Choosing A Personal Trainer For Mommies

Fitness for mommies - lose weight with a personal trainer

I’m never an active person. In secondary school, I’m that kid who dreads physical education classes and detests any exercises that makes me perspire. Yes, you can call me princess in that aspect. And it doesn’t help that my mother didn’t allow me to do sports since I was a young kid. She caught me learning rollerblading from a friend and the earful I got from her is enough to stop me from trying to do anything sporty after this episode.

However, I did do ballet and tap dancing for 6 years so that’s all the exercise I had. (My mom says ballet is indoor and is girly. I believe that’s quite sexist too, isn’t it?)

My attitude towards exercising changed after I gave birth to my second born Travis. I’ve never felt this sluggish, and tired. I also had put on about 17kg. I didn’t lose the weight from my first pregnancy before having Travis. So essentially the pounds were just piling on and on.

I tried following YouTube videos but was so breathless after just the first 5 min. Because of my disastis rectis diagnosis, I wasn’t exactly comfortable with doing crunches. Dr google and physiotherapist said I should avoid it. The gap might widen. The physiotherapy helped but results were slow to show and I was anxious. After each session, I didn’t have the adrenaline rush I wanted.

So I chose to stop physiotherapy and dived into looking for a good gym personal trainer.

For a non-sporty person, I was fearful of the gym. I didn’t know what to do or how to start. Working the machines scare me.

I found a couple of PT options online but it was only until I saw Anytime Fitness Kovan at my mom’s place that I decided this might be it. Unlike some other gyms that I’ve visited, Anytime Fitness Kovan was spacious and quiet. The L-shaped layout meant that the heavy weight lifters are away from the casual gym goers. That’s me! And what’s more, the gym manager was also preggers and understood the postnatal issues I was facing. I signed a 1 year gym membership package ($98 monthly) and 24x 1 hour sessions (about $2000).

For mommies who are keen to sign up for personal trainer (PT), here are some tips to guide you along

1. Find someone who is there when you need him

Before I stuck with my current PT, I was assigned to another who had certificates dealing with post natal issues etc. In fact, that’s a huge reason why I signed up also. But he wasn’t replying to my messages to confirm my training sessions, so the gym manager offered to change my PT after my first session.

My schedule is really tight. I’ve only that 2-3 hrs a day that I get to do my own stuff so I really need a Trainer who is willing to accommodate to my timing. So new PT was flexible enough when I had to make last minute cancellations, and yet committed to my training schedule.

On a side note, for anyone who is signing up for PT sessions at Anytime Fitness, it seems that the gym would not know your training schedule. It’s a private arrangement between you and your trainer.

2. Find a trainer who understands your difficulties

So my first trainer wanted me to count my calories and eat in small portions throughout the day. This is a little difficult for me because as a mom, I don’t exactly have the luxury to eat healthy all the time and in fact, I don’t have much time to eat. Unless I choose to simply steam everything I suppose. I’m guilty of slipping quick bites of choc bars, potato chips or peanut butter sandwich when I just need a sugar fix.

I was soooo happy when my second trainer told me to eat everything I want but cut out sugar, oily, processed food as much as possible. His explanation was that my goal is to keep fit and reduce body fats. And if I make such a drastic diet change, I probably wouldn’t be able to keep up since my lifestyle won’t allow it.

The first trainer wasn’t wrong in his ways. It’s merely a different objective for me.

3. Find a trainer who designs your exercises according to your lifestyle

I made it very clear that I’m not a gym person and completely clueless. Heck. I don’t even know how to do a proper squat then. Part of a good reason why I choose PT instead of following YouTube videos is because I want to make sure my form is correct and I’m applying pressure at the right places.

My PT taught me plenty of exercises with kettle bell, dumb bells and other gears. He gave me an introduction on machines but my main exercises were doing different sets. All these I could do it at home which is fantastic! With his recommendation, I bought the foam roller, kettle bell and dumb bells of varying weight.

After every session, I would type out all the exercises I did on my memo. At the end of the 24 sessions, I’ve accumulated a huge list of exercises that I would do at home!

4. Look see the space

As I mentioned earlier, I went to a couple of gyms to check out the space, vibe and packages etc. If you’re a first timer like me, make sure the place puts you completely at ease. Look out for the amenities, lockers, washroom, and whether they offer classes with additional fee.

Ask to speak to the trainer who might be working with you. It’s especially important for those with specific conditions like me. When I was going about my search, I spoke to a trainer who gave me such an incredulous look that made me feel like I was a joke to her. She completely didn’t believe or understand me. Of course I didn’t get back to her.

Get a gym that’s located near your kids’ school or your home, so if there’s an emergency you can get back asap.

What about you? Do you have any specific criteria when you are looking for a trainer too? My PT sessions have ended but who knows, maybe years later I would get one again. Leave some comments!

 

Diastasis Recti

Getting back my pre-kids body is always top on my wish list. But I know it’s never going to happen. I mean I got to be honest, I’m never super fit before pregnancy and I was already dealing with weight gain from hormonal imbalance just before my first kid. So it will take a lot, a lot to get fit.
Travis and Keane are finally getting into the sch system, and my mom is kinda used to the kids schedule too. So I think it’s time.. It’s time for me to focus on myself!
First thing, my body.

A month after I gave birth to Travis, I found this weird angular bulge on my stomach. No matter how much I exercise and the amount of weight I’ve lost, the bulge is still there. And so, Dr Google to the rescue that said I may have Diastasis Recti which is the separation of the ab walls.

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Not my pic! Click here to find out more.
Unfortunately, I procrastinated and didn’t have time to go seek help. Also, I didn’t know who to ask! I’ve asked my obstetrician and she recommended plastic surgery. Errr.. She’s great at delivering my kids and my friends’ but I don’t think that’s the medical help I need, right now.

So fast forward 2 years later, I decided to Google this symptom again and finally, made a phone call to get it check. Again, I wasn’t sure if I was wasting money by getting it checked but I figured I could probably clear on my doubts and learn the proper exercises to do. Mommies with Diastasis Recti can’t do sit-ups as it will worsen the condition.

Made the visit to the physio at CoreConcepts and the physio informed me I don’t have a bad case of disastis rectis. I’ve a mere 1cm gap! Normally, the ab walls should be completely closed without any gaps.

My physio made an interesting comment that most Asian mommies don’t know about this condition. I wonder if it’s because we just attribute it to stubborn pregnancy fats.

My consultation at CoreConcept was pretty smooth sailing. The clinic wasn’t spectacular, state of the art with fancy furniture or lightings but it served its purpose and function. Honestly I’d rather a clinic with genuine caring staff who knows what they are doing (and saying) than one that’s all glitz and fluff. Physiotherapist started the session with a diagnosis and teaching me some simple exercises to tighten and strengthen the ab muscles. Learning to breath while doing those muscle moves were tough… I’m always inhaling at the wrong time. During the session, I was rather upset to learn that because I had sought help after such a long time from time of delivery, it would be heaps more difficult to reduce my bulge. But really, with two young kids under 3 and not much available help, it’s extremely difficult to do anything for yourself. True, I could have squeezed out some time in the weekends, but lack of awareness about the condition and my choice to have more family time were my biggest distraction.

I booked two more physiotherapy sessions. I’m going to get disciplined and stick to my routine. I can only hope everything works out in my favour! Everyone’s body is different so I wouldn’t know if the physio will work fabulously but at least I’d did something for myself and on the way to getting fit again.