Personal Training for First-timers: COVID edition

I had never used a Personal Trainer (that’s a PT, for those in the know) or done any kind of weights-based exercise before this year, coincidentally when all the gyms closed. Around May this year, when New South Wales and most of the rest of the world was in lockdown, I started with a personal trainer. Her name is Abbey, and she is great. 

My first PT session with Abbey was on Zoom in a room that I don’t live in anymore with a sparkly new yoga mat I had rushed out to buy. It was the only one left at Rebel Sport and I’m not disclosing how much it was. It was strange for sure. I had my door shut, staring intently at my computer screen and I somehow felt a little claustrophobic. I used the side of the bed as my dip bar and she gave me three home sessions to do myself. At this stage, motivation was low. But then again, so was everyone’s in May/June. 

We couldn’t really see the light in this long 2020 tunnel. 

After the first initial lockdown in NSW, gyms started to reopen and so I started to go twice weekly to see Abbey with one-on-one sessions. Like most things that we were used to doing face-to-face pre-COVID, it was much better than working out over Zoom. 

I was really nervous because it’s obvious that you should be when trying something for the very first time. I’d set foot in a gym maybe less than 10 times in my whole life and I had no idea what I was doing. 

Coming out of that year, I’ve realised that attempting personal training for the first time definitely helped to lift my spirits and pull me out of the funk that came from  doing absolutely nothing. It’s certainly a step I wouldn’t hesitate to do again. 

Also, by far the biggest barrier to starting personal training for me was confidence. I can now do things that I didn’t think I could do: I know how to lift weights really safely and I participated in group classes that my normally-extroverted self would thrive in but found surprisingly unnerving. Learning new fitness exercises under the tutelage of someone as encouraging as Abbey just really didn’t leave much room to be nervous. Putting myself out there was scary but of course wielded the biggest reward in that I now really enjoy working out with the small group classes and I am a bit more self-directed. I am pretty lucky that the gym I go to is small and welcome and absolutely everyone I have met is so encouraging. 

As a teenager I never enjoyed individual fitness. I ran when I wanted to, but my exercise regime mostly consisted of group activities. Dancing, swimming and netball…and yoga classes with my mum! As a nurse, she encouraged (still does) healthy eating and moving my body. But I still found myself thinking I was lazy, so I finally decided to give this PT thing a go – and I figured, what better time to try it than during lockdown? 

In my head, Abbey just pulls fitness workouts out of thin air, but I know she is very good at what she does and there is a lot of hard work that goes into applying fitness goals and personalising routines. 

As a result of this really positive experience, I now have a really great friend who is also a really hard working lady. Abbey’s expertise has really pushed me to the edge of my comfort zone. I’d really encourage anyone who has thought about doing personal training to find your trainer and get going!

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