A few weeks ago I talked with a friend from the gym about having a joint personal training session, but we never got any further. We came to the conclusion that our fitness levels were too different for it to be useful (Kelly runs and cycles a LOT). However, after a bit of reflection, we chatted again and thought it was worth a try – and that Phil would make adjustments for us so we could train together.
So, we booked it for the following week and turned up at 7am one Thursday morning a couple of weeks ago, with full water bottles and fearful faces. After a 5 minute warmup on the cross trainer we were raring (sort of) to go.
Phil had set up a circuit each for us. Well, more of a path really, since we had to race each other. On the first circuit we did:

  • 15 squats to a step
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • 10 push presses
  • 10 press-ups
  • plank

Despite my step being a level higher than Kelly’s, she got off to a much quicker start than I did – as we already know, I believe that squats are evil!  We did our kettlebell swings around the same speed, so I didn’t make my time up there.  But never fear!  It seems that lifting things (including myself) are something that I’m good at.  I overtook quite quickly during the push presses and made it through the press-ups in one set (just!) – although I did the modified version, which Kelly wasn’t allowed to do.  My reward for winning?  Why, a 30-second plank of course.  Lucky me!  Actually, that really was lucky for me – whoever came last had to do a longer plank.  For the second circuit, everything was increased by 5 and the plank was increased to 45 seconds (or 90 seconds), and for the final circuit we dropped back down to match the first one.  Oh, and I won all three circuits, in case you were wondering…

Next up, after a short break, were mountain climbers and the TRX.  This was only brief – one did 1 minute of mountain climbers whilst the other did 1 minute of TRX squat jumps, and then swap.  I think this might have been planned to be longer but neither of us enjoyed it that much, so Phil moved us on to the final section.

The last section was boxing (woohoo!) but sadly not against each other.  We took it in turns to do 1-minute rounds against Phil and the pads, whilst the other one did high-knee running/jogging on the spot.  We both did two rounds of each and finally it was time to stretch.

Having a joint PT session was a lot of fun – I actually felt like I worked even harder than I usually do in a session too.  There was a combination of competition and cheerleading which was great for both of us, and I think we both were surprised by what we could and couldn’t do.  It was also cheaper than a single session!  So all in all, despite my fear of working out with someone fitter than me, I have seen a lot of benefits – and we are now planning for it to be a monthly booking!

You may have noticed that this post is about 2 new things – the second being “real weights”.  You might also have noticed that I skimmed over the mention of push presses earlier.  There was an unexpected “new thing” during the PT session – working out with a barbell instead of dumbbells.  Push presses look a bit like this:


and I have to confess I was pretty excited to try them!  I kind of fell in love with lifting then and there, although I have only done it once since.  I’m planning to ask at the gym for some advice on lifting – I really want to try out some other strength training, even if I do have to brave the man section of the gym to do it!