by, Alexei Bachuretz, CSCS
It happens to all of us. You wake up in the morning one day and say "I need to get back to the gym!" A job that consumes your day, kids that demand your time, and a house to maintain have finally gotten the best of your body, and it's starting to show. You know you need to exercise, but when compared to the other stuff you've placed it low enough on the priority list that it's just not getting done. Well, enough is enough. You're getting back to the gym.
Your first workout is a huge disappointment. You nearly lose your lunch on your elliptical and the weights section looks as foreign to you as Mandarin Chinese. All around you there are people working hard and making it look easy. Why does it seem like everyone knows what they're doing? Over in the middle of the masses you spot a young, toned body throwing weights in the air like they're made out of Styrofoam while a personal trainer demands "two more." Well, enough is enough. You're going back home.
This sequence of events happens more often than personal trainers can count, and is a large reason why we're in business. The disheartening fact is that so many of our facility's members go in and out the door before we can get to them. We never get to tell them that it's normal to feel confused, overwhelmed, and even ill when they're first starting out. However, that doesn't mean that the "adjustment" period has to be overwhelming. Sometimes, people can successfully go through this on their own, realizing that it's temporary and they will soon feel amazing. Typically, this group of folks has been through this phenomenon previously and is more likely to handle and push through the initial unpleasantness. More commonly, however, some sort of assistance is needed for those that have been out of the game for a couple years or more, and a good personal trainer can make all the difference.
A nationally-certified and experienced personal trainer is trained to design workouts for you. Not him, or her, but you and no one else. In terms of health and fitness, they can determine where you are now, where you want to be, and how to systematically bridge that gap. They will push you, but with the stimulus needed to activate the change in your body you want to see. Too much or too little stimulus can easily lead to overtraining or stagnation, two main causes for plateaus, or worse, injury. Increases in lean tissue (muscle), decreases in adipose tissue (fat), improvements in endurance, increases in flexiblilty, balance, range of motion, and countless other health benefits are possible with the right "push." Group Fitness classes have and continue to serve as a wonderful "push" to those looking for just that. Sometimes, that push is perfect, but more often, it's too high or too low. The key is to recognizing whether your body is or is not getting what it needs. If not, personal training may be the solution you need.
Every body is different. Some of us can lose five pounds with
hardly any effort, and others gain that amount if they stare at a
cookie for too long. When talking about physical activity, the same
is true: there are those that will gain muscle and lose fat more quickly
than others, and with different modes of exercise. The trick is to
find out what works for you and do it. If you don't have the
time or patience to solve the puzzle, take your woes to your trainer.
Don't you already have enough to worry about?