Investing in my future

As I mentioned in my bio on this page, losing this weight and becoming a Figure competitor is for more than just my health. It’s also for my career. I want to work in the fitness industry. Another factor, which I don’t like discussing is my age. I feel like I’m 25 and I think I look very young, but I will be 40 years old (ACK!) next May. Stuff goes downhill from there. I don’t want to be morbidly obese on my 40th birthday.

I just enrolled in school to get an Associates in Strength, Nutrition and Personal Training. I start in January. I have to take 14 classes and I’m hoping it will only take a year including summer. By the time I graduate I should have lost the majority of my excess weight and hopefully be able to atleast get a job at a gym or resort spa as a trainer or group exercise instructor. Hopefully by the time I compete in FIGURE, I can start training private clients at their homes.

As you guys may know, especially if you follow my FACEBOOK, I go to Bodyworks every day for strength training. However, I’ve started realizing that I cannot transform my body the way I want with Bodyworks because they use low weights and high reps and it’s the same exercises, for the most part, every week. I mean each instructor does a few different things from the other, but after attending for 8 weeks, I realized the instructors each do their own routine over and over and over each week. I need to be lifting heavier and doing different enough workouts regularly to cause muscle confusion so my body will improve. I’ve never seen anyone in Bodyworks who looks like a FIGURE competitor or who has big defined muscles.

I read alot of weight loss blogs and alot of people lost weight on their own using workout tapes, running, etc.. I’ve worked out to exercise tapes on my own at home in the past. It was fine but I didn’t stick with it. I think I need a more social atmosphere and also I need to know how to change it up every 3 weeks. I can’t do the same tapes all the time and expect to see huge muscle definition. I need to learn proper form, proper tempo, etc..

On the other hand I’m not comfortable in the weights area of my gym on my own. I get self conscious when I even go to that area. Earlier this week I just stood there and marveled at the couple of girls who were over there working out on their own wishing I had the knowledge and confidence to do that.

Today I took a BIG financial step. Someone posted in my blog this week suggesting I hire a trainer and last week I emailed Erik Ledin who is an online coach to see about him coaching me. He emailed me back and said “If you don’t know your way around the gym, you’re definitely better off with in person instruction. That cannot be taught online.” I noticed that in all the figure competitor blogs I read that they have coaches or trainers. (My IDOL Amanda Latona’s coach is Kim Oddo)

Finally yesterday I looked up trainers on craigslist. Of the few that I emailed only one wrote me back and he wants me to come to his personal gym. I already have a gym membership at LA Fitness that I’ve paid for 2 years in advance for, I’m not joining another one.

So yesterday I went and inquired at LA Fitness about personal training. They informed me about it when I first joined the gym in February, but at the time I was like “thats just too expensive” and I hadn’t committed to this journey yet. Now I feel like I NEED personal training to get me where I need to be. I was apprehensive about getting a LA Fitness personal trainer because I’ve read online in some competitor blogs that LA Fitness uses cookie cutter techniques that produce no results. I would be PISSED if I paid all that money for a trainer and didn’t see the exact results that I am seeking. But since I’m already committed to a 2 year membership there, that’s at the minimum the gym I WILL be at for the next 2 years no matter what. It would be nice if I could atleast get taught to use the equipment there and get more comfortable in the weight section there. So I inquired about training yesterday and met with Scott who suggested he do another personal training assessment for me.

Today I went for my assessment. The first thing Scott did was weigh me and their scale said I am 262. That’s after eating breakfast, lunch and having my clothes and shoes on. This morning I weighed myself naked and my weight was 256.5 lbs. That was annoying. I told him my goal is to be a FIGURE competitor and the main goal I’m looking for is STRENGTH and I want to be able to lift heavy weights and build the biggest muscles my body can get naturally. I also told him about this website. He was surprised to hear about it. Scott talked to me for almost a hour about training and muscle confusion. Then he put me through a lower body workout which was very painful. I could barely do 40 lb leg presses. LOL.  After the workout I was kinda pissed cause I never worked out that hard in Bodyworks. We worked my muscles to failure in that assessment.

