This week I had my first training session with Susan of streamline personal training, so as promised, here is the news:

I had been a bit apprehensive because I knew that the session was partially aimed at assessing my current level of fitness and I knew it would likely be a long way off what it had been pre-pregnancy!

However, Susan was great at reminding me throughout the session that the body does ‘remember’ and if it has been possible before then it will be again. So with that in mind, it was interesting to see what I could do now (and how much work I’ll need to do!) It also helped that I instantly felt at ease with Susan and encouraged by her assumption I would be able to do what she had planned!

Given we were working in the limited confines of my living room, I was impressed at the variety of exercises we did and certainly found that my heart rate went up through a series of short circuits.

Naturally, we did a fair amount of work that focused on working and building the core muscles. It was here that Susan was invaluable making sure that my technique was right and that I kept my core engaged

It’s important to remember that no muscle operates in complete isolation. An exercise seemingly designed for the legs like a squat or lunge is still using the core, so actually posture and awareness of the rest of your body is still important.

I don’t think we covered any exercises that I hadn’t ever done before (or at least a variety thereof) but I categorically know that I would not have done them if Susan had not been there.

I realise that might make me sound lazy but I don’t think that’s the whole picture. I hadn’t done anything by myself partly because I was lacking the confidence to get started again. I know from experience that good technique is a habit that has to be practised and can easily be forgotten. Imagine if you did 100 squats but had horrible technique – so on the one hand they wouldn’t be effective and on the other you could inflict damage upon yourself. Really not an outcome I’d be searching for!!

In addition to this, I think a lack of confidence leads to me giving up more easily: I know how to plank but would I try and hold it for as long? Probably not. I assume that I can’t, or that it’s too hard but often at the moment I’d have given up Susan was there to encourage me to keep going!

I also have to highlight that I have quite a competitive nature (some would probably say that’s an understatement) and whilst I enjoy pushing myself I know that I do it more so when other people are there. I own workout videos but with no one there to be accountable to – I’d probably switch over to a Bake Off repeat!

I haven’t really reflected upon it before but I think that encouragement is often underrated. I used to love how so many of the speedy runners at parkrun stayed behind to cheer the slower runners over the line. It is also incredibly cool how many people cheer on the various running events through Edinburgh. One of my favourite features of the Nike running app is that it allows you to post to Facebook that you’re running and every time someone presses ‘like’ a cheer comes through on your phone!

Whilst Susan is only one person, she wasn’t far off a cheer squad! Throughout the session she was positive and encouraging, so by the end of it I may have been exhausted but I felt happy that I had achieved something!

In the few days following the session I certainly have felt that I used muscles I haven’t utilised in a while. Given the amount of times I pick the kids up, I feel that by rights, I should have amazingly toned arms. This sadly is not the case and I’m more aware of this than ever!

However, I have my homework – a trio of body weight exercises and then some specifically targeted for diastasis recti – so I’m hopeful that whilst I may not see instant results today or even next week, I can be confident that I’m on the path to where I want to be.

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