Personal Training, Featuring Anna!

Full disclosure: I’ve been friends with Anna since I was a wide-eyed college freshman straight off the turnip truck. She’s one of my closest pals, which made our first training session a lot of fun.

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Even though we’ve known each other for (ahem) 18-ish years, and I had some idea of what she was looking for in a workout, we still began our first session with a frank conversation about goals. This is a crucial part of the personal training experience. Sure, we could have jumped into a high-intensity circuit right away, or started with some treadmill sprints. But Anna can go for a run on her own or sign up for a group fitness class any time. The benefit of working with trainer is getting a program that addresses your unique needs and goals. Communication is key!

We also talked a bit about the concept of “toning.” It’s impossible to change the quality or shape of your muscle, and “spot reduction” is a weight-loss myth. But you can increase the size of your muscles and decrease you overall body fat percentage, which can give you a more “toned” look.

Based on Anna’s goals and exercise preferences, I designed a program that utilized tabatas (eight rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest) and circuits. Quickly moving from one movement to the next (e.g. push-ups, banded rows, banded good mornings) incorporated resistance training, while keeping her heart rate elevated. Anna also had concerns about strengthening her back and shoulder muscles, as she spends a lot of time at the computer and struggles with slouching and rounded shoulders. So I threw in some banded pull-aparts (a CrossFit staple!).

Another consideration was Anna’s day-to-day life. She has a full-time job and two kids; there’s not a lot of time for the gym or lengthy workouts. My goal was to create a workout that could be replicated at home, broken up into shorter segments, if necessary, and completed with minimal equipment and space. We skipped bars, kettlebells, and dumbbell (all of which I LOVE, don’t get me wrong) in favor of a variety of resistance bands, which are versatile, portable and inexpensive.

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Anna was a model client; she put in 100% effort and was up for everything I threw at her, even monster walks, which are just funny looking. We’re already strategizing our next session, which we may move to the park for some running intervals!

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Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? What was the experience like?

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5 thoughts on “Personal Training, Featuring Anna!

  1. Hey I’ve never had a personal trainer. What was the best thing you learnt from your course? I’m trying to get and STAY fit and healthy so I’ll be scrolling your site for tips 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. That’s a really good question. The course helped me understand how to adapt movements and exercises according to a client’s goals and where they are health and fitness-wise. A push-up, for example, is great body-weight exercise that can be adapted to challenge a beginner or a professional athlete.
      Congrats on embarking on your fitness journey! If you’re having trouble sticking with a routine, try an anti-routine! Dabble in everything – running, swimming, Hi-It, yoga, kickboxing, Zumba, etc. Figure out what you like best and build from there!

      1. Thank you 🙂 Yeah I think the key for me will be variety so going to throw myself into as much as possible and fight off any excuses, like moving and work. Thanks for the tips 🙂

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