Six weeks ago, I started Jessie Hilgenberg’s Home Edition workout program. It was interesting to see how many people, stood off to the sidelines of my social-media-led workout life, scratching their heads.
“Aren’t you a personal trainer?” and “Why are you doing someone else’s trainer? Can’t you come up with your own?” Even… “Isn’t that a waste of money?”
Yes, I am a personal trainer. Yes, I can create my own trainer for myself. I have done so, many, many times in my workout life. And there are many, many more self-written ones to follow. Thing is? It gets kind of boring after awhile. I can write myself a hell of a workout, but, it’s not the same as pulling and doing one created by another. Be it a fellow local trainer, or someone like Hilgenberg.
I’ve done probably about a dozen different trainers, from other fit professionals, over the course of the 13, almost 14 years of my weight lifting life. They not only challenge me in a way that I may not have been able to come up with on my own, but they show me a little of the mindset of another trainer. What works. What doesn’t work. Long programming versus short programming. Super versus giant sets. It gives me better, on-hand, personal experience.
It helps me do my job better.
To not do it, would to be much like an author who never reads anything but their own work.
It stifles the mind. Staunches that creativity.
There are a lot of times, where I will take that trainer and tweak it a bit here and there even, in the midst of my doing it. For example: Box jumps on leg and back day of the phase two portion of the Home Edition trainer. Did I do them Saturday when I was out there sweating my ass off in hot, humid, sunny weather?
No. Instead, I did the rear flyes on their own, and in-between each superset, I ran down to the end of my driveway and back (about 400-feet, give or take a few steps).
Why did I do this? First, I did just have a major surgery not even five months ago (that’s right folks! A cesarean is a major surgery, let’s not forget that part like so many of us all do!). Yes, I may be back to working out. Yes, I may have done pelvic floor rehab. Yes, I may not have gotten diastasis recti. BUT, I know my body. I know what it’s been through, I know what it can handle at this moment in time, right now. I also know, I want to continue to heal properly. I don’t want to be down with injury. So, I knew just flat out, box jumps were a no-go, so in came the substitute.
Sometimes, I don’t have access to certain things. That first phase, I couldn’t get my suspension trainer up yet to do pull-ups. So instead, I swapped it out for an exercise that was going to accomplish the same thing.
Adapt and adjust. The only way you’ll ever find success.
I can accredit the on-the-fly type of thinking to the fact that I have that kind of experience under my belt. I’ve done so many different workouts, between my own and others, that when it comes down to a “Oh crap! This isn’t a good idea!”, I’m not looking around for an alternative. I’ve already got it at the snap of a finger.
I’ve been with clients before, who, the day of their session, tell me about an old injury flaring, or a sudden issue they may be having. If I couldn’t think quickly enough of a safe alternative, then I’d have to scrap the session all together. Do that enough, my client walks.
I’m a believer in it, and I always, strongly encourage all of the trainers I meet to do the same. Who knows what may come of it?