physical fitness

How personal training boosts fitness goals

Beatrice Go
How personal training boosts fitness goals

SHUTTERSTOCK

Personal coaching turns out to be a completely new experience even for a former athlete

Feeling like you need a push toward your fitness goals? Maybe it’s time to get a personal coach. 

Sports is a big part of my life. As it is something that I do for fun and in my profession as a sports journalist, health and fitness naturally comes into the picture. 

But it is only this year that I had a chance to get a personal coach. 

I was one of those people who was able to focus on their health and nutrition during the pandemic. I was able to maintain a good weight thanks to home workout videos and learned how to cook healthier food during the lockdowns. 

But after two years of sticking to that routine, I felt the need to refresh and give myself a push by trying something new. 

Leaner, less distracted

I signed up for the online coaching program REBEL Coach. REBEL, a local fitness app that provides free workouts, also features health education and recipes that uses ingredients that are readily accessible in the Philippines. 

I chose the Live 1:1 training, where the client will train with the coach via Zoom. They also have a weekly check-in option, where the coach provides the program and you’ll be able to update each other weekly. 

The team reached out to me on WhatsApp for my fitness goals, schedule and equipment availability. I’ve always been terrified of weights due to a lower back injury when I was a competitive swimmer. But after covering fitness as a journalist, I felt that I want to learn proper weight training, so I was matched with my coach Sam Corrales. 

Beatrice Go (left) meets coach Sam Corrales online for the first time.

Before our first session, Sam asked me to fill out a pre-assessment form that narrowed down my aesthetic, performance and habit goals, asked about my current lifestyle in terms of work, sleep and stress, and how my meals looked like in a day. It also asked for my previous experiences in fitness, as well as my medical history. 

After filling out the form, Sam was able to customize a strength program that is aligned with my goals to lift heavier, become leaner and to be less distracted. She also gave nutrition guidelines and a breakdown of my calorie and macronutrient targets based on my age, height, weight and lifestyle. 

With all these prepared, our first session was focused on getting to know more about me and my fitness journey, as well as finding my baseline fitness through the workout. Sam also explained how my strength program will allow me to achieve my goals through progressive overload.  

My program was composed of two days of full body strength training, and two to three days of sports and cardio, then I would rest on the remaining days. There were also weeks where Sam incorporated HIIT and mobility sessions to keep my endurance and flexibility up. 

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In my first week, I learned about training with time under tension to maximize muscular strength, endurance, and growth. I also focused on my form to prevent injuries and Sam would be there to give me cues on how to improve in my movements. I am now able to do full push ups and squat deeper because of the guidance I received from Sam. 

I’ve always thought that all my workouts needed to be cardio-heavy in order to lose weight, but a strength workout is a different challenge that tested my patience and confidence. 

Since the pace is significantly slower than cardio, it stretched my ability to stay focused on the present moment. Weight training, though, gave me the balance and variety I needed in my fitness routine to keep my body from burning out. 

Resetting goals 

Even as a former athlete, personal coaching was a completely new experience for me that I encountered so many adjustments in the last six months. 

In the first four months, I struggled to hit my weight loss goals and actually gained weight. I had to keep up with other new things going on with my life such as a new job and more responsibilities at the same time. 

I also had to find my footing in my sleeping and eating habits as events started to return after the pandemic. I was eating out more and staying out later because of all the “revenge dining” when lockdown restrictions eased. 

The biggest adjustment I had to make in getting a coach was accountability in nutrition. I struggled to keep track of my calories on my app and send my food portions to Sam, especially when my schedule got busy. 

While I failed to hit my aesthetic goals, I was able to surpass my performance goal of lifting 3kg heavier than where I started, and I was able to improve faster in the sports that I do.

 This allowed me to unlearn how fitness results are not always tied to the scale, but the “wins” can be celebrated in other ways like my performances in the workouts and in sports

But the unachieved goals did not discourage me as I became more intentional to work on my aesthetic goals while maintaining a healthy mindset when it comes to food and spending quality time with people after the pandemic. 

My breakthrough came when I started to make portioning and tracking a habit. Once I started to track, I was more aware of the amount of calories I consumed and burned in a day.

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 After completing a week of tracking, Sam gradually guided me in my food choices by advising me to add more vegetables to my diet and to consume more nutrient-dense food, especially for snacks. 

I cut out added sugar and immediately saw improvements in my energy levels. After three weeks of focusing on whole foods, my skin significantly improved and my bowel movement became more regular. 

The results did not reflect on my weight immediately, but at the end of the month, I managed to drop the weight I gained and go back to my starting weight. And hopefully, I’ll be able to continue on with the momentum. 

It motivates me to continue coaching with REBEL because I now have a better idea of how I can find rhythm in my new lifestyle, and receive the guidance and accountability I need for the new goals that I have set. 

When signing up for a coach, you have to be mentally prepared to make lifestyle changes to your current workouts and habits in order for you to reach your goals. – Rappler.com 

Interested in revamping your fitness and nutrition? Sign up for a seven-day free trial for REBEL Coach through this link. 

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author

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.