I saw a personal trainer, and I have mixed feelings. I was eligible for two free sessions at the new gym I joined, and at first I was quite content to blow them off. I have never used a PT and never needed too, besides all I do is run, cycle and squat so it’s not as if I required a crash course on how to use that big intimidating jungle gym near the entrance to the weight room…

Curiosity did get the better of me, so I set a date to meet with one Shawn, and perhaps find out more about “SWOL”. I was a little nervous to work with a guy, I really don’t know why though, I am perfectly happy to show anyone my feeble little arms, I am contented to stop when my body tells me I am too weak, I guess the idea of someone standing there watching me seemed far more bizarre than it was in practice.

I wanted to learn an hour(ish) long routine that would take me through the paces for a cohesive “leg-day” and then “upper-body” so I planned my sessions thusly. I could not move around for three days after leg day. This is not an exaggeration. I could not leave the house because my driveway was too steep, I could not sit up in bed, I could not lie down comfortably or stand up without help. I have chalked this up to my legs remembering how strong they once were, and therefore seeming to be more capable than they really were.

I was excited for arms day a week later, because I theorized it would be easier, as my thin, creepy Gollum arms would give out quickly and I wouldn’t be able to push them beyond their limit. I was thankfully quite right. I managed to make it through the entire hour feeling rather chipper, I simply could not lift certain weights. He took me through which machines to use and helped me with my form a little, but really in my experience if you maintain good posture on the regular, nobody’s going to have a lot to say about your form.

After upper-body day I did feel tension in my arms which gave me the T-Rex look for two days or so, but it had hardly any adverse effect on my day to day ability to work. I do think that strength training is important, but as I told Shawn, I just want a routine. I have no plans to “up my weight” or “increase my reps” I just want to comfortably spend two days a week on strength training and happily embrace the plateau thereafter. I don’t really have “goals” other than feeling more energized and experiencing as little bone loss as possible, so I am not certain that I am a great candidate to review PT’s.

The big HOWEVER, though is this, I did find it really helpful to learn a routine. Could I have figured it out on my own? Yes. Would I have felt confused at each machine, likely, would I have hurt myself, hopefully not, but in the end I am a fan. I fully endorse the idea of making one or two PT appointments to learn the ropes, but I just don’t think that it’s necessary to have a full time helper, at least for myself.

P.S. My best unusable leg moment was when I started to head down the driveway, sat/ fell onto my butt and had to be dragged back into the house as my thighs were seizing. I did not retrieve the mail, I did not pass go, nor was I given $200. It was just sad, pitiful, ridiculous behavior.

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