Friday, January 14, 2011

The Worst Part of Personal Training

As you know, getting a personal trainer was one of my goals for 2011. The Hubs helped in making this goal a reality by getting me 8 personal training sessions for Christmas. I'm already having session 6 of 8 this afternoon. These sessions go by SO fast when they recommend that you have two a week! I guess that's the way they make TONS of money, since they are almost $60 a pop!

All in all, I've really loved personal training so far. It's an awesome feeling to work harder in the gym than I normally would and to have something to really focus on. I often find myself so focused in a particular exercise that I don't even notice the trainer counting out the reps or time. It's also been great at keeping me motivated to hit the gym on my off days (although the last couple of days I've been a slacker because of this cold I have).

Something I was NOT expecting is what has become THE WORST part of personal training. To me this item/exercise is probably the most painful part of personal training and I have yet to see its real benefit. I'll need my PT friend Marilee to fill me in on what the REAL benefits are, cause right now I'm not sure all the pain is worth it!

What is this item that I dread each and every time we start a personal training session???



I swear, the first time I had the foam roller "done" to me by the personal trainer I thought I was going to die.

When he first brought the foam roller over, I thought that it was some sort of prop used in yoga and that it would be a soothing exercise or stretch. I'd seen others use it with ease and thought it would be great to learn how to use this new tool. Boy was I wrong!

Since I had no idea what I was in for, I thought my trainer was just making idle chit chat as I laid on my side for what I thought would be a nice massage of my outer thigh. Instantly, I knew this was NOT going to be fun. I seriously thought I was going to cry. He would ask me where it hurt and then proceed to push even HARDER on that spot for 30 full seconds. He kept telling me to take deep breaths and to think about something else, but I swear all I could think about was "Holy hell this hurts! Is this supposed to be preparing me for labor?" (The later was probably my first thought since I've had baby on the mind as of late...).

I've done the foam roller a few times myself and it is never nearly as painful as when the trainer does it, although I do think I'm getting more used to the weird sensations of knots moving strangely in my leg and giving me charlie horses.

I do think that my great hatred of the foam roller puts me in the minority of those who use them. It seems to be a tool that athletes commonly use, especially runners. I'm hoping that it just takes some getting used to and that sooner rather than later, I'll start to reap the benefits of this evil stretching technique!

Have you tried the foam roller? Do you love it or hate it?

Image Source: Power Systems


  1. Ok I think I love the foam roller! My trainer had been talking about foam rolling for awhile although we hadn't tried it yet. One day I was feeling a little tired so I asked if we could foam roll instead of the typical workout routine thinking that it would be a nice break. Oh my, was I surprised. I really liked it though. We used the hard pvc type pipes and I did all self administered rolling after he showed me the technique so I think that might have helped being in control rather than someone else doing the rolling. Although don't get me wrong it did hurt I found it somehow to be a good hurt, like it was releasing in someway. Happy Foam Rolling!

  2. ahahah!! I read the post title and it made me smile=) I've never heard of a personal trainer doing it to you...interesting...We do it to patients, but then again we are trained in how to perform/when to stop kind of deal=) The foam roller is not all that bad. What he was working on was your IT band. It is a band of fascia that runs down from the top of your outside thigh to the outside of your knee and its attached to a muscle right by your hip. It is tight in almost everyone I meet! He was doing it correctly, but unless you're having issues (IT band syndrome etc etc) I tend to just have people do it to themselves (like Teresa is doing). I can say myself, that it is painful as well but once you start doing it yourself its not that bad=) Plus, I really love the foam roller for upper thoracic work and stretching out your pectoral area. ESPECIALLY after sitting on a computer for hours on end! I have one of these torture devices at home if you want to borrow it=)