the blog

Lessons I’ve Learned as a Personal Trainer

May 26, 2021

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  1. Everyone starts at ground zero

I think one of the biggest lessons I’m learning in the gym right now is that most people are self-taught. Every person you think looks the best, looks like they know what they’re doing, was once upon a time, a beginner. They started doing something they thought would be interesting, perused it, learned from it, and now (years later) they look like a professional. And yes, some people hire personal trainers to help them get to that place. But others take the more difficult route, leave their ego at the door, and push themselves to be better. Every day is a new day to learn – heck – I’m still learning new techniques and exercises! Take professional athletes for example, they too had to start somewhere; nobody naturally grows up learning how to score a goal or swim really fast. Everybody starts at ground zero, it’s okay for you to be there too.

2. Nobody is looking at you

This was a big one for me to get over when I started going to the gym. I always felt intimidated by the athletes I would see working out (who of course knew what they were doing, she says with sarcasm), the overwhelming number of guys in the gym, or the Instagram girls who would be taking pictures all the time. The gym quickly became a place of stress rather than somewhere to improve myself. But then I started watching and noticed that everybody was really looking at themselves. After having this realization, most of my stress dissipated. The mirror does not lie; you can endlessly watch people check themselves out all day long; it’s quite the comical pastime, actually. Don’t believe me?  Hop on the treadmill and just spent some time in the gym observing other people, and you will quickly see that they are more interested in themselves then in you. Go to the gym, play some loud music, try a new exercise, and have fun! Soon enough, you’ll be one of the regulars checking themselves out in the mirror too.

3. There are no such things as “bad” exercises

If you watch enough TikTok, Instagram, or even YouTube – there will be fitness people out there who will tell you not to perform certain exercises, or that they believe some exercises are bad for you. The truth is, there is no such thing as a bad exercise, only bad technique. Every exercise can be considered beneficial; does that mean I don’t have a list of hated exercises? I definitely do! But I don’t hate them because I think they’re bad, I hate them because I either believe them to be too difficult, or they’re never performed correctly and therefore should not (in most cases) be recommended to my clients. Let’s use “burpees” for example. Not a bad exercise necessarily, but would I do them myself or ask my clients to do them? No! Why? Because, I personally don’t like doing them, and they are often performed poorly; more time goes into correcting the exercise than actually doing it. Does this mean the exercise isn’t considered beneficial? No…it can have benefits in the right context performed by the right person with the right technique.

4. Weight training is a recipe for empowerment

When I started weight training, I was instantly hooked on the endorphin “high” that working out with weights created. It was a great feeling; I felt happier, my decision making got quicker; I finally felt like I had a clear head. And because of my education in health / fitness, I knew all these things would happen. What I didn’t anticipate though, was the feeling of empowerment weight training would give me. I was not only improving my physical strength, but my mental strength and confidence levels too. I suddenly found myself becoming more out-going, less afraid to make mistakes, and happy to just “do life”.  I think this is highly important, particularly for women. If you’ve never weight trained before, there’s really nothing else like it. Being able to deadlift your body weight or x2 your body weight is a super cool feeling that I would encourage anyone to try. If you want to get started in the gym, there’s no better time than right now as we continue to deal with COVID. Find a kinesiologist in your area and get started!

Find the joy, be kind, and we’ll chat again soon.

Xo Melissa

Have questions? Email me! melissa@cordessa.ca

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