I went into my fitness competition training with a pretty open mind and some serious determination. Perhaps my mind was a little too open though.
Call me crazy, but there’s a fine line between open-minded and gullible. Sadly, I think I blurred that line. When I began my training I knew I would need a workout schedule and meal plan. It was time to look into getting a personal trainer.
The friend who had suggested the competition to me in the first place raved about her trainer and since she had already competed, I figured, why not? Rather than meet one-on-one, my friend’s trainer emailed me a workout and meal plan. Not one question was asked of me.
First of all, the meal plan was clearly designed for a meat-eater. I’m vegetarian so this wasn’t going to do. Not only that, but I was suggested to do my workouts before eating my first meal of the day. Something didn’t seem right, but hey, I listened anyway.
The workout routine was alright, but I felt like some of the routines were tossed together haphazardly and without much consideration. Again, I let it slide and thought I’d give it a try.
After my first two weeks of following this 6 day routine, I wasn’t satisfied. I would wake up really early and run to the gym so I could get the workout over with, come home and eat. After 1-1.5 hours of weightlifting I was starving. Did I mention I was also advised to run for 1 hour? By the time I got home I would be ravenous.
During my first week at GoodLife, I sliced my index finger open trying to unclasp a pull down bar. I can be such a klutz sometimes! I asked one of the guys at the front desk for a band-aid and this perpetuated an ongoing relationship of lighthearted cajoling and harassment from him and his BFF, a trainer at the club.
The friendship I ended up developing with these guys gave me the opportunity to consult with a personal trainer, without paying the outrageous consultation fees. I had my trainer buddy check out the routine I was on and he immediately set up a session with me, free of charge and on his own time – score!
The biggest issue I had with my current routine was not eating before working out. He also thought this was outrageous. You see, when you don’t eat before physical activity, your brain signals your body to go into survival mode. Rather than eating away that fat, your body begins to stockpile it. This was clearly not what I wanted.
Next, he had issues with the fact that the trainer never spoke to me about previous physical health; injuries, limitations, etc. How do you build on weaknesses when you don’t know what they are? We did a full write-up in which all my abnormal body issues came to light. To make a long and embarrassing story short, flat feet equals bad knees and hips while a teeter totter incident from my childhood has left me with compressed discs in my lower back.
I feel like it’s important to mention that my buddy thought the teeter totter incident was hilarious and has taken to reminding me of this every time we see each other. More importantly though, because of previous injuries and their ongoing effects, he gave me some good pointers on how to safely build muscle without further injuring myself.
I can see this post getting away from me because I’m so enthusiastic about the end result, so I’m going to cut to the chase. What I learned from this experience is that second opinions are never a waste of time. Anyone with a decent memory can make it through the personal training certification, but it takes the right kind of person to treat it seriously.
My first “trainer” didn’t care enough to find out my fitness history and build a routine that would benefit me. Taking the advice of someone who claimed to know what they were talking about could have potentially led to a serious injury.
I knew better than to go to the gym without eating, yet I still did it. Some of the exercises on my workout routine weren’t working for me, but again, I still did them. As a result of my gullibility, I didn’t get the results I wanted in those first few weeks of training.
Moral of the story is if something doesn’t feel right, ask! I am happy to report that after a few weeks under my new trainer’s supervision I am feeling stronger, building more muscle and getting leaner by the day!
Stay tuned because in my next post I’ll be talking about my updated workout program…