I hired a personal trainer for six weeks and this is what happened

Hellllllooooo friends and welcome fall! If you follow along on my social media channels like Facebook and Instagram, you know I have been crazy busy trying out a lot of different work out facilities in central Arkansas and I am so excited to tell you about my experiences. However, today I want to jump back a little bit and tell you about something I tried toward the end of the summer. I, Haley- lover of group fitness classes and self-proclaimed cardio junkie decided to hire a personal trainer. Let me tell you why:

While traveling over the summer, I was talking to my friend about working out and she was telling me she had just started back with a trainer she had worked with at Fine Lines Personal Training before her wedding in 2016. I knew she looked amazing on her big day, but when she started giving me specific numbers from her experience like inches and pounds shredded within given timeframes I became highly intrigued. I was also interested in how working out with a trainer could potentially benefit me in that the program would be tailored to my individual body rather than being a part of a group setting. I decided to go for it and got set up with the same trainer my friend had worked with, Katie Savoy. We trained two times per week for 6 weeks. Twelve sessions total.

The first day I showed up not knowing what to expect. After Katie introduced herself she asked “What are some problem areas you would like us to work on?” I told her my mid section is my main struggle and she quickly responded “Okay, that has everything to do with your diet so what are some problem areas that can help you with in the gym?” I loved her instantly. I mean she dropped off that truth bomb like it was nothin’ and it honestly stunned me for a second. But then I used my logical brain and thought yes Haley you’ve known this, hearing it out loud should help you accept it. So, I swallowed my pride and jumped back in the conversation about other areas I wanted to work on- mostly arms and inner thighs. We got to work!

I have never trained with weights consistently. For several reasons, but the first one being I’ve never known what I was doing with them. The second reason is fear of injury. In 2006, I had a spine fusion of the L5-S1 vertebrae as a result of a Spondylolisthesis diagnosis in 2005. After going through back surgery, I became hyperaware of what did and did not cause pain in my back and I made most every effort to avoid that pain if possible following surgery and recovery. With that, I have never felt very comfortable using weights in a group class setting. I always chose the lightest weights possible if a class incorporated weight training because I knew an instructor wouldn’t be able to give me all of their attention to monitor my form in an effort to avoid injury in a class full of people. So, working with a personal trainer seemed like a good opportunity to learn what workouts worked for me while being closely monitored on my form in a safe space.

That’s exactly what my experience was like training with Katie at Fine Lines. It was safe and comfortable while still being a challenge each and every session. We used free weights and machines. Typically 2 sets of 10 reps of each exercise. Each week would be a full body workout- Katie would group the workouts how she liked and we ended each session with about 10 minutes of ab work. At first I was shocked that there was no extreme cardio involved, my heart rate would would increase from lifting the weight or working through some of the leg sets she had me do but no jumping around or running  was ever involved. After a while, I learned that this was because it wasn’t necessary for our time together because she knew I did a lot of cardio outside of my training with her.

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Another cool part of this experience is that I was provided with a meal plan. It was created based off of a food journal I provided with every single thing I ate for one full week- indulgences included. I liked my meal plan because it was 100% do-able, convenient for my work day, and I’m a lover of following rules. If I am given an outline, I can stick to it pretty well. And so I did….pretty well. I was not 100% in line with my meal plan but it was a great guideline and one that I still use for most every week day at least for daytime meals. Chicken every single night is pretty miserable, but I aim for some form of lean protein at least.

Now, to discuss my results. There are numbers that I do plan to share with you all, but more importantly, I would like to share how I physically felt at the end of our six weeks. I felt stronger and more toned. My clothes fit me better and most of my pants had spare room in them that had not beed there before. I would notice muscle definition on parts of my body in photos that I know had not been there before. I felt really good! Also, my husband consistently commented on how my body was changing (for better!) This was significant because I had not told him I hired a trainer- whoops! I didn’t tell him initially because it’s very expensive and although I paid for it with my own cash stash, I thought he would argue that I should spend it on something not fitness related since I was already working out. Secondly, I thought it would be neat to see if he noticed any difference because lets be real, guys can be oblivious to some things that are more apparent to us gals. Mission accomplished on that front- he noticed the changes and when I finally confessed what I had been up to he was only upset that I had initially withheld it from him.  I first noticed physical changes at about the 4 week mark. My point is, it took a while to see results. That was another lesson I learned from this experience- consistency is really the most important thing when it comes to seeing results. Being (mostly) consistent with my meal plan and being 100% consistent in our training schedule resulted in change for my body. Okay okay, here are the numbers:

BEFORE

AFTER

WEIGHT

136.3 lbs 135.9 lbs

BODY FAT

23%

22.4%

BMI

24.5

24.3

SMALL WAIST

29 in

28 in

BELLY BUTTON

30.5 in

29 in

HIPS

38.5 in

38 in

UNDER BUTT

34 in 33.5 in

LEFT QUAD

20.5 in

20 in

RIGHT QUAD 20.5 in

20 in

So, technically I only went down 0.4 pounds on the scale but the rest of the chart shows why the scale doesn’t really matter that much. I lost anywhere from 0.5-1.5 inches in all of my measurements and went down in body fat percentage. True life, our final session was a Saturday morning and the Friday night before I definitely ate nachos for dinner so I’m convinced that played a large part in the minimal change in the numbers on the scale. Also weighing with clothes on is for the birds. Forget the scale though, I am so over it at this point in my life.

In summary, I felt like this was a positive experience overall. I enjoyed training one on one with Katie and trusting her with workouts that were made for me specifically. A lot of what we did was simple, and I feel comfortable in carrying them over into working out on my own either at home or at a gym with weights. However, the accountability is a huge part of the investment and that is something I have certainly missed since our sessions have ended! The accountability of not only showing up but training for a full hour in ways I typically don’t train. The only real downside is the financial expense. It’s a lot, but if you are looking for something individualized, more private, and have the cash availability it is a great workout option! I don’t have any regrets about my personal training trial and hopefully sharing my experience will give you the insight you need to decide if this is something you may be interested in trying for yourself! Thank you for taking the time to read today. Let me know if you have any questions! Love to you all!

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