After my personal training assessment, we sat down to talk about pricing. I know that I need multiple sessions per week and I knew that I wanted to save as much money as possible obviously. He told me the per hour rate was $45 per session and $55 for a Master trainer. I can’t afford that so I asked about a discount for paying in advance. If I paid for a year in advance, they could drop the price almost half to $25 per session but I had to commit to coming 3 times per week. I thought that was a GREAT DEAL.

(I like paying for stuff in advance because:

#1 – you usually will get a discount and

#2 –  I just hate paying bills monthly. It’s very stressful for me and I try to live as stress free as possible.

I’ve paid my rent off till next May and I’ve paid my phone bill off for a year. I pay my car insurance in 6 month increments. I just hate paying bills monthly. Duh! Doesn’t everyone? I just had enough savings this year to pay all my bills in advance. Next year I might not be as lucky but hopefully by then I will have lost enough weight to be able to get a job in fitness.)

I was running late for a Dr. appointment as we were talking about pricing which is good because it gave me a chance to call and get advice from important people in my life.

First I called my friend Jen, who graduated with me with a degree in Spa Management and Wellness Foundations. She worked at a fitness center. I asked her what she thought, she said I should inquire about the qualifications of the trainers.

Then I called my boyfriend whose opinion is HUGELY important to me. He felt that I shouldn’t do it because it’s a lot of money and I’m living off my savings with little income. I asked him if he thought it was irresponsible. He said “that’s how much you paid for your car”. I said “true but this is my body and health which is more important than a car”. After talking to him, I was confused and unsure.

So I called my mom and told her all the pertinent information and specifics about my finances. She said I ABSOLUTELY should do it. She said it’s an investment in my HEALTH.

I basically considered that a tie because both their opinions have equal weight to me.

So I asked my DOCTOR what he thought. He said I NEED to do it for my health. He said to tell my boyfriend that my DOCTOR says I have to do it. So that’s how I made my final decision. (BTW, I requested that my dr. send me to get blood tests in the morning to see if I have diabetes or a thryoid issue .)

After my Dr. appointment, I went back to LA Fitness. Scott wanted me to talk to his boss, “Coach Rick” who has trained competitors. So I talked to Coach for about a hour about training, competing, and nutrition. He broke down the look of the different competitors. They thought maybe I wanted to compete in BodyBuilding instead because I said I wanted HUGE muscles. I said I didn’t think I could get HUGE HUGE Bodybuilder muscles without steroids. He said it’s possible. But I already know that I don’t really want to be THAT huge, I just want to be more muscular than the average woman wants to be so that’s why I said I wanted HUGE muscles. I do prefer the look of Figure for myself more than Bodybuilding.

I also asked about qualifications and Coach said he hires trainers who are certified through different companies, not just one,  and most of them have degrees in Exercise Science, Nutrition or Kinesiology. He asked when my competition date is. I said I’m not sure which competition I want to do but I know it will be in 2014 before my 41st birthday. He listed off the names of some competitions I could do. He expressed that he knows his trainers can get me to my goal. But yea, of course he’s going to say that, it’s a sales pitch in the end. I know that. He said I can talk to him anytime if I feel like I’m not getting the results I’m looking for. They write down the exercises I do during each session and they assess me monthly including measurements to be sure I’m improving, progressing and getting results. He also wants me to bring in printouts of my meals from Spark People. That way if we’re not getting results we can see if the problem is my training or if it’s something I’m NOT doing in the gym, like my diet. He gave me a few recommendations, like cutting out sodium, sugar and flour and don’t eat fruit after 3pm. Scott recommended that I eat every 2 hours and start packing a cooler and bringing my meals with me when I’m on the go so I don’t miss meals (like I did today for 6 hours cause I was too busy to eat). I told him I’m very concerned about metabolic damage so I’m not going to do extreme dieting for a full year. I’m willing to do it during contest prep, but not for 1-2 years at a time. He said he knows how to cut down during  competition prep time. I did ask if they are going to make me do a TON of cardio, which Erik Ledin doesn’t make his competitors do. He said when it gets closer to competition prep I would be doing alot of cardio and working out twice a day. I’m not so sure about that part so we will have to see if I’m going to sign up for a second year of training after this year or if by then Erik Ledin will take me on as a client. (Amanda Latona says “I believe in lifting and clean eating instead of endless cardio.”)

