On Sept. 26, members of the Sheaf staff suffered for their readers.
In order to see what it’s like to go through a personal training session at the Physical Activity Complex, four unlucky participants signed up to be put through the wringer by the coordinator of the Human Performance Centre, Jason Weber.
Our group was composed of varying fitness levels. One had never set foot in the gym, another could remember the day of their last work out three years ago, there was a Brazilian jujitsu practitioner and the last was a semi-in shape tennis player.
But the one thing we had in common was that we were willing to get our butts kicked — and we did.
Dealing with a group of different abilities makes it difficult to plan an effective workout, but Weber made sure that everyone felt challenged.
“We try to create an individual workout in a group setting, keeping each person focused on their own performance,” he said in an e-mail to the Sheaf. “We will typically do large timed circuits so everyone can work at their own level and not feel the added pressure of being ‘last’ and that everyone is watching them.”
Weber considered the fitness levels of the participants and the equipment that the workout required before deciding on how to proceed.
“I chose the workout I did because I wanted to show … something [the group] probably wasn’t expecting and [to] highlight the quality of workout that you can have even if you don’t have a gym, much time or any other common barrier to exercise,” Weber said.
The workout wasn’t easy. In fact it was incredibly difficult and we all felt like giving up at one time or another, but we didn’t. In the end, we made it through. It’s much harder to give up when there is someone there to encourage you or who you want to beat so badly you can’t give up — pride is a surprisingly good motivator.
Working out with friends also made the experience more entertaining and enjoyable than hitting the gym alone would have been. There was someone else there for the trainer to terrorize and we all laughed when one of us could only get their head off the ground during crunches.
Training sessions also cost less when done in a group and when done more frequently. While an individual session once a week costs $45, each member of a small group of two to four people pays only $30. Sessions twice a week cost $35 individually or $25 as part of a group for each workout.
Whether exercising alone or in a group, the trainers at the High Performance Centre tailor the fitness plan to each individual.
“Each personal training client will have their own goals, exercise preferences, injuries, likes and dislikes that we need to consider in each session,” Weber said.
Even for the advanced exerciser, a session with a trainer can be a great way to change up a routine. Handing over the reins let’s you experience something new.
“We provide lots of variety and motivation to keep things ‘fresh’ and work you harder than you probably would have on your own,” Weber said.
The goal of a training session isn’t to show someone what they can’t do, but to show them what they’re capable of whether it’s their first time exercising or they’re an elite athlete.
“We ensure that each session the client leaves feeling that they accomplished as much as they possibly could in that hour, had fun, feels proud of themselves and their accomplishments and knowing that they did the right stuff in the right way,” Weber said.
Anyone can sign up for personal training and the reasons they choose to do so are just as varied.
“Clients seek us out because they are unable to commit to an exercise program on their own or are unsure of what to do, [are] recovering from an injury or for sport performance,” Weber said.
Want to try the Sheaf workout for yourself? You can find it on thesheaf.com.
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor