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Having a Trainer for the Summer has Trained Me for the Rest of the Year

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

At first getting a trainer may seem unnecessary and frankly expensive. I always worked out at my local gym and I always thought about getting a trainer, but I decided to use Google and work out apps instead. This summer I got two free hours with a trainer and honestly I wish I got one sooner. Getting a trainer caused me to feel more comfortable at the gym and more willing to go to the gym almost everyday. Naturally picking up the itch to constantly work out lead me to becoming more mindful of what I was eating and becoming more confident with my body. 

Obviously working out has a million benefits. Ranging from being good for your skin, body and health to releasing endorphins which can influence your mood for the rest of the day. So, if you are going to put the time aside and make sacrifices to stick to a particular work out plan, then why not do it right? Picking a trainer can be difficult and meeting them for the first time can also be daunting. Personally, I didn’t pick my trainer, but he ended up being extremely informative, understanding and I didn’t feel judged about the lack of exercise in my life or succumbing to the lifestyle of staying in bed till 11 am. He taught me about the different programs the gym offers and mainly was concerned about what I personally wanted to achieve and my goals. 

My first session contained absolutely no working out. It was an hour conversation basically. I mentioned my goals, which wasn’t necessarily losing weight but maintaining it. I also wanted to get toned, and focus more on my abs, hips and glutes. We talked about what machines to use, how much cardio and my other workout interests such as cycling and yoga. I told him I go to UCLA, so my gym would primarily be the gyms offered on campus and occasionally I would go to Soul Cycle, Core Power, or Box N Burn. He then gave me workouts that I would be able to easily do at the UCLA gyms. I also learned that body fat and muscle mass are inversely related to each other and muscle mass should always be a value greater than body fat. In my case it was the opposite, so the workout he proposed to me was to combat this problem as well. 

My second session was the actual workouts. Before every workout he created a warm up for me which included using the row machine, doing bird dogs, dying bugs, and hip bridges. He told me to do cardio three times a week for 30 minutes. This could include running on the treadmill, going to SoulCycle, using the elliptical or stair master and so on. Then he said two days a week can be dedicated to active recovery, which for me included yoga. My yoga classes would range from Flow, HIIT yoga and Vinyasa (basically hot yoga). The remaining three days a week were meant for core, arm and leg workouts. Each workout was 2-3 repetitions. I would start with 15-20 squats with 18 pound weights or dumbbells. Then, using two separate arm machines, I would do 15-20 cable chest presses and cable rows to help me tone my upper arms. After, I perform one leg RDLs using an 8 pound weight. Finally, I would finish with 15-20 mermaid planks on each side.

Having a trainer for only two sessions has benefited me greatly so far. I know what I am doing at the gym now, how to do it safely without pulling a muscle and I feel much more confident among other gym goers. I am also not afraid to reach out to my trainer with any questions I may have. This experience has given me the motivation to keep going and after two months switch my workout routine to something new in order to tackle new goals and challenges.


Yasmin is a second year student at UCLA. She is majoring in Psychobiology and minoring in Global Health. Other than being involved in Her Campus, she does research at the Semel Institute in Los Angeles and is a member of Flying Sams. She loves reading, binge watching Netflix shows, and painting (even though she isn't great).