One-month personal training fitness evaluation

As I mentioned previously, my weight loss post-surgery has decelerated. This is to be expected. As planned, I looked into gyms and picked one and started working with a trainer. I see him once a week and supplement that activity with other workouts the rest of the week (though I need to be better about that). One nice thing about the gym is that it has a three-lane indoor pool. Another nice thing is that the gym is not prohibitively expensive, like the “athletic clubs” in this area.

On July 5, I weighed in at home at 140.2, a weight that put me in the “normal” BMI range for my height. At that point my total weight loss since surgery was 116.8 pounds.

As I wrote on Facebook,

Now my goal is to turn more of my body weight from fat into muscle. I’ll stop worrying about weight and BMI and start looking at body fat index. On June 8 my body fat was measured at 31.8%, and my goal is 17.4%. I started working with a personal trainer on June 19. I’m looking forward to building up more strength and endurance :)

Today I had my one-month fitness evaluation. The baseline was taken June 18; I didn’t start personal training until over a week after I signed up due to a trip out of town. (Not sure why June 18’s body fat percentage is 0.8% less than the percentage taken on June 8.)

1 Month
Body fat % 31.0% 29.9%
Weight 144 144
3 Min Step Test 138bpm 138bpm
Upper Body Strength Test 25 lbs, 15 reps 25 lbs, 26 reps
Lower Body Strength Test 50 lbs, 8 reps 50 lbs, 11 reps
Flexibility 10 in 6 in
Muscular Endurance (Wall Squat) 50 sec 40 sec

I’m very happy with already coming down a whole percentage point on body fat! The weight measurement isn’t accurate, because the first weight was taken at home, in the morning, before I ate anything and without any clothes on, and the second weight was taken at the gym (and was actually 146, but he took two pounds off). I don’t really care about the weight measurement, anyway.

I’m not sure what the 3-minute step test heart rate measurement is supposed to be looking for. It consists of doing the stair climber for three minutes. Today I felt like I was strong throughout, whereas for the baseline I was barely able to finish.

I was unhappy with the lower body strength test, because I had just done ten minutes on the Precor (sort of a cross between an elliptical and a stair climber) and then three minutes on the stair climber, and my legs were tired. We did the lower body test before the upper body test, and I don’t think my legs had enough time to recover. Also, the trainer who does the fitness evaluations has a bad habit of “helping” you lift the weights, and I think he might have been doing that the first time, and not this time.

I’m extremely happy with the upper body strength test. I know my arms are stronger, and they certainly look it. My flexibility seems to have improved as well–for that I just try to touch my toes and the trainer eyeballs how far my fingers are from the floor :>

The wall squat started hurting my knees, and my legs were pretty exhausted. I’m unhappy that my time was lower than it was before, but it is what it is. The gym usually also does a situp test, but since I can’t do ball situps the way they want (I have to support my head or my neck has severe pain), we skip those.

Now for the most interesting data: the measurements! These were, of course, taken before I started all those strength tests above.

1 Month
Neck 13 12.5
Chest 38 37
Shoulders 40 39
Waist 31 31.5
Hips 40 39
Bicep (R) 12 11
Bicep (L) 12 11
Thigh (R) 21 20.5
Thigh (L) 21 20.5
Calf (R) 15 15
Calf (L) 15 15

So, nice losses everywhere except the calves (which is unsurprising) and the waist (what is up with that?). On the whole, I’m pleased, especially with the arms, and I’m looking forward to seeing more improvement.

We finished out the evaluation with cardio. The trainer told me to do the Precor machine for as long as it took to burn 250 calories. When we did this for the baseline, he said 200 to 250 calories. It took me 31 minutes to get to 200 calories and I was bored out of my mind, so I quit there. Today I was still bored, but determined to do better, and so I ramped up the resistance and my speed when I could and just forced myself all the way to 250. And what do you know? I managed it in 29 minutes.

It looks like personal training was the right choice for me. It gives me direction and motivation that I couldn’t provide for myself. I still need to work on getting to the gym more and/or doing other exercise, but even with my uneven workouts outside of training, I’m getting results. That’s really inspiring :)