As a personal trainer it is my responsibility to educate, plan, motivate and coach my clients with a one-on-one exercise programme specifically tailored to achieve fitness goals. That would be a very brief and direct description of my job title.
My main goal as a personal trainer very much lies within the coaching and motivating of my clients to work toward exercise adherence. Exercise adherence refers to the maintenance of a prolonged exercise programme after the initial teaching phase. This is self-regulated, voluntary and often largely a psychological issue as clients thrive off that extra motivation provided by their personal trainers. Adherence can become diminished once sessions with a personal trainer stop as the motivation to continue limits once again.
This brings me onto a client I recently had the privilege of training.I have worked closely with Ros over the past 5-6 months. We started sessions just before Christmas of 2015. We had two sessions scheduled a week and also worked closely together in manufacturing a programme she was able to follow each week while training without me. We built up a great relationship over these months where I could motivate her to push herself to her limits, albeit I would constantly ask afterwards ‘are we still friends?’. It was always a pleasure to work with her as she never gave up and genuinely worked to her fullest every session with me.
Recently she has taken the step to continue her exercise path by herself and I have felt proud to see her do so! Like stated, this is an aim of mine to enable my clients to have the confidence to train by themselves.
Here is a little insight from Ros on training with myself.
I had met Alex once previously in the Sunday circuit where he delivered a killer strength/accelerated cardio session (still my favourite). He had a fun but very motivating style of coaching and this is what inspired me to choose him to work with. My goal was to lose inches and specifically tone my arms. It’s pretty easy to turn up to a PT session and get pushed through a session but I wanted to turn up to the gym alone with an idea of what best to work on to achieve my goals and not just spend lots of time on cardio machines as I had previously done.
So the work began.
At the beginning of each session, during warm up, Alex always took the time to check in with me on how I was feeling after the last session. Any aches and pains, diet mishaps(!) and general well-being were discussed before cracking on. He would also give me a rundown of the workout he had planned that day so I could mentally prepare!
Alex created tough workouts combining strength, high intensity interval training, ab circuits, boxing, compound weight training, isolation weights, plyometric exercises…the list goes on! Even my warm ups were varied so I learnt about the different styles of preparing the body should I be about to do a HIIT circuit or weight training.
Every session was a challenge and Alex pushed me to give one more rep, go faster on the treadmill or just inspire me to push that bit harder. Throughout the course of my time with Alex there were moments when I would doubt my progress but he was always quick to pull me up on this and remind me, with facts and figures, on how far I had come.
I consider improving my body and keeping fit my new hobby; I follow “fitness gurus” online, read books on different types of diet and really enjoy learning the science behind it all. I try to eat well 99% of the time and cook everything from scratch. When I started to plateau with my inch loss I took a look at my alcohol consumption and set myself a challenge to abstain for 30 days. For anyone who knows me this WAS A CHALLENGE! But surprisingly I found it easier than I thought and I now drink occasionally rather than regularly. With this in mind I would often pick Alex’s brain, questioning the how’s and whys of what we were doing in the sessions. Alex would happily explain everything in detail about the types of training we were working on which has helped me to form a balanced opinion of all the (sometimes contradictory) information out there.
So was it all worth it?
Well I have lost inches and my goal of better toned arms has come to fruition. I am now at my happiest with my body I have ever been and at my most confident in the gym. The money I have spent on PT sessions was money I would have spent on clothes to disguise a body that I wasn’t happy with. In the past I would arrive at the gym, do the same cardio machine session and go home. Through training with a PT I have now gained the confidence to push through my own circuits in the studio, learnt that I love HIIT sessions on the treadmill and found a new passion in weight training.
Another area Alex helped with was my re-occurring back aches and pains. I spend most of my day sitting at a computer, and as a result I am prone to suffer from upper back/neck tension which often affects my training. I find it very hard to relax this area whilst doing weights and sit ups. Alex paid particular attention to this and figured out different ways to get around this and worked on getting my technique correct. I have also significantly improved my core/lower back strength which is thanks to the exercises Alex showed me to strengthen this whole area. I can now do weighted abs circuits, which before would have been impossible. Or at the very least, painful!
I now have a goal orientated approach to fitness and training, which I feel is the key to “keeping going” with training. If you don’t see the results you get demotivated and this is when you question if going to the gym is worth it. I started a body measurement log last year and I often refer back to this to see the progress I have made. I also take photos, which motivate me to feel “anything is achievable” if you put a plan in place. Psychologically I now can’t imagine a few days, let alone a week without going to the gym.