Marta Prokop: Personal Trainer Extraordinaire! (Photo courtesy of Rx’d Photography)
One of the great things about our box is that they give internships to people who are looking to become a CrossFit trainer. When I saw a post on facebook from one of our interns asking for a volunteer to act as a guinea pig to follow a specially devised training plan for 8 weeks, I was in there like swimwear! It felt like Christmas when I realised that I was the first person to ‘bagsy’ the spot, and I know there were plenty of people who wished they had got in there first. Personal training (purchasing, not delivering) was something I considered back in my globo gym days but I was always too intimidated and, quite frankly, too poor, to sign up.
I love CrossFit and I think the communal element of the classes makes exercise so much more fun but, having been the human guinea pig of the rather lovely woman featured above for a few weeks now, I can see the genuine benefit of having a personal trainer. As excellent as the programming may be at your box, having a specific exercise programme tailored especially to your needs is incredibly helpful. Here are a few tips if you have been considering investing in some PT sessions but aren’t sure what to expect:
- If you are honest with them about your strengths and weaknesses then any personal trainer worth their salt will push you outside of your comfort zone and make you do things you don’t like doing (but why can’t we just do squats all day every day?!) This is a good thing. Embrace it!
- A personal trainer is no replacement for motivation, that has to come from you, but they should push you to do more than you would do if you were working out alone. BUT – be warned. They lie! When they say one more rep they don’t mean one more rep! Again, just go with it. If you want results you’ve got to work hard.
- They will make you take better care of your body. (Who hasn’t rushed off after a workout without rolling out properly or stretching as much as they should?) A PT will encourage you to give your body the time and attention it deserves.
- When choosing a PT you should really think about what you are looking to get out of the programme and the style that suits you. It is also very common for coaches at your gym or box to have specific skills that they excel at; some might be fantastic gymnasts, others excellent oly lifters, whilst someone else may be more experienced at strength and conditioning coaching. Before making the choice talk to them about what you want.
- Personality matters. This is a situation in which you will inevitably be very intimate with someone. If, like me, you are not in perfect shape and hugely body confident, you have to be comfortable with this person laying their hands on you and getting up close and personal. Also, you have to like and respect them to want to keep going back.
- On the other side of the coin, you can’t get on with them too well! I think Marta is great and I consider her a friend but as much as we enjoy a good giggle, she would not allow me to stand around gossiping the whole time. That’s not what I’m there for.
Today we went to a local fitness centre so Marta could be assessed. I am delighted that she passed and is now a fully qualified Level 3 Personal Trainer, as well as having her Level 1 CrossFit qualification. Going to the gym and using the machines really made me appreciate our box even more than I did before. When people say that CrossFit is a community it may seem like a cliche but when you are struggling with health and fitness, weight loss, or just life in general, it is really powerful to go somewhere where everybody knows your name. The knowledge that you are part of something and that no matter how crappy your day was or how rubbish you may be feeling, when you leave the box you will always feel better, is a wonderful thing.
Thanks for reading, I’m now blogging over at joskibyrne.wordpress.com come and join me!