Go back into time and remember your 1st day at a gym. If you’re reading this and you’re over 15 you probably have been at a gym at least once in your life. Isn’t it frustrating not to know how machines work? If you were lucky enough, you had a receptionist/smoothie maker/trainer that would give you a hint. Most of us will simply have to wait for a day when there aren´t 30 people around so one can take the time to read the sticker on the machine and then try to change the settings (so your body looks like the drawing on the stupid sticker) and then use it for the first time hoping its ok; but, mainly, hoping there´s no one making a video of you just to share it with Awkward Gym Moments.com.
We all know that “Im an idiot” feeling…
You will need a personal trainer at least from time to time, not only to teach you how to use the new machines, not only to give you a program that gets you the exact results you want (yeah yeah, these amazing lunges will make your butt look like J. Lo’s); but you will need a personal trainer because they give you the knowledge and the push you need… even if you are in the business.
My sister “V” goes to the YMCA classes almost every day and trains for 2 hours. Between one class and the other she will go running with her gym mates. This January, while my other sister was visiting, she said to V: – “Ha! You spend 2 hours working out every day, yet, once a year I come and you all look the same to me”. V humbly replied: -“Well… we all work out to “maintain”, we can´t do better than this at our ages”. Funny thing is my sister might be the youngest, at her early 30s and the oldest… well… the oldest died while I was there on Christmas… at 79. It´s not a matter of age, is not that they don´t push themselves enough (God, they do!!); then why are they only “maintaining”?? They could use those 2 hours better… as a matter of fact, with their condition most probably they could “maintain” by doing 20 min of HIIT… And that’s when you want to invest in a coach…
Watching the Champion´s League yesterday, José Mourinho, Manager of Chelsea, ran to celebrate the second score of the night… turns out he was running to tell them what to do next, the game wasn´t over… and he wasn´t sure they were going to win if they kept playing the same way. In the heat of a match, sometimes you lose consciousness of what´s going on. At a Cross Fit class, when you are pushing your limits, you have a coach yelling at you to go deeper on that squat, to go faster, to keep on pushing… And I must say, to all of you who don´t fancy the idea of been yelled at, there´s a scientific explanation to it; when you are really pushing yourself, hearth rate super high, muscles sending info through your nerves, nerves to brain, adrenaline snatching your body, muscles in pain, loud music on… if they don´t yell at you, you don´t hear them.
Last 11K I ran, I was happy doing 59 minutes because it was an easy, plain route. I love running, but my knees don´t anymore and 59 min sounded respectable. By the start line, I glanced at the pace maker with the 55 min balloon, same nice guy who had given me my pace maker bracelet and I thought, if he can do it: I can do it! Easier said than done, yes; nevertheless, at the end, if it weren´t for him and his blue balloon standing from the crowd, I would have done 59 minutes, maybe even 60. I simply wouldn´t have pushed myself as hard.
Look at professional athletes; do they do everything by themselves? Of course they don´t! Now, do you think Mo Farah (just saw him on TV as London Marathon is this Sunday) has his trainer next to him, yelling him to run faster?? Of course not!
So, what´s the thing with coaches, senseis, instructors, personal trainers?
That they (we) have been trained to get the best out of you. We push you, we motivate you, we feel your pain and we share and celebrate your victories. Your knockout punch, your best time at a run, the 2 extra kilos you lifted, the 1 pound you lost this week. Our only job is to yell at you what sometimes, in the heat of that long journey called life, you can´t see: that you are stronger, faster, better than you can even imagine.