I’ve been in a rut. A big, fat workout rut. Sure, I’ve kept up with the necessities. I’ve been fitting in the all-important cardio and strength workouts with some mediocre stretching several times a week, but I know when I’m not pushing myself to my full potential, and I sooo haven’t been. I’ve been maintaining: Not attaining great heights, nor sinking to my fall-off-the-wagon lows. But I needed something major to snap me out of it and boy, did I find it.
After making friends recently with the kind folks at Equinox Fitness in neighboring Palo Alto, Calif., the general manager (aka my new hero) offered up a gem of an idea. He wanted me to come in for a fitness assessment, followed by a six-week training program with a personal trainer. After a hesitation of T-minus negative .5 seconds, I leapt at the chance. Not only is it a great opportunity to up my workout ante, but I thought it would also be a great way to show you readers how much a formal fitness program can do for you, whether you’re already in shape or just starting out. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, I do better when someone is telling me exactly what to do, which is why I love taking new classes and why I now adore having a dedicated trainer a few days a week.
I met with my new fitness guru, Jayme Boyle, for my overall fitness assessment. During this hour, we discussed my goals for the program, my current exercise and eating habits, and took stock of my fitness level. This of course consisted of a weigh-in and a measurement of my body-fat percentage. For those of you who break out into a cold sweat when you think of the scale or have nightmares about someone pinching your fat to measure it, let me assure you: It’s no big deal. You’ll be in a private room, and your trainer should have the professionalism of a doctor. Your data will not be broadcast throughout the gym, and it’ll give you a great way to measure your progress. Promise.
After Jayme took my resting heart rate and calculated my target heart rates, we hit the treadmill so that she could assess how long it would take me to get up to my target heart rate. That alone was worth the trip out. I haven’t even really thought about my heart rate in way too long, and it was eye-opening to see what it felt like to work at 70 and 80 percent of my maximum heart rate. I confirmed that I have NOT been working at this effort, except for when I do Mindy Mylrea’s incredibly challenging workout DVDs.
After doing this assessment, I was beyond motivated and excited. If you’ve never done a professional fitness assessment, I could not more highly recommend that you do so—STAT. Newbies can gain a serious sense of direction from an assessment, and fitness fanatics can solidify goals and hold themselves accountable. While I think I know a lot about fitness, I know there’s a ton I can learn from a pro.
After all was assessed, Jayme confirmed two facts I already knew but needed to hear from a expert to have them sink in:One, that my weight is on target, and I’m already pretty fit. Two, and most important: For me to see the results I’ve been wanting to see—more toned muscles and a better cardio capacity—I really have to ramp up my efforts.
So this won’t be easy? Oh. Good thing I’m ready to give it my all. Stay tuned to hear about my killer sessions with Jayme and how she drove me to take a long soak in the tub (I’m usually a shower girl). —Erin