Personal Training Reflections: One Year Later

Happy Thursday! I’m really looking forward to this weekend after a long work week. The weekend hasn’t begun but it’s already filled with some fun workouts (Soul Cycle, Strala Yoga) and a fun double date! After this weekend’s workouts I’ll be scaling back my workouts Monday-Friday in preparation of Saturday’s half marathon.

Today’s post is the first part in a reflection on my one year relationship with Lauren, my personal trainer at Equinox.

On March 23rd, 2011 I walked into Equinox unhappy with my body and esteem. While I successfully crossed the finish line of my first marathon just 4 months earlier, I wasn’t feeling like myself. I’d lost my workout mojo, gained weight during marathon training due to too much eating, and was discouraged that my running wasn’t improving.

I didn’t go into my first training session with the intention of investing in a personal trainer. I decided to use my complimentary training session as a way to improve my workouts, introduce weight training, and motivate myself. By the end of our hour session, which included 5 minutes of dynamic warm-ups, 45 minutes of high intensity training, and 10 minutes of stretching, I was sold!

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The session left me feeling exhausted and weak but like there was hope. Lauren, a fellow runner, was the perfect mix of intimidating and inspirational. She listened to my goals and helped me outline a way to achieve them. Most importantly, she already felt like someone I could see myself looking forward to seeing each week.

One of my biggest learnings about personal training is that you need to mesh with your trainer. Write down what you THINK you want in a trainer and then share this with your gym. For example, I knew I wanted a female who would push me.

Once I decided to make the investment in personal training, Bo and I had to have a long discussion. Personal training is an investment. It was an even longer discussion since we both were hooked on personal training after our respective training sessions. Personal training sessions at our Equinox location range from $79-$105 per session, depending on your package and the trainer’s tier. Equinox has trainers who are Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 based on their expertise. Yes, we can both do math. This personal health choice of ours cost approximately $320 per week or $600 per month for each of us or $1200 per month total. In order to afford this, we had to make some tough decisions. Remember that trip to Paris we didn’t take last year? Notice my lack of Friday Fashion posts lately? How about the Exhale, Soul Cycle, or Physique classes? We both made certain sacrifices so we could afford this investment. I also had a discussion with Equinox about partnering with them during the year through posts, awareness campaigns, tweets, and reader/blogger events. In exchange, they were willing to provide a modest discount.

But, a year later, it has still been a hefty investment. Hell, I could have had cosmetic surgery in certain cities for this price. But, one year later I’m proud of how far I’ve come and the results I get to feel each day. I’ve played frisbee on a beach in my bikini without trying to cover myself. I can rock out 35 full pushups and have improved my pace in almost every race this year! But, beyond the way I feel or the strength improvements, I’ve also seen weight and measurement improvements.

Below is a chart that shows my progress along the way. Unfortunately, I didn’t take true “before and after” pictures but these caliper numbers speak for themselves.

  3/20/2011 9/6/2011 3/3/2012
Weight 172 169 164
Triceps 19.5 mm 17.5 13.5 mm
Abdomen 20.5 mm 19 mm 12.5 mm
Illium 17.5 mm 17.5 mm 17 mm
Thigh 10 mm 9.5 mm 11 mm
Body Fat % 23% 19.6 18.5

Below are a few pictures that illustrate the progress as well. A year later, I’m done cringing at pictures of me.

March 2011

March 2012

Part 2 of this post will discuss some of my favorite workouts, how the workouts have evolved and more about finding a trainer within your personal budget.

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments and I hope you appreciate my honesty on this topic.

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