I had major surgery back in October (2018) which meant I had to cut back on my gym routine. Now, for any of you who go to the gym, or better yet, LOVE to go to the gym, this is a difficult thing to do! But, not wanting to injure myself, or do damage to the doctor’s surgery, I did what I had to do to stay within the parameters that the doctor set for me.
Well, last night (01/08) was my first night back, and the first time working with my Personal Trainer, Jack, since early October. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go, but under Jack’s professional guidance everything went well and I had an awesome workout!
If you’re familiar with lifting weights the longest you should go without pushing iron is 2 weeks. Anything after that you begin to lose muscle mass/strength and have to take a step or two back in your training regiment, and start again with lower weights than you were using before you stopped lifting. The upside is that it usually doesn’t take long to get to the weight limits that you were at when you stopped lifting.
I have worked with various Personal Trainers over the years, as well as trying to research different workout routines & exercises on my own. After countless hours of working out and doing research I have come to some conclusions –
a) Going to the gym and trying your best on your own is better than not going at all.
b) Having a workout partner is better than going alone, as it keeps both of you motivated.
c) Change your exercise routine regularly and keep it fresh to make the best gains. And be sure to take days off from the gym, otherwise you’re risking an injury.
d) Free weights are better than weight machines, though they both have their pros & cons.
e) Personal Trainers are great for helping you make the greatest gains in the shortest
amount of time, while minimizing chances of injury.
f) Not all Personal Trainers are created equal. Trust me on this one, as I have worked with quite a few at this point.
My final point is what I would like to focus on today. When choosing a PT, be sure to make sure that they have all the proper credentials, education, and experience. If you have old injuries that need special attention, be sure to let the PT know in advance. A good PT should ask you about problem areas BEFORE your 1st workout, and should ask you what you would like to achieve by exercising, your goals, and what motivates YOU.
I have made the mistake of working with PT’s that were not focused on me, my strengths & weaknesses, and they eventually led me to injure myself and end up in physical therapy.
However, I can say this – when you find a PT that meets all of the necessary criteria, and is focused on you, your capabilities and goals, the results are amazing! I have only had two PT’s that I can commend for their expertise, and my current PT, Jack, is one of those trainers.
Not only is Jack extremely knowledgeable in his chosen profession, he knows how to convey his knowledge in layman’s terms, and use that knowledge to gain the best results for YOU. And he keeps you motivated with fresh routines while working your way up the ladder of progressively more difficult weights and exercises. And, even though I can be a bit of a talker and lose focus (who knew), he redirects my attention to the task at hand, and we get an incredible workout done in 60 minutes! He then follows up the next day with my assigned routine for the next week, which I send back to him for review each time I complete it. On a side note, he would take the time to check in with me periodically during my recovery to see how everything was going and to let me know he was ready to go when the doctor gave me the ok. Last, but certainly not least, he greets you with a smile, and is just a likeable kind of guy, which makes the time you spend in the gym with him fly by and before you know it you’re done!
I have worked with PT’s that have met all of the professional criteria, but when you were actually working with them they acted more like drill instructors or had the personality of cardboard, neither of which will help to keep you motivated, so keep that in mind when assessing various candidates.
I would like to tell you that with all of the time that I have spent in the gym, and all of the work that I have done with PT’s, that I have the build of a professional athlete, but sadly I do not, the primary reason being my eating habits. What I do have however is better than normal health for a man of my age, which has allowed me to come thru my recent surgery with flying colors, and a recovery that is progressing much faster than the doctor anticipated.
So, a common man’s body with uncommon resilience. And for that I thank God, my wife, and a long line of Personal Trainers, especially Jack!