Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Take Control Now (8)

The Take Control Now program isn't about hitting a number. It's about finding out who you are and what you want. When you take the time to work on yourself, the answers to those questions fall into place and, as a result, you'll love the way you look and feel. 

For your last assignment, I've included an article that lists the 10 ways successful people spend their time after work. Read it and take note on which ones really resonate with you. Then journal all the ways you spend your free time and for each one ask yourself, "Is this a productive way to spend my time?" If not, write down a better way you plan to spend your time. 

Create the best version of you. Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you. Recognize when you're falling into old patterns by being self-aware and honest with yourself. Use your journal to understand where you're at and determine where you want to go. Map out exactly how you're going to get there, allowing for obstacles along the way. 

Every day brings a new opportunity to create the person you ultimately want to be.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Take Control Now (7)

The gym can and should be a place to release stress and build muscle and confidence. 
A personal trainer can be a great teacher and resource if you want to reach your goals faster and without injury.

Ideally a new member should come into a gym and, if they have any doubts on how to work the equipment, have a personal trainer provided to them for one orientation session where they can have all of their questions answered. They should leave that session with a basic understanding of how equipment for major muscle groups work and, if they ask, should have the information such as sets, reps and weight for each machine used, written down for them. That is where an orientation begins and ends. If a trainer is ignoring your request to learn the machines you ask about, make very clear that you will end the session and you will ask the PT manager for another trainer to do the orientation because your needs were not met during this one. On the other hand, if you feel confident about your knowledge of machines and would like to spend your free hour with your trainer learning new things, let them know this during your phone conversation and most trainers are happy to oblige.

The first few minutes with your personal trainer you should expect to be asked a series of questions, sometimes personal. Keep in mind that this is for your safety. See if your trainer is using this information to make you feel bad about yourself in order to pressure you to purchase training sessions or if they are writing down your replies and asking more questions in response to your answer. An effective trainer will listen to you and address your questions and concerns with patience, as well as instruct you throughout your hour together.  Your trainer should not get defensive when you ask why you are doing a particular exercise. He/she should have no problem explaining what areas the exercise is working and why he/she chose it for you. 

I often hear that the trainer assigned to their orientation did not listen to them. They tell them they want to learn machines so they can work out independently with confidence yet the trainer insists on turning their free hour into a training session with him/her hoping to sell them a training package at the end of it. I am always baffled by this. Why would someone hire a trainer that doesn't listen to them? Now, from a trainer's point of view, I will tell you that it is frustrating putting new clients on machines for an hour when you know you can be doing so much more with them. That is why when I did orientations, I listened, put people on the machines for the major muscle groups, wrote the information down, and, towards the end, would show them some of the equipment and areas of the gym I use with clients who buy training time with me. A sales pitch at the end of the hour should be expected. What should not be expected or tolerated is refusal to help you learn machines in the gym. That is what the orientation is for. 

If your orientation went well and you are comfortable with your trainer, you may decide to continue with him/her. Train with them as often as you feel you need to or as much as your budget allows, even if that's once a week or even once a month. You should still be coming to the gym on your own outside of training sessions. You can practice the exercises your trainer taught you, try a class, or try out different cardio machines. If you have questions regarding machines or exercises you've never tried before, ask your trainer before attempting them and make sure you fully understand them before trying them on your own. Not doing so could lead to injury. 

I've included an article from Prevention magazine which lists five things to discuss with your new personal trainer. It is important to remember that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you during that first meeting. You should feel comfortable with your trainer, not intimidated.