*This is not a sponsored post. Content and opinions belong to jenny at dapperhouse. Consult a doctor before making drastic changes to your work out routine.

What I Learned from Working Out with a Personal Trainer - Health Fitness Diet Exercise - jenny at dapperhouse

I was very young when I got hooked on exercising. I was an athletic tomboy and loved to race and run and climb. I was 13 when I realized that I could do exercise as an activity and “back in the day”, jumping on a mini trampoline to vinyl records, roller skating and calisthenics were all the rage in my young life. I would walk the campus of ASU for hours with my mom each of us pushing a stroller that held my baby sisters, twins born so much later than me. Sometimes on the weekends when the school was closed, my brothers and I would go to the campus of Community Colleges and speed skate for hours in the vacant breezeways. As I got older I found activities that included running and hiking as these were always my passion. Living in Arizona was perfect for this since I was surrounded by mountains and beautiful desert trails. The blistering summers would drive me inside to the gym where I would run tirelessly on the treadmill or work out at home late at night night to the classic VHS tapes like “Buns of Steel” and step aerobics. (Remember when it was a “thing” to wear your thong on the outside of your tights? Oh my goodness.)

An Evolution of Exercise and What I Learned from Working Out with a Personal Trainer - jenny at dapperhouse

When I moved to Illinois in 2004 it was immediately evident that I would have to work out at a fitness center year round due to the crazy weather that we have here day to day.  If it isn’t the ice it is the heat and humidity and if it isn’t the summer thunderstorms it is the bitter cold. (And the mosquitoes are out on every nice day in between.) I had brought my treadmill from Arizona in the move, but also wanted to go to a fitness center to get out if the house and run.

What I learned from working out with a personal trainer - fitness - gym - health - exercise - weight loss - jenny at dapperhouse

I continued on the treadmill and the elliptical machine never once thinking to venture to the weights or other machines. I had friends who were seeing trainers and taking classes at gyms, but for some reason it never occurred to me to do it myself.  Then, in October 2014, a month before I was going to donate a kidney to my husband I began to learn about the physical demands of surgery and recovery. I felt compelled to go to a personal trainer so that I could get into the best shape that I could to aid in a fast and safe post op period. Although I felt intimidated and unsure, I went to a personal training gym that my friends were raving about called Hard Gainers Athletics where I did 3, 45 minute sessions a week for 4 weeks. It was really (really, really, really) hard and I was sore a LOT, but after that month I was totally hooked!

It was the first time in my life that I had worked with a trainer and the results were off the charts!

Not only did I lose 15 pounds of body fat and gain 9 pounds of lean muscle in that short period of time, I learned that I am capable of so much more physically than I ever could have imagined. Working with a Personal Trainer drug me (painfully) out of my comfort zones and showed me what my body and mind are capable of. The main thing that I learned was that cross training and using weights is essential to any work out routine. My running and cardio alone was just not going to cut it.

Before and After pics - What I Learned from Working Out with a Personal Trainer - jenny at dapperhouse

I went through the surgery in October of 2014 and during the 3 months of recovery I could not quit thinking about getting back to my new fitness routines! Since getting back to fitness in January 2015 I have been training at a different fitness center, although I still work with a couple of different trainers with the goal of increasing my overall strength and stamina. The “boot camp” cross training classes have really made a difference in my fitness abilities. I like the group aspect for accountability, variety and socialization. I also like doing the one-on-one training experience because I get continuous feedback on my own personal form, abilities and goals. Personal training is important for me to know when to push myself and what to change to make in order to facilitate progress.

If you have the opportunity to work with a trainer or to get into some cross training “boot camp” fitness classes I highly recommend it and know that you will be hooked like I am. The changes in the way you feel and look will keep you motivated to go back for more and keep kicking your own butt to reach your goals.

What I Learned from Working Out with a Personal Trainer - jenny at dapperhouse fitness goals and inspiration

Look for trainers at your local fitness centers, YMCA and community facilities and private health clubs. I believe the best way to find a trainer is by word-of-mouth. Ask people who they recommend and why. Interview trainers to find one that is a good fit. (I think that a trainer should be educated, dedicated and able to keep you focused. A trainer should be friendly, but serious about your health, safety and your goals.

A Trainer should be able to push you work your very hardest).

What I Learned from Working Out with a Personal Trainer  - Jenny at dapperhouse - #fitness #exercise #training

If your budget can not handle the costs of personal training, you can ask about joining others in sessions to split the costs. Attend free cross fit classes at your gym.

In my case, I work an extra job to afford the price of working out with professionals. I am simply unable to work toward my fitness goals on my own but the way I see it, employing the services of a personal trainer is equivalent to having a trained stylist cut my hair or an educated doctor diagnose my illnesses. . . I could do these things myself, but I would not get good results.

Have you ever worked with a trainer?

Have you ever tried cross fit training or weights?