After things calmed down from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a trainer from my mom's gym contacted me and asked me if I wanted to do a free, three-session "jumpstart." Essentially, she would test my athletic capabilities during our first session and then create a workout program for me to follow during our second and third sessions. I assume that this "jumpstart" program is a way for personal trainers to gain clientele, and well, it worked because I ended up hiring her for an additional four weeks!
Disclaimer: I made sure to take all the necessary protocols when choosing to go to a gym amidst COVID-19 concerns. The gym that I go to requires face masks to be worn at all times, a minimum of 6 feet of social distancing and requires that patrons diligently wipe down all equipment pre and post use. Because not many people have returned to the gym, I have found that whenever I go there are no more than three other people there at the same time as me, which makes me feel better about social distancing.
1. I've been working out wrong my entire life
I've been going to the gym since high school and I've been working out wrong my entire life. Granted, any exercise is better than no exercise, but learning how to work out efficiently and properly can improve results exponentially. First, my trainer taught me the correct form in which to do essential movements. More importantly, she corrected my form for compound movements, like squats, deadlifts, and bench presses. It is essential to learn the correct form of these movements in order to reap the most benefit from them. It is advantageous to learn this from a personal trainer rather than from a YouTube video or internet article because a trainer will give you real-time, personalized feedback on how to improve and progress.
2. You're probably not eating enough protein
As a benchmark, you should be eating around one gram of protein per pound of body weight (.6 g to 1.2 g per lb body weight is a good range to abide by). For example, a person weighing 150lbs should eat around 150g of protein per day. That might seem like a lot, especially if you're not used to eating that much protein each day, but it is actually a lot easier than one might think to sneak in some extra protein each meal. Additionally, protein has a high satiety factor, meaning that it keeps you full and satisfied for longer. An apple alone might keep you full for 45 minutes, but an apple with peanut butter will keep you full for MUCH longer. Some of my favorite protein sources are chicken, nut butters, eggs, protein shakes, Greek yogurt, and cottage cheese.
3. Don't depend on motivation, depend on discipline
There is a huge difference between motivation and discipline. Motivation is fleeting. It comes and goes, and is not a reliable way to hold yourself accountable. You might feel motivated to go for a run today, but who knows if you'll feel that same sense of motivation tomorrow. Discipline is a much more dependable way to hold yourself accountable. Discipline means going to the gym even after a long, hard day at work, saying no to the second or third slice of pizza, or getting up and going for a walk to get your steps in even if you woke up in a terrible mood. Having a personal trainer has really helped me form a sense of discipline. I've found that working with someone to help me achieve my fitness goals has kept me on track because I not only need to show up and put the work in myself, I feel like I need to show up for my trainer and show her that I am capable of what she has planned for me.
Getting a personal trainer has been one of the best things I could have done for myself. I just had my last session with her yesterday and I am so sad! I feel so fortunate to have had this opportunity and I whole-heartedly recommend going to a trainer if you're looking for some direction in terms of exercise, nutrition, and accountability. I promise you will not regret it!