May Report & Personal Training Vent

Two things to talk about in this post:

May Report

On paper, by most of the numbers, May did not go as well as April. I walked an average of 360 steps less a day.  I burned about 60 calories a day less.  I ate 165 more calories a day, 1313 calories a day, the largest since I started this blog (November of last year was close at 1302).  Math will tell you that my calorie deficit per day was 228 calories a day less.  Also, my average exercise per day was 43 compared to 60 in April.  Of course, that is still good compared to the 8 per day in March.

Still, one number stands out.  I lost 2.2 pounds from my last weigh in during April until my last weigh in during May.  From end of March to the last April weigh in, I lost 1.6 pounds.  Math says that shouldn’t happen since I had less of an assumed calorie deficit (per my Fitbit) than in April. So, why did it happen?

Basically, I think it is what I thought was going on during April.  During April, I increased activity a lot.  I didn’t lose anything close to what I thought I should have lost.  My guess was that I was retaining water due to the sudden increase in activity.  During May, my body was more used to the greater activity.  I did back off a bit due to lots of life intruding moments, plus a little knee pain.  In May, I tried an experiment of eating more for a few days to see if that would help my body let go of the fluid and perhaps have some benefit on my metabolism.  I don’t know for sure if that was what turned the trick.  But, maybe it had some effect.  Regardless, I think part of the May result was actually seeing weight loss I had earned during April.

May was an unusual month.  I had lots of special events and travel which made eating more difficult.  I was very busy and had more things happen to cause some gaps in exercise.  I usually exercised for at least an hour on any day I exercised, but I missed more days than in April.  Now, though, all of those May events are over and June should be easier.  And, at the end of May, I finally got into the 140s for the first time in over 20 years.

Personal Training Vent

I went to my 5th personal training session today.  I was ….unhappy…. with some aspects of it. I posted on Wednesday before last about my telling the trainer that I wanted to exercise my whole body in each of my two weekly sessions, rather than splitting it between two sessions:

He had me doing some exercises of different body parts than on Monday, and I explained to him that I really want to do a whole body workout on the two days (same exercises).  I know splitting up workouts can be good, but I think that for me at this point a whole body workout is better.  So, he is going to switch to that next week.

Monday of last week, we had a good session with all body parts being exercised.  I had to cancel last Wednesday’s session due to going out to eat while my mom was visiting.  I had planned to go back later that afternoon/evening to do the session on my own.  As it turned out, I couldn’t since the Y was closed due to area flooding.

So, today, I expected to do a session that was the same as last Monday, except for maybe changing the amount of weight on some of the exercises.  Early on, he had me do a triceps machine exercise.  I had done it a couple of weeks ago, but last week he had me do triceps kickbacks with free weights.  I figured that maybe he had decided the machine was better for me.  Around about the third exercise that was different from last week, I asked him why I was doing different exercises.  He pointed out that each exercise was exercising the same body part as the different exercise we had done before.

I reminded him of what I told him when I first talked to him:

I also told him that I didn’t want to do something different every session (like my old trainer had me do).  I want to have sessions where I have a set plan that I do every time.  Of course, I want to increase what I do and it is fine to switch out exercises periodically.  But, I don’t want to do something new every time.

I had really stressed this when we first talked.  I told him how I had gone to a trainer at another Y before and how much I didn’t like it that each week he had me do something different.  I explained that I want to see my progress very clearly each week.  Basically, if I do the same exercise each time and I see the weights going up, then I know I am making progress.  When you change all the time, it obscures my view of progress.  Also, I want to do the same things each time so I will be solid on them when I come in and do a 3rd session each week on my own.

This is one reason I was so unhappy when he had me doing the split sessions.  I told him then I wanted to do the whole body, doing the same things, each session.  Therefore, I was really surprised when he had me doing different exercises today than last Monday.  His argument was that the exercises were exercising the same body part so they were the same exercise.  So, the triceps exercise on the machine was basically doing the same thing as the free weight tricep kickbacks.

I thought I had been crystal clear that I wanted to do the exact same exercises each sessions.  He expressed the view that, if I did, then why did I need a trainer?  He expressed also a desire to teach me lots of different exercises.  I explained to him that I wanted a trainer for 3 reasons:

1. I want someone watching what I am doing to make sure I always do each exercise properly. I know that I am not the best at form and I get sloppy, so I want someone to help me make sure I’m doing it right.  I don’t think I will need this twice a week forever.  I plan to eventually move down to once a week and then maybe even once a month, but right now I want to really learn how to do the routine properly.

2. I want someone to help me devise a program and to know when I do need to change something.  I don’t want to change a triceps exercise to do something else just because.  I want to have someone tell me to change a triceps exercise because the old one isn’t working well, or because a new exercise will give me something new.  I want a trainer to help me to know when to change an exercise for an actual reason.

3. I know that I work harder when I have a trainer there.  The trainer gently pushes me to do more than I would do on my own.  Sometimes, the trainer can give me a tiny bit of help so that I am able to do more than I could do on my own.  One thing I really like about this trainer is that he is very good at doing that.  There is no question in my mind that I’ve worked much harder with him there than if he wasn’t there.

I hope that our discussion will keep us on the same page.  I like this trainer and he really has helped me to do more than I would have done on my own.  I sometimes think that trainers think they have to justify their existence by doing new and different stuff all the time.  But, I figure if something isn’t broke don’t fix it.  If he devises a routine for me and it is working and I’m progressing with heavier weights, then don’t change it.  Once a month or so, I told him I was open to changing exercises if he felt something else would be better or would do something different.  So, we’ll see.


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