A few weeks ago during a session with my personal trainer (yes, even trainers need someone to push us) he increased the weight selection to a level that I wasn’t quite ready for. From the moment I started my first set I felt tension in my lower and mid back, but because I’m hard headed and didn’t want to quit, I let my ego get the best of me and pushed through my three sets.
About three days later, while seated at my desk, I started to experience a mild pain in my mid back that increased dramatically to the point that I couldn’t take a deep breath. The fact that I couldn’t stay seated for very long, squat or bend at my waist was alarming. I knew that it was from my workout, and that if I hadn’t been so stubborn and just communicated with my trainer, this wouldn't have happened.
One thing I preach to all of my clients on a regular basis is if something doesn’t feel right--speak up! The beauty of personal training versus group fitness is that it’s a customized workout based on your OWN abilities and goals---what works for one person might not work for you and that’s okay. Remember, just because you can’t do something today doesn’t mean you can’t do it tomorrow. It’s about creating a solid foundation to prevent injury so you can can continue to progress towards your goals. Unfortunately, I had to learn the hard way to take my own advice and speak up when my body is telling me that I need to dial it back. Thankfully my issue was resolved after a couple of sessions with my massage therapist and some light stretching--but it could have been worse.
So, whether you’re working out with a personal trainer or on your own, stay in tune with what your body is telling you and don’t let your ego get the best of you. Don’t be afraid to speak up and communicate about what you need. Your trainer is there to help you, not push you to the point where you feel discouraged or become injured. Remember, “Ego implies unawareness. Awareness and ego cannot coexist.” - Echart Tolle.