Thursday, September 13, 2012

Yes, I have a Personal Trainer

While I love Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper from the Biggest Loser, when I started looking to add strength training to my fitness regime I never even considered personal training as an option.  I figured I would just take some classes, find a plan on the internet, or possibly invest in some more workout dvds.  However, when the owner of one of the studios I contacted about fitness classes suggested that based on my goals I may want to consider personal training, I decided it was worth a try and I set up a training session with Lisa Anderson  at beneFIT Studio Salon and Spa.

Back view
Front view
The first thing that I was really impressed with was that even before our session, Lisa had emailed me some questions and also took the time to read this blog so that she had an understanding of where I was coming from before I even started. Since I already do plenty of cardio on my own by running 4 times a week, Lisa suggested that we focus our training sessions primarily on weight training, which is exactly what I wanted

At our first session we met and went over my goals:
  1.  I want to tone and strengthen but not get bulky; I knew that I did not need to focus on losing weight,  but I also did not want to gain weight either
  2.  I wanted to make sure I was doing the proper exercises with the correct form
  3.  I only wanted to do things that would enhance my running and not anything that could lead to injury and prevent me from running. 
One of my first questions to Lisa was what kind of results should I expect from personal training.  Since I am a smart sassy sister, I believe I said something to the effect of “not to be blunt, I know that personal training is not going to miraculously get rid of  all of the extra skin that is left after losing 119 lbs, so how will I know if it is working?”  Lisa stated that while some skin will not go away, that I should definitely start to see some definition in my arms, thighs, glutes and abs from lifting weights and training.  In order to measure progress, Lisa took some before pictures of me (posted above), which we can then use to compare after a couple of months. 

Right now I have committed to training two days a week- while $30 a session definitely means I will need to cut some other things out of my budget, here are the reasons why I am willing to make that sacrifice right now:
One of the small workout rooms- usually this is where I do my arm day
  • I love the small studio feel and the personal attention. Rather than a huge gym  chain atmosphere, BeneFit has an intimate feel and I never feel like I am working out and being watched by a ton of other people
  •  Successful weight training requires proper form and it is great having Lisa there to correct my form and teach me what it should feel like to have proper form. For instance, I had a terrible time knowing what it meant to have a “flat back.” Finally Lisa was able to explain it in a way that I understood by telling me to remember to “use my money makers”- meaning stick my chest and butt out.  Ever since I have never had a problem keeping my back in proper form!
  •  Lisa keeps track of what weights I lift and has a set circuit of what I will be doing each session- so just like running, I am just able to do it without thinking and planning what I have to do
  • Lisa is awesome at responding to texts and emails- she is always following up with me and asking me how I feel and responding to questions I have.  She takes the extra effort and so I feel like I get benefits from our training even outside of our sessions. She even brought me a shaker and a scoop of protein powder to try when I asked her what I should eat after my am training session!
  •  I push myself harder when I know that someone is there making sure that I am doing it right 
  • It is way more fun to have someone to talk to as I work out- though I have to be careful because I am still not very good at talking while lifting weights without losing my balance
  • Another of the workout rooms- doing lunges across this is not fun!
  •  Above all, I love that Lisa is committed to teaching and educating me so that I have the tools to strength train on my own should I choose to, versus just trying to suck me in and getting me hooked on “personal training.”
One extra bonus of training at BeneFit is that the studio is located in Columbia Tusculum, a great older part of Cincinnati that is about 5 minutes from my office.  Since the studio is also an Aveda Spa and Salon, they have awesome shower facilities filled with Aveda products, towels, hair dryer, etc.. On Tuesday mornings after my training session, I hop in the shower and get ready for work and it feels exactly like I was getting ready at home (except maybe fancierJ  I used to think that it would be such a hassle to pack up all of my clothes, make up, accessories, etc… to get ready somewhere else, but honestly it has been a breeze.  I keep one gym bag packed with an extra deodorant, curling iron, and brush (since they have all of the products for use for free I do not have to bother packing hair spray, shampoo, body wash, etc..) and bring my work clothes on hangers so they do not get wrinkled! 

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