This is my main challenge for 2017. I started out the year with a Personal Trainer that specializes in bodybuilding. I worked with him for 6 months finishing off the year on my own.
The reason for this particular challenge?
Towards the end of 2016 I'd got myself into a real slump fitness wise. At the start of 2014 I was on a high. I'd just completed a year long pullup challenge and had got myself into great shape. However, I still had some lingering muscle imbalances that were holding me back and I was always on the lookout for ideas to help tackle that. I got on quite friendly terms with a well known trainer and agreed to go on his course when he came to the UK; he was convinced he could help me and I very much liked some of his ideas. He talked me out of doing any strength training - so no pullups - for the two months leading up to the course. I reluctantly agreed but later regretted it; I lost strength fast. We parted ways and I spent the next two years hovering between various training approaches - paralyzed with indecisiveness. Do I push forwards with strength and endurance training? Do I focus entirely on correcting the imbalances? Do I try a bit of both? Essentially, I was having a confidence crisis; I'd lost my way.
I remember early in 2016 looking in the mirror and wondering how I'd got into such good shape; I hadn't been strength training much - although I had been doing spin classes. We'd bought a campervan at the start of the year and I got a bit carried away with touring trips; training started to tail off and I began to eat a lot more than normal. I remember looking in the mirror at one point mid 2016 and thinking 'nah...I'm still OK - I'll lose any extra pounds quickly enough'. By around July I'd stopped training altogether and by October I was unfit and fat.
Recruiting Some Help
I decided to enlist the help of a Personal Trainer to see if that would do the trick. I had one in mind that had always shown an interest in my calisthenics training. His specialty was bodybuilding. Bodybuilding would be something new and interesting for me and I reasoned that it might well help me to iron out these muscle imbalances. I talked it over with him and agreed to commit to a year's training with him starting in January 2017. I then got to work cutting the excess fat in preparation, and by the first of January I'd got weight down from 67kg to 63kg.
Working with a trainer turned out to be a huge success. He gave me a good, challenging program - a program I had faith in so that instantly put a stop to my chopping, changing and indecisiveness. I trained with him once a week - the other five days I trained alone, but using his program. In sessions with him he mainly focused on legs - which is a problem area for me; I focused on upper body. For three months he was 100% in control of the overall program; for the next three months I was starting tomake changes with his approval. By the six month mark I was itching to get back in the driving seat, and also getting huge alarm bells about a bit of dependency developing; it was when he went on holiday that I realized this. I was putting in so many hours of training and research that keeping him in the loop was becoming a problem. The reality was I no longer needed him. I loved having him in my corner but it was more of an emotional thing - and a lot of placebo effect. I couldn't justify paying someone just to pat me on the back - especially when the communication was slowing me down. I tried talking to him to see if we could come up with a better way of working together, but he didn't want that conversation. We parted ways at the 6 month mark and things have gone from strength to strength since. I've tried to maintain contact as I'm sure he could help me again in the future, but so far it's one way traffic.
That little spell with a trainer not only got me back on my feet, but propelled me to new heights. I can honestly say it was life changing; it broadened my horizons and taught me new skills. I will always be grateful for what he's done for me.