I was offered a free consultation with a trainer at my gym, so I decided to give it a try.

 

We spent about an hour together, first discussing my shoulder troubles, and going over what my goals are.  I wanted to build strength, I wanted to drop about 50 pounds or so, weigh what I did in high school, do a chinup, lol.  All that good stuff!

 

Her first comment?  “You’re stronger than I thought.”  HAHAHA, fat man bends the iron to his will!!  Or maybe she was blowing sunshine at me, meh.  I crave the attention 🙂

 

She showed me a range of shoulder stretches I could do – mostly variations of things I do in yoga.  Then she had me do a couple of planks, and some back strengtheners.  Again, things they have us do in yoga: planks, side planks, extended planks, dolphin something or other.  And instead of supermans, we do baby cobras and half locusts, full locusts.  All this reminded me how much I miss having a regular yoga practice, it covers so much fundamental stuff!  Never doubt it.

 

Her big advice for me was that she thought I was a little imbalanced, too much push and not enough pull with the weights, which I suspected to some extent.  I put chest on Monday, when I am all revved up for the week (at least the workouts, not so much the office job, lol), and “back”on Friday, when I am most tempted to skip the workout and get the weekend started!  haha, I am such a male cliche, pumping up the chest and biceps and neglecting the rest… tsk tsk.

So her advice was to really pull back (no pun intended) from the chest work for a while, and get in a good back workout twice a week, do this at least a month and rebalance my development.  I don’t know… I love my dumbbell presses!  She suggested instead of chest work, just do more planks, lol.  That’s no fun!  I was crying on the inside, but spraining my anterior delt hurts worse than skipping a chest workout.

I… guess… I could try it… SIGH.  Pushing will be on the backburner for a while I guess, this makes baby Arnold cry… all part of the rehab.  Well, more than rehab, more than recovering from the injury, more like rebuilding up the wall so the injury doesn’t come back.  She is a paid professional, and seemed keen enough, I owe her at least a solid try, at most I lose a month.

So less chest, less shoulder, more back.

 

While doing rows, she also noticed my traps were really tense, and I was underusing my lower traps.  I believe this is really common, and is consistent with shoulder tension I have had in the past, as my masseuse would agree with.  So we practiced a number of t-bar rows with my upper traps relaxed.  Could this have contributed to my sprain?  Most likely.  So that observation alone is worth its weight in gold!  I love working out alone, but having a professional evaluate you will sometimes uncover these little hidden gems, and every little wrinkle smoothed out adds up!

So remember to relax those traps and pinch the pencil between your shoulderblades!  Reverse flys, 1 hand dumbbell rows, row machine, lots of fun ahead of me with my form adjustment!

 

She was also worried about my rotator cuff, so she took me to what I suspect was her “go to” exercise for showing a potential client something new – archery pulls with a resistance tube.  You wrap up some tension, and go through the archery motions slowly.  They felt good after about 30 or so!  I can’t complain.

 

At the end of the hour, it was time for the sale.  I broke it to her, sadly, that I don’t feel like I am ready for a trainer right now, I feel like there is a lot of self-work I still want to do, I want to “fix myself”, at least for a while still.  I have lost a bunch of weight so far, and part of me feels if I rent a crutch now, I will never feel the satisfaction from conquering my bad habits myself.

I mentioned though that I thought she was good, and so if it was possible to just buy a handful of sessions, I would like to do that.  She mentioned, unfortunately, that this gym doesn’t let trainers do that, they can only sell you a package for like a year of visits or something like that (Goodlife), so we shook hands and parted ways.  I told her though that if they ever have a promo for a try and buy type thing, I would take her up on it.

I just feel like I have to do it myself still, the added expense being also an added deterrent, lol.  I would never turn down free training!  I am not stupid!

 

Not surprisingly, my middle back and core have felt sore and beat up all day!  It felt like fatigue had stabbed me through the chest, it was caving me in on both sides!  She killed me with isolation exercises, lol.

 

I need some serious sleep if I am going to hit it again tomorrow, the trainer kicked my butt!  Total credit to her for that.

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