Saturday, 6 October 2007

Personal Training

Friday morning is personal training. I look forward to it every week. I've learned so much from all my various trainers, and there always seems to be something new to learn or a little bit further to push myself.

We started off on the treadmill. Lately my warmups have all involved walking but Krissi pushed it up to running pace. I pretended indignation but I was quite pleased that I was easily able to jog along and keep chatting to her. We then moved over to the Smith machine for some lunges. I hadn't done lunges on the Smith machine before. I remember that I used to be really impressed by anyone who was doing them. It's good to be doing exercises that I once thought were way too advanced for me.

I like the way Krissi gets me to set up. She really simplifies things. We started off with 10 kg on the machine while she checked my form, making sure my knees were tracking properly, that I had my abs locked on, and so on. The first lunge was a bit of a shock as I hadn't expected to go down so far so easily but I was ok after that. After we finished the first set, Krissi put the weight up to 20 kg, which was twice the weight I'd ever used to lunge with. The aim was for me to really feel it in my legs and the Smith machine would protect me from dropping it. Krissi was also watching out for me, with one hand on the bar.

Well, I really felt it in my legs. I think it's the first time I've ever felt the lunge in both legs, which was the whole idea. I was able to complete both sets but I was working hard on the way through. Krissi challenged me to do the last six lunges without stopping at the top each time, so I gritted my teeth and got through them. I was pleased to achieve that as I had been struggling.

We then moved to the chest press. With 10 kg on the bar I did the toss at the top, and handled it quite comfortably. I had my legs up in the air, crossed, and I was able to do that too. I hadn't been sure whether I'd be able to keep them up there, but it was pretty easy in the end. The legs in the air really do help to make sure that you're lifting with your upper body. Krissi added another 5 kg to the bar for the second set and we dropped the toss. I handled the weight really well. I think the most I've lifted on the Smith machine was 17.5 kg and it took me a while to work up to that, so I was pleased with 15 kg today. I think my strength has improved lately, which has been showing in my pushups.

We moved over to use the bent bar. I didn't ask what the weight was on this. It looked like 2.5 kg on each end and the bar weighs something like 5 kg as well. I can never remember what to call the exercise, but it's the one where you lift the bar in front of you until your elbows are at shoulder height. When I first went to the gym I couldn't do this as my tummy and my chest got in the way, but I can do it easily now, which I'm delighted about. I like this exercise as I know I have really good form with it. I'm also able to concentrate on lifting with my lats rather than my forearms. It took me ages to be able to work a specific muscle so I try to remember to enjoy it when I can do it successfully.

We headed back over to the Smith machine where Krissi put the bar right out of reach, shoved the bench back as far as it would go to the wall, and then sat on the edge of it, smiled at me and said "I'm going to give you my advanced abs exercise". Now, when a personal trainer smiles at you, you know you're in trouble. When they add the word advanced, it's time to run screaming from the gym.

Krissi demonstrated, making it look incredibly easy. She was pushing against the frame of the Smith machine with her hands as she lay on the bench. She raised her legs, lowered them to floor level then lifted them right up so that her backside came off the bench. I did a general approximation of this 10 times and then she had me doing the hover for as long as I could. I could feel that my abs were already struggling from the previous exercise, which was pretty hard work. I managed to last for 40 secs. After a rest we repeated the set, with a target of 30 secs for the hover. I absolutely bombed out on the hover. I think I might have managed 10 secs before crashing to the floor. I tried to start again but I couldn't stay up there. Krissi showed me a way to rest during the hover that doesn't involve lying face down on the floor, so hopefully I'll be able to do better next time.

It was a great personal training session. I felt like I worked really hard and achieved a lot today. Krissi paid me a lovely compliment at the end by saying that she wished all her clients were as much fun to train. I thanked her and she explained why she thought it was fun, telling me that I soak up all the information she gives and work at applying it. Thinking about it, I can see that a trainer would really enjoy having their clients listen to them and apply their words of wisdom. It must be encouraging. I know I love my personal training sessions, and I'm sure that enthusiasm comes over as well.

Oh, the interesting thing I learned was that I'm still picking things up off the floor as though I'm a big person. We were chatting and Krissi asked me to think about how I actually picked things up. I realised that I still stay fairly upright and lean over, rather than bending my knees. I'm going to have to consciously take advantage of my increased fitness and flexibility. I'm glad she asked as it's given me something to think about. I remember Leanne telling me once that I didn't have to roll over to get up off the floor as my abs were strong enough for me to be able to sit straight up from lying down. I love all these little physical achievements.

1 comment:

jojo said...

sounds like a wonderful sounds like you have improved heaps!!great work