I wasn’t sold on seeing a personal trainer. I’ve seen trainers before, mostly when a few sessions came free with a new gym membership and I was never impressed. Usually the trainers spent too much time making small talk or I felt like they weren’t a positive influence. (One trainer told me to lose weight so I could wear a crop top on Halloween.)As I told the NY Post, another trainer blindly told me I drank too much water.
But in the lead-up to our wedding, I figured it couldn’t hurt to give personal training another chance.I know so many people who love their trainers and feel like it’s a valuable tool for getting in great shape. My goal was to gain a little more muscle before the big day so I would feel toned. (I know toned isn’t a feeling, per se, but tell that to a girl who has purchased a very delicate wedding gown.)
I scoured Yelp for trainers near my office or my home and emailed a few of them. I landed on Leo Pinto, of Leo Results Fitness. Before I came in, we had a chat on the phone. Leo asked me what my goals were and what I usually do to work out. He also asked me to text him a photo of me in my wedding dress so he could get an idea of where we could make an impact. It sounds a bit crazy to send a guy I’ve never met a photo of me in a wedding dress, but it felt good to know he knew what we were working with.
I bought a 12 pack (and had one free intro session) and we got to work. We had 13 sessions in about four and a half weeks, so it was an intense stretch of workouts!
I loved my experience working with Leo and here are 6 things you need to know:
1. The sessions are 30- minutes long. At first I thought that would be too short but I was wrong. The second we completed a session, I knew I was completely spent.
2. Leo meets clients at a gym called Complete Body. It’s not Equinox. It’s a little bit meat-heady but Leo makes you feel right at home there. During my first visit, I had the urge to turn right around and leave, thinking the gym just wasn’t for me. I felt out of place at first, but I am glad I stayed. The gym has everything you need: showers, lockers, towels. But it’s by no means luxurious.
3. Leo takes the sessions seriously. There is no time to dilly dally. Leo greeted me each session with “Ready to work?.” And we barely paused until our 30 minutes were up. He thought about my goals and my current shape and planned thoughtful, diverse workouts. We rarely did the same thing twice. He pays attention to you and only you during your session. This meant a lot to me. His focus and commitment amplified my own.
4. It will be hard. I am not sure what I expected, but the sessions were very tough. Leo modified to meet my strength level but I definitely worked much harder with him then I do in a Barry’ class (and that’s saying something).
5. Working with Leo made me work harder in classes. I realized just how many breaks I was taking (because Leo stopped me from taking them). I tried to bring that same work ethic to Barry’s and beyond.
6. I felt awesome on my wedding day. Leo saw my posture (it sucks) and led me through postural strengthening exercises. He saw that my dress was body skimming and we did tough, efficient ab work. I think I have definition in my arms for the first time ever. (Though it’s invisible in photos.) I worked my ass off and it was totally worth it.
Going to a trainer is not easy. It’s way more expensive than taking a class. You also have to mentally commit. Each session was really hard. The instructor’s complete attention is on you. You have to really want it mentally to push yourself physically. I am very glad I did it, but I’m going to take a break from personal training now that marathon training started.
I was not paid to write this post. In fact, I paid Leo for 12 sessions out of my own pocket (err Venmo account).
Have you seen a trainer? How did it go?