Hi readers! I thought I’d take a moment before launching into the post to introduce my sister, Sarah Callahan who will be writing occasional fitness themed articles for my blog! Sarah also went to Mizzou’s J-School and has a journalism background, so she’s a writer at heart. When she isn’t exploring fitness classes throughout the city of Chicago she works in marketing for 120 Sports, a cool new all-sports video network built for the digital generation!
These days, everything can be done via an on-demand, concierge-like service. Whether it’s dry cleaning, grocery shopping or an alcohol delivery app, it’s possible to receive all the necessities in life without ever leaving the comfort of your home.
When I was approached to try out RightFit Personal Training, the first thing that drew me in were those very same attributes; ease of service and simplicity we’re all accustomed to and enjoy. RightFit is a personal training service that pairs you with a trainer based upon an extensive online survey process. It is similar to any of the well-known and comprehensive online dating services, but instead of pairing you with a potential mate, they set you up with your perfect personal training match! The more specific you are in your survey, the higher quality matches you receive. The goal is to find you a trainer you are comfortable working with long-term toward your fitness goals.
The survey started with a series of basic questions such as ranking your current fitness level, the neighborhood you’d like to train in, a price point you are comfortable with paying per session and if you prefer a male or female trainer. Next, it got a bit more specific to explore your personal fitness goals- what fitness components are you interested in (i.e. muscular strength, flexibility, body composition, etc.) and your short term and long term goals.
As the website suggested, I was very honest with my survey and explained my goals: wanting to improve my body composition, decreasing fat and increasing muscle, as well as working on an overall leaner body structure, specifically leaner legs. I explained that though I am currently very active and consider myself to be quite fit, working-out 5-6 times a week and attending a variety of fitness classes, I still have not been able to attain my ideal body.
Less than an hour after completing the survey, I was contacted by Matt, the owner of RightFit, with a profile on Kim, a trainer he thought would be a great fit based on my needs. Kim’s experience in interval training, kettlebells and strength training definitely seemed like a great match. Since I have a gym in my apartment building, he suggested that she come over to my place for the session. Not having to leave my apartment building and getting a great work-out in? I couldn’t have asked for anything better! If you do want to get out of your home or don’t have an in-home gym for use, there are several gyms to train at in each Chicago neighborhood that they help to coordinate for you.
Kim showed up at my building at 7:00am on the dot Friday morning filled with energy. I was really impressed by how prepared Kim was, bringing extra equipment with her to my apartment including her own mat and resistance bands. She explained that typically the first session is simply an assessment to get to know my body and goals, but since I wanted to get a full review of the service for Beyond ExpecTastetions, she also planned to add in a quick circuit work-out at the end of the session for me to learn and try out.
The initial functional movement assessment was immensely beneficial, as I’ve never really explored the strengths and weaknesses of different parts of my body so thoroughly. Kim started off by doing a quick evaluation of my body position- examining the way I hold my head and shoulders all the way down to the alignment of my legs and feet. I really liked that she explained each component of my body and helped with realigning my movements and to ensure I was maintaining proper form.
Next, we moved on to a movement analysis to assess my ability to maintain proper joint alignment. We did a series of leg balances & leg straightening techniques using a resistance band to assess the alignment of my legs to the rest of my body. It was pretty evident that my hips & legs are a bit uneven since I had a really hard time lifting my left leg up perpendicularly to my body and holding it there in a balance (you can see me struggling in the picture!) Throughout the rest of the session Kim made sure to go back to our key movement techniques to help realign my hips and legs. It was great that it wasn’t something she evaluated at the beginning and then forgot about; we went back to it several times throughout the session. She never made me feel uncomfortable that my body was a bit out of line, reassuring me that she saw this all the time and citing several reasons it may happen and how we can fix it. I was really impressed by her knowledge on the human body.
Following the movement assessment, Kim helped to evaluate my form for several key movements: push-up and planks, as well as dead lifts, squats and dead bug sit-ups (kind of like a combination of bicycle sit-ups and reverse crunches). I was pretty familiar with most of these exercises from my prior fitness experience, but Kim was particularly helpful in correcting my dead lift and squat form. Something that I thought was really cool was that Kim had me remove my shoes for these exercises. When the arches of my gym shoes weren’t constricting my feet, it made it MUCH easier for me to perform each movement (just be careful not to drop the weights on your feet!) Kim made minor adjustments in my posture for both the dead lifts and the squats that made the exercises SO much more effective like keeping my shoulders and butt way farther back then I was used to.
Finally, we went through the 15 minute circuit Kim had promised me: 5 dead lifts, 5 squats with weight, 10 dead bug sit ups, 45 second weighted walk, as many reps as possible in 15 minutes. I was very conscious to make the adjustments that Kim had suggested in each of the different exercises and felt great running through the circuit. Even though I only performed the circuit for a total of 15 minutes, I definitely felt a burn throughout my body based on the movements Kim chose.
Some of the best advice that Kim gave me during the session was that it is important to take your time while going through circuits and not to rush. Since I am frequently attending circuit training and HIIT (high intensity interval training) classes at studios throughout Chicago, I am used to quick intervals and rushing from one exercise to the next. I thought it was incredibly interesting that Kim explained that I would see more changes in my body by using higher (heavier) weights and take my time, rather than trying to get in a higher number of reps.
The RightFit Personal Training sign up was an incredibly easy process and Kim’s session was one of the most beneficial hours of fitness and training I have experienced in a while. There is no reason not to give an intro session a try (if you’re energetic and love to learn, I definitely recommend Kim!). All you have to do is fill out the survey here to get started: http://www.rightfitpersonaltraining.com/for-trainees/find-your-right-fit/
**Sarah received a complimentary assessment and session courtesy of RightFit Personal Training for review but all her opinions are her own