"Your best what your best at." A favorite saying of my husband and the other night I was able to apply it when thinking of this blog entrance.
I was having a conversation with a dear friend about a nightmare experience she had with a trainer at a gym. She just started working out and getting to the gym 3 times a week was a success in itself with her busy schedule. (She is just starting her fitness journey and is at that "building a foundation" part.)
The gym offered free sessions from a trainer and it sounded like a great accountability for her, so she signed up and had her first session. It, as she said, "kicked her behind" and not in a good way. She was flipping a punching bag over and over again aross the gym. Her knees hurt. She couldn't walk for days. Her spine was at risk of severe injury. She was too scared to go back. I heard this and I couldn't help but be disappointed. This was not the kind of experience I wanted her to have and the thought that she was too scared to go back for fear of what the trainer would make her do in front of people made me really sad.
Clients are vulnerable when starting out, especially if they are overweight and the last thing you want to do is embarrass them in front of the whole gym or start them on a program that is way too advanced.
Why am I writing this?
Getting discouraged happens all the time, not just in the gym but from home videos, overly motivated friends, etc. It is important to feel comfortable with what you are doing. I am obviously in favor of trainers, as I am one myself. This blog is not about that, but about being comfortable and finding your place. I really came to that conclusion when talking to my friend. How could I encourage her to go back to the gym?
When starting out you need to find what you're best at.
My friend loves cardio, so my advice to her to get her back in the door was getting back to basics and getting back on the elliptical. Start there and when she is ready, meet with a qualified trainer or take a class that she enjoys and build up her confidence. If you have no confidence in what you are doing, you are not going to want to come back.
I had a personal experience like this when I first started training. I had a woman train with me that wanted to lose weight but wasn't ready to make the commitment and didn't personally enjoy free weights or cardio. I made an easy program, found photos of each exercise so she could reference them, started her out at the easiest levels but she didn't want to do the exercises.
Later she e-mailed me to tell me she lost 50 lbs and wanted to start training with me. She found an aerobics class and had a lot of fun and wanted to attend each session. I was so happy for her and you know, when she was ready she called me and wanted to take it to the next level.
What is it that you enjoy?
Walking? Running? Weights? Watching calories? Videos?
Find YOUR thing and get started.
If something doesn't work, try something else. The important thing is that you DO something.
After you are established, then bump it up.
Meet with a qualified trainer (I strongly recommend working with a NASM certified trainer). Get a good video that is at the right starting place. Walk, run, do pilates, elliptical, find a good class.
You have to start somewhere. For my friend, she needed to get back in the gym, get comfortable, get a routine and stick to it. I would rather see her get built up and find the love of exercise than get so discouraged that she stopped it all together.
So find what you love. Seek more knowledge and if you are ever not comfortable with what you are hearing or doing or your gut says, "this will hurt me." discontinue whatever that is and try something else. It is your right and you are the one who knows your body the best.