HUMOUR

How to survive your first personal training session without losing your dignity

Expect bruises, possibly to your ego, when you walk into your first personal training session after one too many Filipino fiestas and siestas, writes Michelle Baltazar.

Going to my first personal training session was a bit like going to a confessional.

"When was the last time you've done any exercise?"

"Two years ago."

"And have you been eating well?"

" I just had a couple of Twix bars today and ate lechon (roast pork) over the weekend."

"What about injuries?"

"I hurt my back after I fell off the couch watching 'The Legal Wife' on TFC."

"Okay, for your penance, do 50 push-ups."

Still, I dare anyone who has not fallen off the exercise bandwagon to cast the first stone. After reflecting on, and skipping, my third Twix bar I was open to doing some exercise - I just didn't know at the time that it would be a life-and-death situation. Based on my experience, here are seven handy tips to survive your first personal training session without losing your dignity:

Tip #1 Drink water. Skip this and you die.

Tip # 2: The burpee (jumping jack then a push-up, repeat 30 times) is a misnomer. I didn't burp at all. They should call it a hurlee. To survive burpees, go to your happy place. Mine was George Clooney.

Tip # 3: As a first timer, my personal trainer gave me a chance to take a breath in between some of the exercises. What I really wanted to do was lie down and take a long nap. This was not allowed. To survive a session and not curl up into a ball, go to your happy place. Again.

Tip #4: Like the burpee, some words will have a different meaning during gym time. My personal trainer said, "I'll go easy on you." Then she made me do 50 skips on a jumping rope and then 40 squats. I'm scared what she means by going hard!

Tip #5: Be aware of signs. If your personal trainer's name rhymes with terminator, do not expect the Dalai Lama. My trainer Alena's nickname is Termalena. 'Nuff said.

Tip #6: Personal trainers are obsessed with squats. I am confused about this because I have never discovered any practical uses for squats in my life. I can't even put it in my CV. How to survive the million squats you'll do in every session? Go back to your happy place.

Tip #7: This is the most important survival tip. Make sure you write the name and phone number of your emergency contact on a piece of paper to take with you at all times. Better yet, tattoo them on your right arm for easy viewing. Add the country code '+61' for clarity.

This is me ... in my dreams.Okay, so I lied. If you're like me and your idea of a marathon is watching three Filipino teleseryes on TFC back-to-back, there is no way you can survive your first personal training with your ego intact.

But the trade-off is worth it. You may lose your face, but you'll also lose other stuff you want to get rid off - like stress, body weight and those extra Twix bars.

So when you decide to do your first PT session, leave your dignity at the door. You'll look unco and horrible on the outside (temporarily) but fit and fabulous (like the cover girl of Women's Health!) on the inside.

The Enjoy Health & Fitness Studio is right across Central Station. The personal trainers there are good people. ;)

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