Through Set Sails I get to do a lot of cool things and meet a lot of great people. labas results, a gym near Zurich, offered me four personal training sessions with coach and owner of the gym, Stefan Labas. He's like the trainer when it comes to this stuff. I have to say that my first PT sessions were totally different than anything I had expected.
Session One: The Plan and Assessment
Ya gotta find out where you stand and assess where you wanna go. We took measurements of my body, fat, muscle mass, heart rate and recovery ability. We talked about what it was that I expected to get from these sessions. As Stefan is a coach and not just a trainer, he also assesses the more mental side of health. Like how work and life stress might be affecting me and how that plays a role in what type of workout I do. We didn't go into this too much, but we did assess my flexibility and Stefan used his Chinese Medicine training to check some points on my back and feet. OMG! The outside part of my left foot hurt sooooooo bad when he touched it! He gave it a few gos and it still killed every time. What he told me later was very consistent with three other holistic assessments I have had in the last year by other practitioners. It was my gallbladder. Something is upsetting my gallbladder. In my opinion it's more a stress response than that something is wrong with the function of the organ. Still something to keep an eye on.
Session Two: The Results and Stopping Burnout
Now we really start getting into the meat of the workout. We first went over my health assessment results. Stefan cross-checked two of the tests to be sure of accuracy. You'll be glad to know that I am fairly fit and lean, however, I don't recover well from working out or exertion. Basically my heart rate is great (better than average even), but when it comes to working out and cooling down, it takes my heart longer to chill out even after my breathing returns to normal. I had never even thought about this part of working out! This doesn't mean that I am broken or can't workout, but it does mean that I have to be careful about how hard and what kinds of workout and how often I do. If I don't teach my body how to properly recover, I run the risk of burnout - either through exercise or from just normal everyday life.
With this in mind, Stefan took my results and then mixed in my goals to create a perfect PT experience that was a workout, but not too much. In fact it was even meant to help my body learn to recover. Of course this takes time, but he helped get me on the right track. My first workout was just 30 minutes with some interval training - some minutes walking, some running, some walking, some running. Then we did some balance and strength training before a quick stretch. It felt great! I liked learning about how I can be treating my body better.
Session Three: Why People Do PT
This time I wore a heart rate monitor to check if I changed/recovered any better from working out. First we relaxed a bit so we were sure to be starting from a good resting rate. Stefan had me do the run-walk interval training again followed by bench presses. He talked me through how it feels and how I should position myself better and which muscles I should focus on. I found this really helpful to be sure I was doing the exercise right and getting the right muscles involved. During the recovery part of the training, Stefan checked my pressure points again and helped with stretching.
This is when I got hooked. PT is wwaaayyyyy more than I thought it was - at least at labas results! I thought it was going to be more like boot camp with someone yelling at me to do more, more, MORE! But after my first three sessions with Stefan, I can easily see why someone would want to do this on a weekly basis. There is a lot you can learn about your body and a lot you can learn to do differently to support you body. It's like maintenance for your car!
Session Four: Comfy With the Routine
I was sad that this was my last session, but knew it would someday be back from more. By this time I knew the drill that Stefan had outlined for me and felt more in tune with how the training was to go. I got even more outta it as I knew what to be looking for and focusing on. I can't believe how much different it is to have someone guide you through a workout and help you recover at the end. It was more relaxing and rewarding than most workouts I have ever done!
My advice to anyone considering personal training is to do it and do it with someone who you can connect with. It's a very one-to-one experience and your trainer has to have all the skills needed to give you the best workout of your life. PT is way more than just pushing yourself to the limit. It really is about personal training.