The Work I Should Definitely Be Paid For

a little peek at the Beginner weight training program I’ve created for my first “client”.

You’re probably wondering why I’ve put “client” in quotation marks. That is because my “client” is one of my coworkers, who kindly asked me to train her, and I ever so generously offered to do so. When she asked how to pay me, I foolishly said “Oh, you don’t have to pay me. Don’t worry about that.”

Technically, I’m not PT certified, so if I were to actually charge her, it would be pretty unethical to do so, considering I have zero credentials aside from weightlifting being my only personality trait. That being said, getting PT certified is on my to-do list, and recently I’ve been looking into completing the ACE PT program. Despite lacking these credentials, I like to think I know my stuff, which is why I felt confident training my coworker and building her a basic beginner’s program. I ended up putting a lot more work into it than I originally intended, and am spending approximately 6-8 hours a week training with her, on top of my own training, making this whole ‘free training’ process rather time consuming. It is for this reason that you should be ever so grateful that I am sharing the program with you right here and right now:

Beginner training program

When creating this program, I consulted with other members of my gym to inquire about their experiences with being a beginner, and what sorts of routines were most digestible. I settled on a Push-Pull-Legs split – a very organized and effective split when starting out. As my client is starting from ground zero (has never stepped foot in a gym, did not grow up athletic, would only occasionally go for runs) I didn’t want to overwhelm her with a complicated program, and decided to stick to basic exercises with straight-forward yet effective movements.

The best part about this program is that it is incredibly flexible. It can just as easily be used for someone who is familiar with lifting, and adjusted accordingly depending on individual fitness goals. The exercises for each day are arranged so to cover the primary movements controlled by each muscle group, activating each part of the muscle to achieve maximum efficiency during the lift. Some professionals and trainers who I will often look to for inspiration are Jeff Nippard – who puts heavy emphasis on bodybuilding backed by science, and Darryl Williams (Bullyjuice) who builds simple and effective routines that can be implemented both at home and in the gym, while emphasizing the importance of looking after the mind and how your mentality plays an instrumental role in your physical progress. Completing Williams’ 30 Day At Home Workout Challenge is what got me passionate about exercise, and what helped me build a strong enough foundation to feel prepared when entering a gym for the first time.

My client’s main goals at the moment are to feel confident using gym equipment and to get into a healthy routine of moving her body. Which quite honestly, is a spectacular place to start. Due to this, I decided to keep her program fairly well rounded, including a little bit of mobility training, heavy emphasis on weight training, light core training, and cardio on her own terms (as she used to be a runner.) Given that I am not her coach, I am simply showing her the ropes in weightlifting, and have not put her on a meal plan or any sort of incredibly strict routine. Exercising three days a week is digestible and fits in with her life schedule, and allows us time to have fun and enjoy the process opposed to it feeling like a chore.

Two training sessions in, and it has been a blast. My client is beyond excited to finally be getting into a gym and I’m getting a fantastic opportunity to dip my toes in what it would be like to be a personal trainer – on a very informal and low-stress level. The best part is, right now it’s just about getting strong, breaking a good sweat, and more than anything, having fun and learning to love what our bodies are capable of.

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