Monday, December 7, 2009

One on One

I mentioned the other day that I was going to meet with a personal trainer on Saturday. In all the years I've been going to the gym, I've never seen a person trainer. Partially because it's pretty cost prohibitive, and partly because I'm a little self conscious about it all.

Lucky me scored a comp personal training session at Rich Barretta Personal Training in the Flatiron District. Thank goodness their schedule was pretty full because the timing ended up working out perfectly. I was scheduled to meet with a personal trainer/sports massage therapist, Ilaria. Her picture on the website intimidated me a bit, but I quickly learned after meeting her yesterday, it's all just a picture. She is incredibly nice, welcoming and intelligent. Even though the studio was fairly busy with very healthy looking and in shape men and a few women, I didn't feel out of place. As I mentioned in my post yesterday, the weather was really nasty Saturday, so it was nice to come in from the rain.

The space was fairly large, but also compact running the entire length of a city block with windows on both West 22nd and West 23rd streets. All of the equipment looked relatively new and well taken care of. There was always someone cleaning, but the place wasn't stark, to say the least. At the front is an area with several 'pods' where a trainer and client can work out without much equipment - there are ceiling fans, lights, music volume controls and a set of free weights. The middle of the studio has a large couch, several flat screen TVs, a computer and free Internet access. The back portion has a few pieces of cardio equipment, weight machines and benches. I thought the space was a bit dark, but that's just me and I'm addicted to sun light.

The session started by going over my history - physical fitness history, injuries, overview of my diet, goals, etc. She took my pulse and blood pressure, and then we headed out into the room. Started with a 5minute warm-up on the elliptical and then found a pod. The rest of the session was a combination of education, questions, and a series of several exercises focusing on specific areas. Squats (a version I had never done before, a very hard version), lunges (also different than I am used to that required a lot of balance), crunches (I learned to concentrate on my breathing and making sure my lower back is on the floor and that I'm contracting the inner muscles), two moves that focus on stabilizing my shoulders, and push ups.

Sounds like an easy series, but let me tell you. It was not. I can tell you this because I woke up Sunday in pain. The good kind of pain though. I know the moves were beneficial and worked muscles I'm not used to working. That's why I spent a good 25 minutes stretching at the gym Sunday morning. I actually think more muscles hurt Sunday than the days after the marathon (although the pain sensors in my foot may have been taking away from any pain in other parts of my body).

Ilaria, a former professional ballet dancer in Italy, who moved to the US and received degrees in massage therapy (specializing in Sports Therapy) and personal training, was so incredibly helpful and answered all of my questions. I definitely hope to go back and see her again - if not for personal training, then at least for a massage or two.

One cool thing about this studio is that there are no packages to purchase or contracts to sign. It's one session at a time, you schedule with your trainer and pay per session. The rate is the same as it is at my gym, but I feel this would be more worth the money. The whole experience would be different.

Do you have a personal trainer? Have you thought about getting one? I'd love to hear what people think on the idea. Worth the money or not?


The Holiday Music Giveaway ended yesterday afternoon and J from Morning Runner was the randomly chosen winner! Thanks for all the entries! I hope you all listen to a lot of great holiday music and find the time to watch your favorite holiday movie!

Have a great Monday!


momentsinaneye said...

Good Morning. I am coming to you by way of SITS. In answer to your question Do I have a trainer? No not lucky enough to have one. Very expensive. Had one for a few monts. She was more interested in stretching me out than toning me up. Not the greatest experiance. Wish you a lot of luck.

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

I am sooo intimidated by personal trainers...I know they are people but wow. Yippee for J!!!

J said...

The gym I just signed up for gave me 4 free sessions with one of their trainers to set up a workout routine. I think they are ok - I have a lot of experience in working out because of playing college athletics but its always nice to get other ideas.

i can't believe I won the Giveaway! So exciting! Do you need my address?

Alisa said...

I had a personal trainer for awhile when I lived in Boston and I loved it! I learned so many new exercises. It was totally worth the money for me. I'd do it again if I could afford it!