It is around this time of the year that I start to reflect on what has happened over the past year. As Christmas comes and goes this weekend I will start to focus more and more on the goals I accomplished and what my new goals are for 2011. I will be sharing these things over the coming two weeks.
What is making me thing of this now? Well, this morning I woke up super early to get to my personal trainer. For the first time in my life this year I started to pay for someone to beat me up for an hour. I started seeing my personal trainer in May as I prepared for my wedding, I figured that I would pay someone to help me look my best for my wedding this past October. Not only did my trainer crush me, but he taught me a lot about nutrition, fitness and flexibility. What I didn’t expect and what eventually happened is that I became a stronger runner because of it.
I decided not to pay some hack at my gym $100 an hour to go through the motions and text while they put me through some half ass session. I settled on going to a private studio gym for a one-on-one sessions for the same $100 per hour. My trainer is Oscar Smith who owns O-Diesel gym in Tribeca. I read about him online and was impressed with his approach to personal training. Not only is Oscar one of 30 members of the prestigious NYPD Scuba Team, but he is also a former aspiring Olympic gymnast and a triathlete. With this experience he understands what athletes need to remain successful. Also, it is nice to know that his client list included Michael Strahan, Tom Brady and a long list of Victoria Secret models. Not a bad thing when you walk into his studio and there are models leaving their sessions.
Each of our sessions are different, I don’t think that I have done the same hour sessions since I have been there. Some days we may be doing a 60 min circuit workout with no break, other days we may strapping on the gloves and doing a Mixed Martial Arts workout with a serious ab workout in-between. Whatever the session is I leave there feeling properly trained and fully fatigued. I will never forget before my first session when Oscar said that “you need to earn using weights……I will make you puke without picking up a weight”, classic.
There is no doubt that building strength, and specifically core strength, will help you become a better and more efficient runner. I’ve noticed as I have gotten stronger that my running form is easier to keep during longer training runs; my upper body and core are able to now keep up with what my legs and mind are doing. I absolutely point to my training sessions as the reason why I set 6 PR’s at six different distances this past summer.
So, in the New Year when you are setting your goals and want to go back to the gym I have a few pieces of advice:
- First, look for a real trainer and not some fool at your local gym who is going to text and talk through your workout while you don’t break a sweat- be selective and interview them! Find someone who is going to share your goals.
- Second, build in a trainer during winter running season so as you come into spring running you will be stronger at your core and base and ready to tackle a spring, summer and fall running season.
- Third, keep the good habits and continue to use the exercises learned during your training sessions throughout the year.
Have you used a trainer before, if so what were your experiences? What are some of the benefits you have seen from a personal trainer? Any bad experience with lazy personal trainers?