Monday, January 07, 2008

Workout Journal – On Personal Training

I’ve just recently lucked on a great offer for my PT session renewal. Instead of the RM110 per sessions that I am paying now, I just need to pay RM 80 for 20 sessions for my renewal. I also manage to negotiate to get 4 sessions free added to the total which should last me for the next 3 months. I am almost certain that this might be the cheapest rates for PT that you can get in town unfortunately it was only for the duration of the new years period so the offer is no longer valid for people who are interested to signup for it now. I only got to know of the offer from the gym on the second last day of the offer since I was away during the end of the year. I was already planning to add more sessions to my PT so the offer came in the right time for me.

Unfortunately, I will no longer be working out with my usual PT as I start this new block of PT sessions. My PT has decided to leave the gym for a freelance job offer in Terengganu beginning in a few weeks. I was kind of bummed when I got the news as I have really built a rapport with him and now faced the task of finding a new PT to replace him. While it’s true that the gym is suppose to assign me with a replacement PT when something like this happens but I spoke to the PT manager and asked that I be allowed to choose the replacement myself. I don’t know if that was a common practice to select your own PT but I asked him just in case and got his approval.

First thing that I did was to talk to my current PT for his recommendations. Unless the PT has just transferred to gym, they should know the rest of the PTs who is available there. More importantly, my current PT would know the way that I work out and therefore would be able to recommend someone who would be able to guide me along in the manner that I am already used to. My current PT would also be able to provide an honest assessment of the recommended PT’s skills since sometimes you don’t really get a full account of that if you asked directly from the PT.

Once my current PT identified his recommended replacement, I decided to get some face to face time with him to suss his level of experience and training goals. This part is quite an important factor for me when deciding which PT to pick. Having someone who have experience working with people who start off as your normal out of shape office drone is very helpful as they are aware of the schedule and physical limitations that I have to go through. My current PT actually specialized in special cases i.e. older people, people with medical conditions and physical disabilities which made him aware of specific considerations that needs to be in place for different people.

Having a clear training goal is also something that I look out for. Not everyone who comes to the gym wants to be able to lift hundreds of kgs above their heads by the end of their PT sessions. Some of us are just happy to be able to lose inches from our waist to fit into better fitting clothes. As such, being able to design a program to fit a particular training goal is quite essential. Nothing worse than having a PT who is training you to do something that you don’t feel motivated to do. With that in mind, I was able to sit down with the recommended PT and got him to layout his training program for 3 month given my goal of losing weight and building definition. Suffice to say that by the end of the discussion, I feel more confident about the recommendation.

The other thing that I look for in a PT personally is how they motivate people to reach out for that next level. This I can only find out by observing how that PT works with another client. Personally I can’t stand PTs who are all gung ho about the number of reps and loads without really looking at the client’s capabilities. I absolutely abhor PTs who tend to shout their encouragements like a bad impression of a drill sergeant when there is no good reason why he has to. It’s bad enough that he’s counting your reps for the whole gym to hear but to announce to the whole world that you’re struggling with the weights is nothing less than distracting. It was funny actually for my PT to be told that one of my requirements that I have to have for my PT is for someone who would not shout at me. Sarcastic jabs and harmless jokes at my expense for not being able to reach the next level are ok with me since I can use that as motivation. Having to deal with people shouting in your face is never fun unless you’re get off on some weird power trip thing.

The other thing that one needs to look out for when selecting a PT is to look at his current load of clients. Having a popular PT with many clients might sound appealing since it would be reflective of this skills as a PT but then you might run into inflexible scheduling conflicts especially if your time slot is part of a back to back PT day for him. What I found best if to find someone who doesn’t have more than 4 1-hr appointments per morning or per evening depending on your workout session. If the PT seems to be cramming more than 8 appointments in a day then that to me is something to be wary about. While most PT sessions will last about an hour, there will be somedays that you’ll be running over and it would be a good thing to make sure that your session does not eat too much into the next client’s session.

Selecting a PT is something that I put some extra effort in since in the end this would be the person who you would be working with for the next 3 months to achieve your fitness goals. While I do reserve the right to ask for a change of PT during the session if I find that the PT is not working, I would rather select the right one from the offset and not having to deal with the hassle of changing PTs later down the line. Based on my own personal criteria, I was able to make an informed selection as for my replacement PT who I would be starting with later in the day today. I’ve done my best to select one that I feel can guide me to the next level in my fitness adventure/experiment and I am actually looking forward for it.

Hopefully I would make as much or not more gains working with my new PT as I did with my previous PT whom I would always be indebted for showing me that I could actually do it once I put my mind to it.


wahdi said...

I pun tgk gigih di gym berasa TP yg di import dr umah hehehe

wahdi said...

I pun tgh gigih di gym, bersama PT yg di import dr umah hehehe

*ampon salah taip, dah lama tak tulis dalam Bahasa Melayu :P

Nickxandar said...

Tu lah pasal ... blur jap memikirkan apa lah budak ni cakap ... kekekeh .... budak lagi ke *larik*

PT yg di import dari rumah? Seronoklah ada in house PT .. orang lain siap kena filter cari PT yg sesuai. Errr ... kena charge tak?