I've always been terrified of the weight area/floor/domain at the gym. So terrified that I've avoided it at all cost. The judging eyes. The guys kissing muscles (yes I have HONESTLY seen that in real life).
Now in reality this is probably all in my head, but either way I haven't been able to really break it just yet.
As a result, I usually do workout DVDs in the safety of my own living room. Well, the only judging eyes there would be the dogs and well I can laugh that off since they judge me all the time. ;)
But, I have always wanted to try a personal training session. So many of my friends are personal trainers and well, they don't scare me or make me feel unworthy of strength training.
Enter Kristen from BeFitWithKristen.com!!
Image from Be Fit With Kristen
Kristen is a fellow Fitfluential Ambassador and a member of the Slumbrew running team, which is how we met. She listened to my worries about the gym weight area and my desire to give a personal training session a try and offered to meet with me for a sample session.
Awesome! I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Kristen works out of the Somerville and Chestnut Hill areas. With the Somerville location about a mile from my house, it was an easy choice. ;)
I bound up the stairs in order to cover my nerves ;) and was immediately greeted with Kristen's warm and reassuring smile. Nerves slowly started to fade ... note: slowly! :P
Kristen and I headed into a side office so I could do some paperwork and she could learn a little bit more about my fitness and injury background.
After about 10-15 minutes, it was time to get started. Many of the exercises she had planned for the session where ones that allowed her to evaluate my strength, balance and fitness level. Oh but at the end she threw in some TRX floor exercises to push me out of my comfort zone. Wasn't that sweet of her. :)
We headed over to get this party started on the treadmill. Oh hello old friend. The goal was to run for 5 minutes as a warm up and a time for her to evaluate my running form.
Alright for starting off with a strength of mine. Sweet!
Of course that 5 minutes seemed to fly by as we were just chatting away. And then it was time to get it going.
Kristen set up the TRX, which is something I have always wanted to try, but never had access to. As Kristen set up the straps, I looked around the studio to realize we were the only people in the studio. Woo! Talk about privacy and putting me at ease.
We did 8 strength exercises (3 sets of each, 10-15 reps per set).
*Squats (with jump squats during the final set to add in some cardio)
*Single Arm Power Pull
And I was already feeling it after that ... and we were only 1/3 of the way through. But thankfully I had been able to complete all of the exercises with the TRX so I was happy. Also, Kristen did a great job gently correcting my form and encouraging me as we went along.
Next up was balance. Now since my back surgery in January 2011, my balance has never been 100%. It is something the doctors told me would happen with a herniated disc and how severe mine was. But, I still try to improve my balance as best I can.
She had me do a single leg dead lift with a sandbell grab. Translated to: you stand on one leg, you drop the 10 lb sandbell to the floor, you bend over still on that one leg, pick it up and stand back up.
I didn't fall completely over - WIN! I had to reset my footing a couple times, but overall I was really happy with how well I did.
I was pretty proud of myself. 2/3 of the way through and I was able to complete all the tasks she had asked and didn't feel uncomfortable.
I was also very open about asking questions about form and how certain moves would affect my back. She was open to answering anything I threw at her, which was comforting.
And then she pulled out the big guns - the TRX floor exercises. Hello core work!! The TRX floor exercises work full body strength, core and cardio. You put your feet in the TRX straps and your body dangles. It seriously was an entire body workout in a short period of time.
We did 4 different exercises for 20 seconds at a time with a 10 second rest in between. We then repeated the circuit twice.
This was a true test for me as it was out of my comfort zone. I gave it my 100% in all of the exercises and know that if I did it more regularly I would be more comfortable with the straps. I wish we had the pendulum swings on video as I definitely had myself cracking up over how I looked.
I untangled myself from the TRX straps, did a little cool down and it was time to wrap up the session.
Kristen went through her assessment afterwards and gave me some great feedback. Always a good feeling when someone tells you you aren't as weak as you think you are. :P
Sooo Somerville, Boston, Cambridge, Medford or any other area in Greater Boston, if you are looking to give a one-on-one personal training session a try or looking to try a small group training (4 participants) atmosphere, check my girl Kristen out. You can contact her through her website.
Oh and tell her I sent ya! ;)