Sunday, July 5, 2015

Getting the Right Form for Fitness | Operation 健康アップ Week 1

I started my personal training at Genesis Gym this week and went down for my first two sessions on Monday and Friday straight after work. The boy brings Lil Pumpkin out for dinner first while waiting for me.

This is my gym workout plan for the next few weeks:
A1. Cable Split Squats, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
A2. Dumb-bell Chest Supported Row to Chest {Neutral}, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
B2. Lying Hamstring Curl, Toes Down, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
B3, Flat Dumb-bell Bench Press {Neutral}, 4 sets, 10-12 reps
C1. Front Bridge, 3 sets, 60s
C2. Battling Ropes, 3 sets, 60s

Ok I should probably explain first that Genesis Gym personal training isn't like most personal training in other gyms as you don't always get the same trainer. They pride themselves on being super flexible and able to accommodate to your schedule for you to come in whenever you like, but the cost for that is that you don't stick to one particular trainer, and go with whoever is available at your time slot.

The whole team of personal trainers is supposed to be very professional and experienced, and they have team meetings to discuss on each client to make sure that everyone knows how to handle each client's personality and program properly.

I don't know any of the personal trainers there personally so can't say who is good or not, so for the first few sessions I'm open to whoever I'm paired up with to see for myself who I can work with and who can drive me to do my maximum best at the gym.

Session 1:

What happened
The gym manager Jen introduced me to Elenor, who would train me for my first session. I think she's the only female personal trainer there and perhaps they thought that they should have someone not so harsh on me for my first session haha.

I was pretty tired after work and was kinda stoned / non-responsive {probably had a resting bitch face too} but Elenor didn't lose patience with me and slowly guided me to learn the correct basic forms of the exercise. A little too slow for me, but at least she was pretty encouraging.

We actually spent a lot of time getting the right form for the half squats as I couldn't seem to shift my weight properly to the front leg, and my behind leg was getting rather sore. Perhaps we spent half an hour just on this so for each exercise after that, we did only 2 out of 4 sets.

Elenor kept asking me if I can feel the correct muscles working but sometimes, like for my chest, it's kind of hard. I guess it's good she kept asking to make sure that I'm on the right track, but I don't really like get asked the same question so many times and found it a bit irritating.

Also felt like she was a little inexperienced as the other instructors had to check on her, and tell her what to do to help me get on track. By the time we reached my last 2 workouts, Elenor had to go and lead their group training session so another trainer took over to look after me. Think his name was Mark.

Felt Mark wasn't really into it as he had to suddenly take over my workout but he helped monitor me for the planking and battle ropes. Found those 2 exercises to be the most tiring! By the end of both, I was totally beat! I've been working out in gyms since young so know most exercises there, but battle ropes is something completely new to me and is like squatting and using both hands to lash out at ship ropes at the same time.

At the end of the session I also passed Jen My Fitness Pal meal records for the past week and he'll give me my recommended meal-plan, as well as my home workout plan the next session.

Thoughts after the workout
I was tired after my first session, especially after the last 2 exercises, but it was still manageable with no pain. Probably because they went easy on me to let me understand how to get the correct form. I felt the burn, especially on my thighs, throughout the week after that though!!

I wondered why they didn't include more core exercises in my workout plan but the boy said it's ok, I can do those at home and those are actually better if I do daily. Ok, I will then. I will try to do core exercises every morning to get rid of my tummy fat!! But unfortunately... i didn't this week though :P Getting me out of bed in the morning is already a drag. Much less getting up even earlier to work out!

It's good that I have the boy at home to discuss about the workouts and motivate me. For example, I couldn't feel my back muscles and always thought I'm supposed to work my upper arms when doing the back row... but actually you're supposed to be working more of your back muscles. Anyway he taught me to just relax my hands, and to just concentrate on my elbows pulling back. That way I can feel my back muscles, and I do now with his tip ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ

Food nutrition
I didn't get my meal plan yet but I'm more conscious of what to eat and of logging in my calories. I'm probably logging in below what I'm eating as I'm terrible at counting the actual serving size haha... but at least now I've a gauge and sometimes I'll ask the boy to help me log in properly for me.

Session 2: 

What happened:
I went in after work super tired again and this time I was paired with Justin. He was all hyper and super-friendly, which kinda lifted my mood too.

My thighs still hurt pretty bad from the first session, so Justin changed the first exercise from Cable Split Squats to pushing a Weight Sled piled with 10kg of weights for 60m. Another first for me. It's a very simple exercise but at the end of 4 sets, coupled with my already aching thighs, I was panting heavily. But he said "that's the 10kg of fat you want to lose, so don't give up!!"... okkkkk.

