I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while but just never had the time. I think I’ve casually mentioned it in the past, but I’ve been working with a number of trainers this year, some better than others. About two years ago I was at my goal weight. Unfortunately I got there the unhealthy way. So as soon as I started eating again, the weight came back on. And since then I’ve been fighting tooth and nail to get back down the healthy way with no luck.
Enter my first online trainer:
- Jamie Eason’s LiveFit on Bodybuilding.com
- Cost: Free
If you have a gym membership and you’re interested in learning how to lift weights, I definitely recommend you check out this program. For 12 weeks, you have all your workouts planned for you. Jamie splits the program into 3 different sections: weight lifting only, weight lifting plus cardio and HITT. The benefit of this is it forces those of you addicted to chronic cardio to stop it completely for the first four weeks. I definitely saw some great results with building muscle with this program. The only thing is you do need access to a gym. There really is no home version.
With Livefit I definitely gained muscle, but didn’t lose any body fat. In fact I actually gained about .5 inches in both my stomach and hips.
So I decided to move on to my second online trainer:
- James Wilson’s Body Earned
- Cost: $50 – $55
A few bloggers that I read who completed Livefit recommended this program so I finally decided to check it out. James has two versions, a gym version for $50 or a home version for $55. (Although James was kind enough to offer me both programs for $55 since the gym I was using at the time didn’t have a lot of equipment). The program is also 12 weeks but the difference from Livefit is it’s all circuit. Great for losing weight. But super hard to do if your gym gets really crowded. You can only hog so many pieces of equipment at a time before people start giving you dirty looks. One of the great things about this program is James also invites you into a private facebook group. Currently there are over 2,000 members. Meaning if you ever have a fitness or health related question, you have tons of great supporters to give you an answer.
The best part of this program was this is how I learned that my 900-1000 calories per day were just not cutting it. With James’s help, we learned I should be eating close to 2,100 calories per day. And that the reason I wasn’t losing weight was because I was exercising a ton and hardly eating anything. So I took his advice and started eating food. A lot of it.
And my body freaked out. I gained 9 inches. My clothes stopped fitting, I felt awful. But with the support from the facebook group, I knew I had to keep eating and eventually things would even out.
Which brought me to online trainer number three….
- Not disclosing the name but she was a professional trainer I found through instagram
- Cost: $200
Even though I still really enjoyed James’s program, I thought it would be better to have someone create a custom meal plan for me to help my body ease into the transition of eating more food. So after going back and forth, I finally sent over the $200 for a 6 week meal and exercise plan from a trainer I found through instagram. She is also 5ft tall so I figured she would be able to understand what I was going through. For someone my size, 5 lbs can be a huge difference.
But as soon as I got my first week I knew I had made a mistake. She had put together a meal plan that was gluten and dairy free, but it was clearly just a cookie cutter bodybuilding meal plan. Aka bro-science. Lots of egg whites, brown rice, peanut butter on rice cakes etc. Let me state for the record, while I have no problem with egg whites, rice cakes are just dumb. Not only do they taste terrible, they’re so overly processed I’m not even sure they can be considered food.
I did it anyway. Except for the brown rice. Because I figured I already spent the money. Instead I just got super frustrated. I didn’t feel in shape at all. My weight didn’t budge. And I was super unhappy eating a super low-fat, boring diet.
Which brings me to today…
I am currently working with a trainer in real life. I joined a fancy-schmacy gym here in my new office building and shelled out way too much money to work with a professional trainer who has trained a number of fitness competitors. And I’m loving it. This is the first time I’ve actually had someone look at my form while I lift to make sure I’m doing it correctly. (By the way, I wasn’t). He’s noticed that I have incredibly weak wrists and recommended wrist guards which have made a world of difference. He’s shown me that my hamstrings are significantly weaker than my quads so we’re working on fixing that imbalance.
If you’re new to lifting weights, check out any of the free programs on Bodybuilding.com. If you’ve been lifting for a while and want a change, pay the $50 for James Wilson’s program.
But I do not recommend ever paying money for an online trainer. Especially $200. You can find the same information for free on the internet. They say it’s custom for you but it’s not. They can’t see you working out. They don’t know what muscle groups you need to hit harder and they don’t see if your form is correct. Waste. Of. Money. Learn from my mistake.