What did you eat for breakfast today?
What did you eat for breakfast yesterday?
Wendy’s chicken strips.
This is my first interaction with my personal trainer, Brendan Takata at Steve Nash Cambie. Since I was plane-hopping from New York to Vancouver the past couple of days, my eating habits weren’t exactly ideal. Truth be told, one of the few things I can do consistently is eat poorly, no matter if I’m travelling or not.
Today, that all changes.
Actually, what I mean to say is that today I’ll be given the tools to make adjustments in my life that will put me in the direction towards my goals. I can choose to ignore his instructions because they impede on my habits or I can take the meal plan Brendan just printed and feed myself like a responsible adult.
These are some key takeaways from my first face-to-face training session at Steve Nash for the 90-Day Fitness Challenge.
Step one: Get specific and stay simple
Decide what you want to be good at doing.
Brendan asked me about some of my goals before we even got close to the workout area. Besides wanting to look good (I think my exact words were “great ass, toned arms”) I want to feel strong. I want to be able to run up mountains and compete in races where I’m not hoping the finish line is around the corner.
Of all the articles I’ve read about goal setting, there seems to be a common theme: the more specific you are about what you want (and why) the easier it is to envision and train for it.
So for now, I want to have proper form when I squat. I’m talking that specific.
Step two: Get some help
I learned a valuable (and somewhat unexpected) lesson at my first meeting with my personal trainer: my body and I are strangers. While laying on the floor and being instructed to move my arms in a certain way, I felt stiff and uncertain (“like this, wait, like this?”) When I had to isolate my stomach muscles by pushing my pelvis forward (while holding a ball and pressing my back into a mat and squeezing my arms) I felt like I suddenly had more body parts than I was born with.
I was lucky enough to have someone there to guide me through the maze of my own limbs and stretch me out in the strangest ways.
Step three: Don’t rush it
Did I break into a massive sweat at my first session? No. Did I learn the limitations of my mobility and get a better idea of how I can improve upon my shortcomings? Yes.
It’s easy to stress out over the details of a new workout routine when you’re going at it alone. What weights should you lift if you want to tone or bulk? How many reps? How many days per week should you hit the gym? How often should you incorporate cardio? What is the meaning of life?
He told me to take a deep breath. Everybody is a beginner at some point, and something all beginners could use is reassurance.