Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My First Personal Training Experience (Encino PTI)

I have been working out regularly for about eight years now, but personal training is unventured territory for me.  The last thing I needed during my "me time" is something constantly staring at/correcting me.  So although I had access to free training in the past, I never bit.

My best friends recently got trainers and are seeing pretty good weight-loss results.  Given that I gave jumped on the weight-loss wagon, I thought it'd be a good time to at least see where I stand in terms of my body composition.
I look tired here, blah.  To be fair, I drove an hour to get there,
and I had just gotten off from work.

Joe from Encino Personal Training Institute offered "The Ukrainian" and me a free trial session.  This place is located off the 101-N on Hayvenhurst (for those who aren't in CA, there are other franchises -- but this I'm sure they are all different).

The club includes a variety of equipment.  This is their cardio area, which members are encouraged to walk in and use at any time.  (Bonus points for having a TV!)

Beyond cardio, the second element of their "success-stories" is nutrition counseling.  Clients receive access to calorie/macronutrient trackers and learn about proper portion sizes.  You'd better believe that I was obsessed with the fake food, and even moreso fascinated by the one- and five-pound replicas of fat and muscle.  I was blown away by how much a pound of fat really is!

Finally, Encino PTI emphasizes strength training to build lean muscle mass.  Each total-body session is 30 minutes of about 10-12 exercises done very slowly, which definitely felt effective.  You don't need to waste a lot of time working out if you do it right, which the trainers here help you do.

I usually rush through my strength training and definitely learned a lot about what I SHOULD be doing.  For one thing, I definitely need to work on my leg strength more!

Both of our sessions ended with two minutes of boxing.  This was the most fun part.  Joe (picutured below) was so encouraging throughout and did NOT make me feel like I was doing everything incorrectly (even if I was, he was gentle about it).  I rarely have someone actively trying to push/motivate me during workouts, and I must say that I can see why so many people have had success with personal training.

The part I was looking forward to most was the initial body analysis.  Clients use these once a month to track their body composition changes.  They use a Tanita scale here, which sends a current through your body and calculates everything from there.

Here is the analysis that prints out from the scale.  According to this, I am properly hydrated, in the middle of the "healthy" BMI (body mass index) range, and have a low body-fat percentage.  I was skeptical about the accuracy of the body-fat measurement and what it means for my weight-loss goals, but I'd rather not fuss over some percentage points.  Bottom line is that while I am not sure my goals are attainable, I can stick to my basal metabolic rate guidelines and continue to see where that leads me.

"The Ukrainian" also found the session useful (which is saying a lot because he *thinks* he knows how to keep himself fit... love ya, honey!), and I hope that it helps him with his weight-loss goals as well. 

Unfortunately, he is moving out of the area soon and can't join right now, but for anyone who does live there, feel free to try it out on your own.  Rates start at $199, and they do (holiday gift alert!!!) have gift cards available.

Encino Personal Training Institute
16350 Ventura Boulevard
Suite C (in the Avalon Bay Encino shopping center)
Encino, CA 91436
(818) 783-4792
[link] | Twitter [link]


  1. I have always felt personal training was over priced. wouldn't you take advantage more if you knew the $$ went right to the trainer and you could afford more than a few sessions? I think $20 a session is appropriate with $15 going to the trainer. they get commission on supplements and should accept tips. Im my world, that would be the norm.

  2. I too would think the 1 lbs of fat is cool!

    I don't think I want to know my body fat %; I'm pretty sure I'm like 30% Oreo.

  3. Thanks for sharing that experience. I would like to have a personal running coach, but Mr. Wallet says no. lol. That is really cool about the body fat. I must say, I don't really need to go anywhere to get a test done on my BMI. lol. I know. Take care.

  4. I wasn't interested in personal training until recently. My mom and sister both work with one (he's my sister's friend) and have had great results. I know I'll want to work with one in preparation for the wedding.

    Is the pound of fat the yellow thing in the photo? Eek.

  5. I had a personal trainer a long time ago when I first started using the gym. The gym was totally new territory for me and having a trainer taught me how to use the equipment correctly and he also pushed me to work hard--harder than I would if I was working out alone. I even considered getting a trainer recently but it's expensive. I have been loving the Bar Method though! Today was my 3rd class and I'm already starting to see results. YAY!

  6. A very awesome blog instructor We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post.

  7. Daughter enters into a written agreement with Mother to provide such services to Mother for her mother's lifetime, in exchange for a lump sum of $75,000.portable jacuzzi buying guide