Since I already had a feel of all the exercises in my first session, workout for my second session moved quicker. Justin also made sure I had correct form in all my exercises and talked about why it was so important.

Proper form is essential for success when training for anything from general fitness to competitions as it is the quality of training that influences your progress, more than the quantity. Time under tension, angle of movement, range of motion, and many other factors all contribute to a particular resistance training session and it is important to understand the proper mechanics of training to get the most benefit from the exercise.

He also took the time to explain to me the rationale behind my workout plan, which is to build more lean mass to increase my metabolism and burn fat even when I'm resting, and also busted some common fitness and food myths.

I managed to complete all my sets for the first 4 exercises but only 2 sets each for Front Bridge and Battling Ropes. Again, these two were the hardest for me to do. Justin called me out though and said that I still had the energy to do them, just that I lacked the willpower. Which is true I feel because honestly I felt tired, but not totally wiped out.

At the end of my session Jen passed him my home workout plans and he quickly went through the exercises with me so that I can start on them this weekend. It's best to actually work out 4 times a week, so in addition to my 2 gym sessions per week, I've to work out twice at home too. Will do one home workout later with the boy.

Thoughts after the workout
Tired but rather happy that I exercised properly 2 times this week! (*^▽^*) Also, I enjoyed my session with Justin much more than with Elenor. He was engaging and knew how to be assertive without being too pushy, and adapt the exercises according to my limits. He also knew how to explain how to do the exercises properly in a way that I can understand. This trainer I liked. 

I'll see how it goes with my session tomorrow {not sure if it's with either of them, or with someone new} and perhaps after that let Jen know what kind of trainers I prefer to be paired up with during my sessions so he can help me book accordingly.

Food nutrition
Just before I left the gym Jen talked to me about my meal plan and said that based on my previous records, I'm eating about 1,400 calories per day and for now, they won't adjust the amount yet, just to make sure that I'm eating more consistently per day as sometimes I go below 1,000 calories, and some days I hit 2,000 calories. Oops. Also, I've to eat enough protein {to build lean muscle and prevent current muscle loss} and fiber.

My target is to hit 100g of protein and 100g of fiber daily. After hitting those, I can make make up the rest of my 1400 calories through any combination of fat or carb consumption after ensuring I get in enough protein and fiber throughout the day, so I can still include some of my favourite treats like chocolate within these confines.

We went thorough a sample diet just now and basically I would need around 300g of meat, 2 servings of fruits, 2 servings of vegetables and 2-3 servings of fiber rich carbs to help me with my requirements. Looks like I've to start meal-planning over the weekend for the whole week to make sure that I'm eating properly!!!

One-on-On Personal Training Updates:

Genesis Gym Personal Training Updates:
The Beginning - Signing Up for Personal Training
Week 3 - Keeping Fit Needs Brain & Brawns
Week 4 - Reality Check
Week 5 - New Workout Programs, New Challenges
Week 6 - Program Progress Report 
Week 7 - Training with a Weak Back
Week 8 - Keep Calm & Gym On
Week 9 - Making Sense of Trap Lifts, TRX & Med Ball Slams
Week 10 - Workout Max Out
Week 11 - Rolling in the Deep
Week 12 - Program End Report
Week 13 - Start of Cycle 2
Weeks 14 to 16 - Slow & Steady
Weeks 17 to 20 - Milos Giant Sets
Weeks 21 to 24 - Cycle 2 Program End Report
Weeks 25 to 28 - German Volume Training & MetCon Workouts
Weeks 29 to 32 - What Doesn't Kill You
Weeks 33 to 36 -  Cycle 3 Program End Report
Personal Training - Results 1 Year Later 


mail4rosey said...

It is nice that you have support at home. I love that you're going all out for it! I have been going to the gym for about four weeks now, and I'm loving it!

Adrine said...

That sounds like pretty intensive training! Reading about it makes me feel tired already ;-)
I go to the gym too, but have never signed up for Personal Trainers b4. Sometimes I'm tempted to sign up to get max effect, but it's just something I never got round to doing. (ok, i'm partly scared!). Mebbe i'll be inspired by u!

Keep it up!

An Apel a Day said...

That's great to get into a program like that. It will keep you on track. I miss our gym. When my husband lost his job last spring we dropped it.

Theresa Mahoney said...

We have personal trainers that I get free with my gym membership, but I've not used them yet. I did a 12-12-12 group class that one of the trainers does and I couldn't walk for a week. Seriously! It hurt that bad! So, I stick with training myself, though I probably don't push myself the way a trainer would.

Good luck on your fitness goals!

Stacy said...

Way to go, Ai! Keep at it.