed!!!

  5. Way to go, Lisa! This sounds like the perfect way to shake-up your workout routine. I think it’s awesome that you’ll learn some new exercises and challenge your body in a way that’s different than usual. Can’t wait to hear about it over the next few weeks. 🙂
    Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Friday’s Five

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