MGS W1D6: Fun with LA Fitness Personal Trainers

I finished off the week with 6 workouts (including 4 lifting days) under my belt, so I am feeling good. Being off program always seems like fun for a week or two, but eventually I start to feel sluggish, squishy, unmotivated, and generally unperky. Getting in a full week of planned workouts fixes me right up, though!

Saturday at eleven I met with a trainer from LA Fitness for one of those free “introductory” workouts that are more or less sales pitches for their services wrapped up with a workout designed to lift your mood, get your endorphins circulating, and make you more amenable to suggestions like — “Doesn’t shelling out $720 for 3 months of training sound like a GREAT idea?” I knew this going in, plus I was still very much focused on completing our TMMO personal finance plan, so I decided to have fun with the questionnaire, get as tough a workout as possible out of the trainer(s), and ask a bunch of questions about their success rate, how their program would be any different from what I could do on my own, and what it was like to work for their company.

These PT questionnaires always assume a pretty low level of fitness and a newbie starting state for each client, so I found it amusing to put in some of my answers.

Personal Training New Client Questionnaire (Partial excerpt)

When was the last time you were in the shape you like the most? Fall 2007

How did you feel at that time? Hungry.

What keeps you from reaching your goals? I like to eat. A lot!

Do you have a special date or event coming up that you’d like to get fit for? The rest of my life.

Who will support you in your fitness goals and keep you accountable? My husband, my sister, the wonderful gals at my women’s fitness forum, and around 1,000 readers per day on my fitness blog.

I wound up with two trainers, the nice ectomorphic former Army 11B who went over my survey with me, and a compact, mesomorphic former powerlifter who actually did know proper form for the lifts we went through. I technically wasn’t supposed to lift again until Monday since I’d just done a heavy workout the day before, but what the heck. Opportunities to have one’s squat and bench press form checked and corrected by an expert are few and far between when you work out alone. The workout consisted of 3 sets of 8-10 reps of:

BB Squat
45 degree leg press
Leg extension
BB Bench press
DB lying press variations
Tricep dips
Tricep rope pushdowns

Apropos of nothing, my triceps feel like they have been repeatedly pounded by a meat tenderizer and stabbed with bamboo slivers and there is a burning ring of DOMS fire around the lower insertions of my quads and hamstrings from Saturday’s workout.

I am sticking with my solo MGS workouts for now, but it was a good workout and a productive way to while away the time while my car was in the shop for it’s 90,000 mile tune up.

5 thoughts on “MGS W1D6: Fun with LA Fitness Personal Trainers

  1. Being as thrifty as you are, why have you not stuck with one of the previous programs? i.e. P90X?

    Obviously, some become boring and repetitive, but there are many modifications that you can make without going back to the meathead type workout?

    You may just be a serial workout researcher, doing all the work for the rest of us to follow. 🙂

  2. Even if I do the same workout, I always get a better burn with a personal trainer. I think over time the results must be much better – all that extra DOMS and sweat have to add up to something… I don’t even belong to a gym right now, as I don’t need another expense and we have everything we need at home, but when I do join, I often get ten sessions with a trainer. It isn’t the worst way to spend some cash.

  3. Why would somebody pay $720.00 for a trainer at the gym? I suppose if the person was training for something important I guess it would be worth it, but just to go to the gym and say “I have a trainer”… I think not.

    Then of course there is the whole credibility issue. Anybody and their mother can say they are a trainer, much like people that claim they are computer techs only to find that they don’t know the working end of one. Blech! There are far too many wanna-be’s walking around…

  4. The prices of a personal training are absurd. I tried one of those trial sessions with Bally’s. I did a routine that I could never duplicate on my own….I guess that is the point.

  5. Graeme – P90X got boring for me within 8 weeks, and frankly, I loathe the plyometrics and yoga workouts in the program. I think it’s an effective package, but I prefer what you call “meathead” gym-based workouts that I can change up myself every 4-8 weeks to a DVD-based program like P90X that uses the same moves over and over. The worst part is when you have done the workouts so often that you KNOW when the exercises you hate are coming up. It totally kills my motivation. 😉

    Bisous – I agree that having a trainer makes you work harder than you might on your own. I just wish the cost wasn’t so high.

    Stacy – Yes indeed…I am very leery of signing up for any kind of training contract from a stable of personal trainers. They can switch staff members at any time, and, call me ageist, but I don’t trust the expertise of a 19-year-old just because he/she has a company polo with “Trainer” stenciled on the back. If I ever go that route again, I will be looking for referrals to an individual trainer.

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