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Personal training or personal torture?

March 13, 2012

Last November, after months of toying with the idea and agonizing over the cost, I hired a personal trainer. When I shared this with others, the most common reactions were…

  • “Why? You don’t need a trainer! You’re thin enough already!”
  • “Isn’t this something you already know how to do?”
  • “Isn’t your workout regimen enough?”
  • ::blank stare::

Yes, I do exercise regularly on top of teaching yoga classes. And I know my way around the gym but I needed to do something more… I was at my heaviest weight. And no matter how hard or how often I worked I didn’t feel like I was getting any results. I was also bored with my workout and my motivation was waning day after day. I was skeptical about the magic trainers can do but I was getting more frustrated so I caved in and hired a personal trainer.

I chose Francois Edouard, an Elite Trainer, at Sport and Health in Bethesda. Why? For the following reasons:

  1. He was fit.
  2. He was friendly with an evil sense of humor.
  3. He was highly recommended by friends and other personal trainers.
  4. He could work with my late gym schedule.
  5. He had the credentials and experience I was looking for. (Certified by the National Strength Professionals Association with 14 years of experience)

Our first session together was an assessment. We talked about what my goals were, my eating habits, any injuries I might have and my current workout schedule. He also wanted to see what I could do or as he put it “how much gas was in my tank…” So he made me do some pushups, some core work and other exercises and finally checked my flexibility. Based on his assessment we agreed on 30-minute sessions twice a week for three months.

After the first week or two, I was sure Francois had broken me as I limped around through my day. At every session all I could think about in the longest 30 minutes of my life was “Do not puke. Do not puke – at least not in front of everyone.” My body did start to hurt a little less as we progressed but I still wasn’t exactly skipping along.

And you know what? It was worth it.

After three months, I lost 5 pounds and 2 inches. It doesn’t seem like a lot but it was to me. I certainly hadn’t been able to do it in the 12 months that I had been trying. Turns out I needed that extra push to knock me out of my exercise plateau. I had never worked so hard in my life and it gave me a better idea of what I was capable of. Francois was great to work with – although I was terrified of whatever torture he had planned for the evening.  He kept our workouts fun and interesting. I feel stronger. I feel better. And confident that I can keep this going.

He also inspired me to change my habits outside of the gym. (Yes, I did get my 30-day alcohol fast idea from him.) It also felt good to have someone who was helping me work towards my goal, pushing me and motivating me when I needed it. More importantly, I learned a lot about proper form and other exercises I could do that worked several muscle groups all at once so I could get more out of every workout.

I highly recommend working with a good trainer. Someone with experience. Someone you can relate to. Someone who understands your real limits and pushes you farther than you’ve ever gone before. Whether you’re a workout newbie or a seasoned fitness star, a trainer can help you get to your fitness goals.

Would I do it again? Absolutely.

And if you happen to be near Bethesda Sport and Health, tell Francois I sent you. I’ll also leave you with this parting advice: If you’re not afraid of your trainer, then he’s not working you hard enough.

Happy training!

Your ticket to the gun show

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From → Body

8 Comments
  1. Michelle permalink

    Nice guns! Good job on all your hard work! I waver back and forth between whether or not I want to hire a PT. I know it’ll be great, and after working with one for my free session and the gym, I loved it, but I’m not ready to make the financial leap. I know it’ll be worth it but it’s the sticker shock that gets me.

    • The sticker shock is more like a sticker mind explosion. 🙂 It is worth it. And if a person can really afford it then I would definitely advise that he/she do it. BUT going into further debt to get it done? Not quite. Maybe instead of an exercise jar for clothes you could have a personal training jar. At the end of it, you might decide that personal training is not necessary! How great would that be?!?

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Francois is my trainer too. I’ve worked out with him for the past 3 years – and I plan to work out with him until I’m 90 years old! When we started I could only do about 3 modified pushups. Then I wanted to cry and throw up. I couldn’t do much of anything else. I’m 5′ tall and I weighed almost 200 pounds. Now I can do (at least) 3 sets of 20 regular pushups and I’ve lost 45 pounds. Yes, it’s expensive – but my long-term health is so worth it!

    • That is so wonderful to hear! And great job on not giving up. It’s pretty daunting when you’re just starting and look at where you are now. Keep up the good work! 🙂 If you’re ever in the mood for some yoga, please join me on Saturdays at 9:00 AM!

  3. I am currently working out with Francois Edouard, and he truly is an excellent trainer. He knows his stuff, and knows how to help you execute the moves correctly. He makes everything look very easy, but thank God he is very encouraging and hands on. I appreciate his professional attitude, he is honest and respectful, this is clearly his passion, which is very motivating. I am confident that I will get great results in no time, doing moves that I have never done, or even seen before which makes working out with him truly exciting. I am thrilled to see others like myself who are really benefiting from Francois’s training. Keep up the great job Francois I can’t thank you enough.

    • I “accidentally” kicked him in the leg one time. I swear he never lets me forget it. 😉 Thank you for sharing your kind words about Francois. I’m so glad to hear people spreading the word on his good work.

  4. Particularly helpful resource on Personal training or personal torture?
    | Yogitastic!
    Keep writing..

  5. ANONYMOUS Client permalink

    Very helpful comments. I agree that JeanFrancois Edouard is an EXCEPTIONAL trainer. Personal experience and 2 elderly friends who highly recommend him.

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