I’ve never been the kind to get super excited about walking on a treadmill to stay fit. However, if I were to be enticed by the bluetooth and WiFi capabilities of the Matrix treadmills at the Olathe YMCA, you’d find me trying to walk them on my hands! As a ninja-in-training with aspirations of trying my hand (literally) on an official American Ninja Warrior course one day, I am drawn more to the shiny blue monstrosity just to the right of those neat rows of treadmills: The MoveStrong Rig. The rig is best summarized as a Crossfit gym reduced to a single apparatus with endless uses. I was thrilled when my personal trainer, Rosetta, said we could play on the incline monkey bars before my first session was over.
Working with a personal trainer at the Y is good for me in so many ways. First of all, there truly is something to be said for accountability. As a single mom running my own business, training for ninja, and managing two intense health challenges, sometimes it’s not easy to keep time at the gym on my priority list. We are told we should learn from our elders though, and there is a very active older population at this gym who have got it figured out: I almost always see them working out side-by-side with a trainer, friend, spouse, or partner. They know how important the accountability of a partner can be to achieving fitness goals. For those of us in a different stage of life, juggling little ones and the schedules of kids and career, it might not be as easy to coordinate gym time with a friend. That’s where the accountability of the personal training program came into play for me. I wasn’t about to cancel on Rosetta!
Another benefit personal training provides for me is variety. We have incorporated just about everything found at the Y into our sessions, from Matrix circuit machines that count your reps and have digital timers, to TRX training systems like the rip sticks or suspension trainers that target instability. We’ve done full workouts using nothing but a resistance band or a body bar. So many of these training techniques were new to me, and not once in all our sessions did I feel we were doing something repetitive. The workouts are constantly changing and challenging, which is when I do my best. And I’m already seeing results! After only six sessions, I reached the top of the peg board at my ninja gym, something I’ve been attempting to conquer for a year and a half! In doing so, I earned my next level ninja band AND a healthy dose of confidence to go with it.
If you’ve ever considered personal training, but weren’t sure of its benefits, I would encourage you to explore the option. Besides accountability and variety, personal trainers bring a level of expertise that we cannot achieve on our own. A trainer’s ability to choose the right exercises and weights for specific goals and to offer corrections on technique also make the list of reasons to take the plunge. Plus, personal training at the YMCA involves a free InBody assessment which absolutely taught me which areas I need to work on the most. I knew my left arm was a little weaker because of a bad childhood break but I had no idea that it actually weighs a full 7% less than my right arm! Soooo… time to remedy that!
In addition to stronger biceps, I’ll be leaving my personal training sessions armed with new training ideas and the echos of Rosetta’s advice on how to fix my squat form. I’d still love to drop in from time to time to get in a workout in that sparkling indoor pool. The smell of it alone took me straight back to my high school diving team. If you don’t catch me pretending I’m Michael Phelps in the lap pool, you might just find my family there in the heated section for swim lessons or a birthday party.
If you’re still not sure the YMCA has everything you need to live a fit life, I should mention their zumba, yoga, and pilates classes. And if you love the outdoors, I hear the outdoor basketball court multitasks as a platform for sunrise cross training sessions. There’s also a community garden where members can grow and share their own produce. And for the moms: yes, there is a childcare program! Kids Zone is available for children aged 3 months to 8 years old. At the age of 8, the Y encourages kids to get out on the floor with their parents and start their own fitness journey.
The Y has 13 locations around the metro offering membership and personal training for people of any level of fitness. For more information about Y membership and personal training, visit KansasCityYMCA.org or contact your local Y. And when you make it in, be sure to look for me. I’ll be the one playing one-handed catch with Rosetta while swinging from the monkey bars!