I better write this now, because tomorrow I expect to be in great pain.

S. and I bit the bullet and signed up for a personal trainer at our gym. We thought what better way to ensure we’re consistent in getting to the gym, are meeting our goals, and throw some more money to them each month?

Our first session was today. The pain is already kicking in.

I should have expected it to be different. I think my image of a trainer was someone who put a plan together for you that wasn’t terribly different than what you could get from doing a little research on your own, then pushing you to stick to the plan while making sure you were using proper form, etc.

Our experience was different, though. We barely touched any weights. We spent lots of time using fitness tools we’d never used before. He had us doing exercises that seemed way too easy at first glance but then had us grunting and sweating and shaking by the third set.

We did squats, but without weights. First, against a stability ball that rolled up and down the wall with our motion. Then on our own without either the support or any weights. This was to check our core strength apparently. This was a real treat for my poor sense of balance. I only tipped over twice.

Then we did some push ups. Makes sense. Good, solid, traditional exercise. But after the first set, he threw us a curve. He got one of those things that looks like a stability ball cut in half, with a flat base one one side. He placed it curvy side down and had us assume push up positions. We then had to support our weight for 30 seconds. I kept that thing steady for about 10 seconds but after that was all over the place. I felt muscles firing I’m pretty sure I had never touched, even back when I was in the best shape of my life. The second set of these was brutal. Back screaming, hamstrings quivering, arms struggling to keep the half-ball from rocking too much.

We did three more exercises at Flex Motion (I think that’s what they’re called) machines. They’re weight machines, but with cables and long arms that allow you to pull them from dozens of different angles. Again the goal was to put our bodies into unexpected positions while working with light weights to develop the core muscles. Judging from the way I’m already tightening up, I think it did the trick. And this was after working out for a month. The workout floor is on the second floor of the building, and it was tough to walk down the stairs to get back to the locker room. At least I didn’t drop a kid on the way to the van.

Now we get to repeat the workout on our own twice before we meet with him again next week. Hopefully I’ll be able to move again by Sunday and can keep to our schedule.