Ever since starting my fitness journey in 2014, I have always been self-sufficient in the gym. I found online workout challenges through Instagram, researched how to perform movements I didn’t know how to do and held myself accountable for working out. I always felt like I didn’t need anyone else to help me train and get to the goals I wanted to achieve.
Now after not being able to go to a gym for the past few months, I felt somewhat intimidated to head back into the gym. I decided to call up my friend Kevin Barcarse who does Personal Training at PRO Club in Bellevue to see if I could work with him to ease me back into my normal routine.
To be completely honest, I went in with the idea that I would just be using Kevin to gain access to the gym. With Washington State in the Safe Start Phases, this was a way I could get back into a free weight center. Also, I know all the machines and movements. What more could I learn, right?
However, I found that after my first training session, I was quickly humbled.
I’m pushing myself harder – and safely
When I used to train by myself, I would always grab a comfortable weight that I know I can do. 15-pound dumbbells for a bench chest press? Duh. 50 pounds for a wide grip lat pulldown? That’s my number! But every training season, Kevin is grabbing heavier weights for me to use. Typically without me even noticing. In my last training session, he set the machine at 70 pounds for my wide grip lat pulldowns. And I was easily able to do 12 repetitions without major fatigue for three sets.
And the best part is that I feel more safe trying to use heavier weights. Sometimes it seems like Kevin has a better idea of what I am truly capable of than I do. And this is making me want to go for an extra few reps or another set. I’m pushing myself more than I ever have.
Learning new exercises
I know I don’t know *every* workout in the world, but for the most part, I feel like I know my way around the gym. However, since working with Kevin, I am learning new movements and exercises to add to my routine.
Each session, he has had me work with kettlebells, and each time we are adding in another movement to the set. I love learning new ways to use traditional equipment.
I also love seeing how all the exercises build on each other. During one session, we worked on kettlebell swings. Later in the session, we went to deadlifts, and he explained how the kettlebell swing movement played into the movement for deadlifts. I could feel the same muscles and it made me critique my deadlift form.
PRO Tip: I write down all the exercises we do in my phone after the session. That way I can remember what I learned, what weight I was at (if I can remember), and then use them in future workouts!
Personal Training has changed the way I look at strength training
The way I learned how to work out in gyms was through online digital workout challenges that I found through Instagram. They would be broken down into five workouts a week that had a different area of focus for each day. Back and biceps. Glutes and abs. Chest and triceps. Legs. You get the idea right?
Well when I started with Kevin, I wanted to see how he would lead me through a workout session. His workouts are usually full-body, with some focus slightly more on specific areas of the body. And I love it!
For me, I think being able to get a full-body workout in, makes it a more functional workout. With my traditional workout schedule, I would find myself dreading workouts that focused on areas of the body I’m not that strong at. By incorporating a little of every area, I’m not upset that it’s “back day”, and instead I’m happy I get to do a mix of exercises.
Does anyone else find their days going by faster than ever while working from home? All of a sudden it’s 6 pm and there’s no way I’m going to work out. By having personal training added into my schedule, I’m being able to hold myself more accountable for getting a workout in.
I also find that I’m holding myself accountable to have stronger workouts. If I only have an hour to spend in the gym, I make sure to focus my energy on that hour and give it all I have.
I went into one personal training session feeling groggy and off. I hadn’t really prepared myself for a workout. After putting in a quarter of the effort I normally would for the session, I was so upset with myself for wasting that time. Now I make sure to get myself ready to have a killer workout every time.
I would encourage everyone, whether your a seasoned gym member or just starting off on your gym journey to try a personal training session.
By Sidney Shea, Editor
About Kevin Barcarse
While training to become a football star, his spark for a healthy lifestyle was when he became obese due to improper training and nutrition. He defeated obesity by losing 53 lbs. and earned his way to an Exercise and Sport Science degree from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kevin’s training style uses exercise as a vehicle to progress the life of anyone he comes across physically, mentally, and emotionally.