Working Out with a Personal Trainer

I’ve been working out with a personal trainer for over a year and a half now. My progress has been slow and difficult, but I’m impressed with the results.

When I got a new job in 2015 with a new salary to boot, I decided to get in shape. I’ve been overweight for years, but it wasn’t vanity that motivated me. It was health. I’ve seen how things like pulmonary artery disease, hypertension and Type II diabetes all run in my family. I don’t know if I can ever escape the destiny of genetics, but I can do my damnedest to ward it off. So I resolved to get a gym membership. The only problem was, I didn’t know where to begin.

I had always hated gym class growing up, even managing to weasel out of it in high school. What good was a gym membership if I didn’t even know how to lift? So even though it’s half as much as my rent, I sucked it up and paid for weekly sessions with a personal trainer.

When I first started, my plan was to learn the basics and then do it on my own. That was naïve. No one can learn it all in a couple of weeks. And given how out of shape I was, it would take time to build strength and learn the proper form. Hell, I couldn’t even do a push-up. I thought I could, but I was doing it all wrong. When I tried it the proper way, I couldn’t do one. My personal trainer had me do a modified push-up (“girly push-up”) from my knees. Even then, I couldn’t do a single one. So he had me do “negatives” instead, where I would just try to hold the position without actually pushing myself up. It took me a whole year before I could finally do a proper push-up. Now I can do several sets.

I still have a long way to go on my fitness journey, but I try to keep my head up. The process is humbling but the progress is heartening. And while it’s expensive, I count it as part of my retirement plan. In other words, I’m making sure I’m around to enjoy a retirement.

Have you hired a personal trainer to get into shape? If so, what did you think? Let me know in the comments.

Steve Lovelace

Steve Lovelace is a writer and graphic artist. After graduating Michigan State University in 2004, he taught Spanish in Samoa before moving to Dallas, Texas. He blogs regularly at

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