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Hah! My trainer doesn't believe in weights below 10 lbs ("The only thing they're good for is rehabbing a wrist injury. And even then not for long."). And definitely no pink (though I did notice a pair of pink boxing gloves have made their way in to the gym, but since one of the trainers is a bad-ass female MMA fighter, pink boxing gloves are actually a symbol of girl power, not girl wussiness!).
It sounds like you've got a great trainer! You also sound like a great client - serious, dedicated and foucsed. (I read your long post but didn't feel the need to quote it all.)
I was working with a good trainer for awhile last year and loved it, mostly for the variety and the ability to have someone else do the mental pushing. Unfortunately he is no longer available to train and I really cant afford training right now.
But I have had bad experiences as well. I find it really difficult in a small town to find a good trainer. I most often run up against the "This is my canned routine I do for everyone" type trainer and trainers with horrendous form.
My worst trainer was when I met with a trainer with the clear instructions "I want to lift heavy that is what I want you for. I have nutrition covered, I have cardio covered. I'm here to lift". Basically I was willing to pay for a spotter and for program help. He kept starting me with cardio with pink barbie weights. I kept thinking it was the warmup and saying "I warmed up before the session". He kept harping "we need to develop your cardio and your endurance base before you can lift heavy". ?? I had qualified for Boston Marathon the month before and he knew that.
I love having training partners because it gets me to the gym but currently I am struggling with a partner who has become too dependent on me. I realized as I left the gym this morning how often I sacrifice my own workout to bring it down to her level. That was ok when I used to live in the gym, but I dont right now. I miss having running partners, but I cant run at the level I used to right now. (Or dont want to, not sure which)
I've had people come to train with me who've run marathons but couldn't do a squat. I don't blame him for taking it easy on you in the very beginning. But once it was obvious that you could handle more - and wanted to - he should have stepped it up. It probably wouldn't have taken me very long to figure it out, but I understand that initial instinct to want to ease someone in.
Too bad about your current training partner. Maybe you could find someone else who can join you two who might liven things up. Or you could ditch her on a treadmill while you go work out.
Six years ago I found myself almost at 200 lbs (I'm 5"6!! female!! this was bad!) after a stressful few years. I decided I needed a trainer, and went to my sterile corporate NYC gym and told them I wanted to train with someone who knew something about boxing. I believe I was thinking I'd be more apt to take workouts seriously if I was learning how to do something.
Enter Elvin. He was THE BEST. He got me eating clean (in a CW sort of way, but whatever, it was an improvement). He got me doing cardio (not a crazy amount) and calisthenics every day. He weighed me every week, and kept the numbers in a graphing system that showed I lost one pound every single week--never more, never less--for eight months. More importantly, I began to see myself as strong, see myself as an athlete. At the end of eight months (this was expensive as hell) I left him for a boxing gym.
I think I could say that, more than anyone I've known, Elvin helped me change my perception of myself for the better. And although the weight has been a bit up and down since then (mostly due to two years of full-time school and work--it's now back to Elvin-era), the perception of myself that Elvin helped me develop has not changed.
A really good trainer is better than a good therapist, because the experience changes you, but you don't have to do any of that icky self-reflection stuff.
You're lucky to have walked right in and gotten matched up with someone good. Congrats on your growth and progress. I hope to see you at my Saturday bootcamp one of these days!
"In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."
"You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."