When you think of things you do with your boyfriend, what immediately comes to mind?
You might go to the movies together and stay up late into the night watching Netflix with a bag of Maltesers. You might go for walks together or have a Sunday brunch ritual.
My partner and I do all those things too. But we’ve added a strange one to the list.
My partner is now my personal trainer and has been for over a month now.
He has his Cert 3 and 4 in Fitness and is in his third year of an Exercise Science degree. He has a wealth of knowledge about the human body in that brain of his.
Over the course of our relationship we’ve tried a few times to train together. Generally, it wasn’t fantastic and didn’t end well. A workout would ultimately dissolve into an argument because I wasn’t listening (obviously I was) and he was giving me unconstructive criticism.
So we drew a line in the sand and said, “okay we tried. It doesn’t work. Let’s just do our own thing.”
But at the start of this year I was determined to invest in a personal trainer. I have discovered a passion and love for training and I want to learn more about my body and how it operates.
So I thought, before I went to someone else, that maybe it was time we gave it a go. A real go. With a few conditions that were (and still are) non-negotiable.
1) I pay him for training me
I cannot emphasise the importance of this enough. Yes he is my partner. But he is providing me with a service that anyone else would pay for. Why should I be any different?
It also keeps us both accountable. We both show up to sessions and I expect my sessions to be on time and catered to my goals.
2) No touchy feely when we are training
When he is coaching me we do not touch eachother. It needs to be professional. No “babe”. No cuddles. No kisses. No touching. No physical affection.
3) I treat him like my trainer and he treats me like a client when we are training.
When he is coaching me, he needs to treat me like a client. Firm but fair. He needs to push me like he would push anyone else. And I need to communicate with him like I would with any trainer.
As soon as we set these parameters I know this relationship would work. We were both determined to make it work and be strict about sticking to the rules we had devised. Every month, money goes into his account. Every month, I expect to be trained well and see results. It’s been a month and even I’m surprised by how well it’s gone.
Being trained by a professional has been invaluable and has helped me achieve the goals I have establised for this year. I have learnt so much. Not just about the mechanics of training but about myself. I can do so much more than I thought and sometimes I need somewhere there to push me that little by further and tap into the motivation inside me that I can’t access alone.
It’s not cheap. But neither is going out on the weekends or going to watch a movie at Hoyts. For me, it’s not just a treat. It’s an investment in my future and I absolutely love it.
Of course it’s not for everyone. Some people love yoga. Some people love just going for a walk with their dog. Some people love running. Some people love playing sport. You have to find what’s best for you and not feel like what you enjoy is inferior to what someone else enjoys.
For me, a mixture between resistance training and anaerobic activity works best for me. For me, having a personal trainer is exactly what I need. But that may not work for you and there is nothing wrong with that. For Mia Freedman, it’s running in the mornings. For Sammy Robinson, it’s Pilates or going for a walk. For my partner, it’s playing sport (he HATES going to the gym).
All our bodies are different and whatever works best for you is what you should choose.