Wednesday, August 24, 2011

REVIEW: Personal Training at Stroum Jewish Community Center

For details on my sessions, check out My First Personal Training Session or the back and biceps workout!

Prepare for sweaty workout clothes!

Personal Training Review
  •  Professionalism: 5 out of 5.  All the trainers are easily identifiable based on their blue uniforms - they even say "TRAINER" on the back, so as long as you can read, you can probably track one down.  Both my sessions ran in a timely and effective manner, without focus being pulled by other clients or management.  (Note: My trainer kissed me at the end of our session...but since I'm his wife I consider that worth extra points rather than otherwise.) 
  • Challenge: 5 out of 5.  I worked very, very hard the entire way through both sessions.  (At one point I think I was lying on a mat saying I didn't think I could go on.)  When he realized I was stronger in an exercise than he'd expected, he bumped up the difficulty to make sure I was getting the most out of the move.
  • Sensitivity: 5 out of 5.  The last thing you want is to get injured from personal training.  Even though I was sweating up a storm and working my butt off, Jared kept a keen eye on my form and never pushed me beyond what was safe.  He could also tell when I was sincerely struggling and backed the weight down a few times accordingly.
  • Creativity: 5 out of 5.  I strength train quite a lot, (I even get a lot of my moves from this dude) and I have to say, almost every exercise Jared put me through was something I had not yet tried (some I hadn't even heard of).  I was impressed and engaged the whole time.
  • Affordability: 5 out of 5.  Obviously my intro sessions were freebies, but "real" training is not too bad.  I love that they don't wheel and deal you like a lot of gyms - they post prices directly on the site.  You get a better deal for more sessions, and it's especially good if you sign up with a buddy.  Ten hour-long sessions with a friend will put you at $40 a hour.  Convenience: 4 out of 5.  The gym itself is open from 5am till 10pm Monday - Thursday, with reduced hours Friday - Sunday, but you will also need to make sure you can get your favorite trainer at a time that works for you.  They are usually very flexible and will work with your schedule to the best of their ability.
Final verdict: I did not expect this outcome...but I am seriously considering signing up for a package of sessions.  Crazy, right?  Here's the five reasons I'm sold on personal training :

  1. Accountability -  a lot of people just need a reason to get up and go get a workout in.  Many times, simply having a gym membership or home fitness equipment isn't enough.  Making an appointment (that you are paying for) can be the success factor in overhauling your life for better health.  Good trainers will even check in with you if you miss sessions unexpectedly to help keep you on track with your goals.
  2. Goal setting - many people know what they want out of a fitness program (lose weight, get in shape), but don't know much about goal setting.  A good trainer can help you turn your goal into something more specific and attainable AND create a plan to help you get there.
  3. Form - great trainers will do more than tell you what moves to do...they will show you how to do them.  This is something that can't be learned any other way - no book, magazine, or website can watch you and give pointers on your specific movements.  Good form builds strength much more effectively and keeps your body safe.
  4. Variety - learning about a wide variety of effective workouts is your trainer's job.  The best ones read constantly and stay abreast of workout trends by trying new products and classes and even going to seminars or conferences.  Variety makes things fun, protects your body from injury, and majorly boosts the results of your effort.
  5. The Jillian Michaels Factor - it's so easy to get a little lazy working out chill out reading a magazine on the treadmill or figure the weight you've got is heavy enough or you'd rather stretch instead of doing that last set of push-ups.  Your trainer will push your limits, persevering with you towards achieving your goal.

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