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A Personal Journey with My Own Personal Trainer

My last post was all about getting back into therapy and the struggles of becoming more self-aware. It's over 6 weeks since I wrote the post, and I feel like my desire to learn is extending to more than just my mental health...

Much to the dismay of my bank account, but the joy of my therapist, I have invested in quite a lot of 'learning' things:

  • everything pole dance related: pole classes, private lessons, workshops, shoes, and my very own home pole...

  • tickets to Mac-Nutrition Live 2023

  • I passed my Level 2 Understand Mental Wellbeing, and my Pre- and Postnatal Exercise Courses

  • AND... I hired my very own Personal Trainer!!!

Do you have or have you ever had a personal trainer?

  • Yes, I currently have a PT

  • Nope, I've never had a PT but would love to have a coach!

  • Yes, I have had a PT in the past but don't need one again

  • Nope, I've never had a PT and probably never will

My training in the gym since 2020...

In the grand scheme of things, my gym journey hasn't been all that long, and since I started weight training in 2020, my relationship with the gym has gone through all sorts of ups and downs. But overall, I know that the gym, whether that's training or coaching clients, is where I can work towards feeling the strongest, most able, and most fulfilled version of myself.

As a dancer, the awareness I have of how my own and other peoples' bodies move is a huge advantage when it comes to analysing movement. I love experimenting with how to optimise exercise technique to suit my clients' unique movement styles and body types, and love guiding them towards their goals in a safe and fun way.

However, I've always struggled to bring the same objectivity to my own training. I've been too scared to experiment with my own programming in case something doesn't work and I end up feeling like I've wasted time and energy only to see no results. I often stick to the same movement patterns, because this makes it easier to track progress, giving me the illusion of control. I also put a huge amount of pressure on myself to progress every lift, every time I perform it. My mind likes to tell me I'm not good enough if I don't. Of course, that would never be my approach with clients, and I know rationally that there is so much more to exercise than lifting heavier and heavier weights all the time.

I also never sat down with myself to clarify my desires and develop a set of goals and a training strategy to match them. I battled with thoughts about whether it would ever be possible to achieve certain things, doubted what it was that I actually wanted to achieve, and never gave myself the chance to explore the possibilities. Therefore, I never really got around to creating a programme for myself with the same level of care I would a client.

Investing in Personal Training

I felt like it was time to invest in the expertise of another personal trainer, to take the pressure off and help me find a programme suited to my goals, whatever they would turn out to be...

And so far, I couldn't be happier with what I've been given!

Jake Sugg has been my fellow PT at Anytime Fitness since I started. I've always respected his ability to consider every element of wellbeing relating to someone's health and fitness journey, and his dedication to supporting his clients in transforming their lives for the better. I believed that he would listen to anything I had to say, and come up with a solution no matter how long it took. He did just that.

The first step was a consultation to clarify my goals, discuss my current fitness levels in relation to where I wanted to be, and outline a strategy to bridge the gaps between the two. By the end of the session, I was left with no doubt in my mind that Jake would do the research necessary to design a programme that would tackle all the elements needed to get to where I'd finally decided I wanted to be. That was a mouthful of a sentence, sorry about that!

So here's what I'm working on:

  • Getting a huge squat, deadlift, bench press and military press (powerlifting style)

  • Growing a solid set of legs and glutes to match the lifts

  • Developing pure upper body strength that will translate to effortlessly flowing movements on the pole

My evaluation of the process so far?

I'm having so much fun feeling my body discover something new every session. Jake's coaching style and programme give me the space to experiment and become curious about how my body moves and responds to different exercise variations. The exercise selection is specific, but also varied enough to keep me interested and on my toes, which in itself is enough to keep me excited about every session whether by myself or with Jake in person. I have finished each session feeling like I accomplished something, and not just by lifting more than the session before.

What else will I gain from this process?

Aside from making strides towards my own training and physique goals, I know that working with Jake will make me a more compassionate and critically thinking coach. I can learn so much from being involved in another PT's process, and use all that learning to inform my own decisions when it comes to delivering sessions and programmes. I already feel more confident in designing programmes using different strategies which makes training more interesting for both myself and my clients. I also have to admit that the cardio days Jake has given me are incredibly humbling. This has been a great reminder that, while current fitness trends celebrate the heavy personal bests and growing competitive physiques, health will always be the priority...

FEELING fit enough to do the activities that make life fun will always mean so much more than LOOKING good enough to feel worthy doing them.

The more I learn about training, the more passionate I become about exploring new ways of using my body to express who I am. I would like to say a huge thank you to Jake for listening to me on so many levels with regards my training, and for helping me on the way to achieving everything we set out to. There are so many more exciting things coming up, and I can't wait to share them with you all!

Share your thoughts and experiences on personal training in the comments!

As always, much love and hugs,

Rachel xxx

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Oct 11, 2023

Love the article! So interesting to read and hear it all from your personal side! You have helped me so much as my PT not only physical but mentally too - and they go hand in hand for sure. Looking forward to my continued journey with you!

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