As for now, after talking with Coach and Scott, I am confident that the two of them can help me get the results I’m seeking. The problem is they are not who will be training me one on one three times per week. It will be one of the trainers. They said I can try several of their trainers and see who I want to work with so that’s what I’m going to do because I want to be just as confident with my trainer as I am with Scott and Coach.  Also, I have 10 days to cancel, so if I’m not confident in the next two weeks with ANY of the trainers. I WILL cancel.

Anyway, I am nervous, because for me this is alot of money. But I see it as an investment in my future.

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5 thoughts on “Investing in my future

  1. Sable@SquatLikeALady September 20, 2012 at 5:04 pm Reply

    He sounds like a pretty good trainer! =) Are there any competitors at your gym? You should ask them who they train with =)

  2. Tiffani September 20, 2012 at 5:52 pm Reply

    An investment in your health is the best thing you can do for yourself. Hopefully the financial burden of it all won’t weigh over your head and maybe we can find some ways to help compensate for that!

  3. philip September 21, 2012 at 1:32 am Reply

    Philip again,..An investment in yourself is the very best thing you can do right now, because you only have the one body. However, a financial investment, especially when you might not be financially buoyant isn’t really the paramount investment. The resistance movements necessary for you aren’t that many. You can study them and be proficient in about a week. You just have to invest time in knowing the movements,Perhaps your boyfriend could assist you, kinda act as moral support in the gym for a week while you familiarize yourself with the resistance movements. They only seems daunting at first. There’s a book called”The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess” 20 bucks. Teaches you the necessary movements for you as a novice as well as the programming necessary to see results. All the authors are on facebook and are very renowned and will respond to queries and questions when they can ( I talk to Lou Schuler quite often)

    The other point I wanted to make is as per the recommendations made by the trainers you are contemplating to take. Quite frankly, and I don’t mean to add more confusion to your decision making, they don’t seem to know what they are talking about. Muscle confusion?Working you as a novice to failure? no fruit after 3 pm?? Eating every 2-3 hours?? Those are such ridiculous assertions and have been debunked multiple times by research investigating their validity. For the amount of money you intend to spend, I would want you to have a competent trainer who really understands exercise and nutritional science. What they have said so far seems to illustrate that they don’t. Your wish to hire Erik Ledin was a very good one. Erik is by far, one of the best experts in N America, the industry standard in what a master trainer/nutritional expert should be. His methods are based on research and science and his results speak for themselves i.e nothing short of phenomenal. That said, you don;t really need him at this stage in your process. A simplification of the process, I believe will go a long way. First, a correct assessment of your daily calorific expenditure minus % of necessary calories for fat loss. Second, Resistance program ( book I suggested will help immensely). This coupled with other suggestions Erik game you in short form on facebook( that was where I knew of you( is all you really need to elicit fat loss for the next couple month, maybe even up to a year.

    Believe me, I know how daunting the process is. It’s fraught with pitfalls, BS trainer and pseudo nutritional experts and its sometimes hard for the novice to sort the garbage from the gold. I would suggest a few websites and a couple online trainers who can help. ..great guy, super helpful and very accessible.. …ditto for jcd… ..Nia belongs to a group of female trainers called “girls gone strong” on facebook. Absolutely brilliant girls and strong as heck. try and find their page. They are brilliant.

    I hope I have been helpful in your process. Didn’t mean to write so much ( I get verbal diarhhea especially when it comes to strength and fitness, my passion) I dont do online training or else I would have put myself in the list but if you require any help or explanation on anything I’ve written. don’t hesitate to email me. Always happy to help

    • Fat to Figure GIrl September 21, 2012 at 2:51 am Reply

      thank you Philip, but I really hope this personal training gets me to my goal. I’ve spent $3600 and I dont want it to have been a waste. I can’t afford that. I re-read my contract and it says I have to pay 50% in order to terminate the contract so it looks like I’m going to sick with these trainers. I was watching Amanda Latonas video and she said she likes to change her exercises up every few weeks to keep her body guessing. I think that’s the same as muscle confusion and it works for her. Also, I don’t want to start off with onine training, I prefer one on one to get me started.

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