Monday, May 21, 2018

My NASM Personal Trainer Journey - Week Two

Welcome back for part four of my of my weekly blog posts on my journey to becoming a personal trainer. Today I'm going to talk about Week Two and how I am handling the reading and assignments step by step.


Week two was a lot harder and more time consuming than Week One. I think a huge part of this had to do with how many muscles we had to know, understand and memorize and the fact that we haven't done the anatomy chapter yet which, to me, makes no sense at all. Shouldn't the anatomy chapter come first so we at least have some knowledge of muscles before we start studying the way they are affected?

Anyway, this is how we're doing it so I made it work but I can honestly say that my homemade study guide is over 65 pages for this one chapter and it took me 3-4 days to completely put together. Luckily, I retain the info as I work on the study guide so it was a really good way to go over the important things several times.

Week two was all about assessments and understanding overactive and underactive muscles (and what to do with them). It was a huge amount of information to take in but it did start sinking in by the end of the week to the point where I was able to do actual assessments on my friends and family and not even need to look at my notes by the end of them.

The other thing was helped me immensely was making mnemonics out of the underactive and overactive muscles for each compensation in the kinetic chain. Being able to memorize a sentence that meant something to me and then connect to the names of the muscles from there has helped me so much more than I ever thought it could!

I know it'll still take me many more weeks to actually fully memorize and understand everything I need to know from this chapter but I am definitely on the right track!

So here is how I'm handling all of this information in an order that works for me.

First, I read the chapter or chapters (week one had 2 chapters, week two had 1 and week 3 has 3 chapters so it varies) and mark everything that seems important with a highlighter, including vocabulary words.

Next, I start putting together my homemade study guide from the important things in that chapter, what the instructors tell us to focus on and what the other study guides that I use recommend.

After that, I watch the module videos, then print the video transcripts and add them to my study guide.

Next I go through the module flashcards and the Quizlet flashcards that I have bookmarked for NASM by the chapter I'm studying and add anything from there to the study guide that I don't already have.

I then do the module activities (whatever they may be) and add any info from them that seems important into the guide as well.

After that I sit down to actually edit my study guide. I read through it organizing as I go, delete anything that repeats, making sure to highlight (with different colors right on my online document) everything that I absolutely have to know (including the video transcripts), make sure everything is spelled correctly and is in order and basically edit the whole document.

One of the things that I added to the Module 2 study guide document was actual images of each of the muscles that we had to know for every compensation because that was I can just open my study guide and be able to look right at them. That's one of the reason the study guide is 65 pages long!

Once I'm satisfied with the study guide for that module, I finally print it and add it to the binder that has the physical study guide and I can mark that and add notes to it if it needs it.

Once all of that is done, I go back and repeat the videos, flashcards, activities, etc until I feel ready for the module quiz. I usually take that by Friday afternoon/evening (the modules officially start on Mondays) and I retake it time and time again because only your highest grade counts and new questions come up each time I retake it.

I also spend several hours on the weekly discussion questions to make sure I cover how it's supposed to be done according to the instructors and make sure I'm not missing anything important. For example, this week we had to do assessments on two people, write down our findings and then write up an assessment "report" about one of those people as if we were speaking with the client. By the end of the weekend I ended up assessing more like seven people thanks to my awesome friends and that really helped cement the info my head!

So, yes, it's a huge amount of work and a huge amount of things to learn but for the most part I'm loving it!

That covers Week Two so I'm going to wrap this up and get back to my work on Week Three which I will write about over the upcoming weekend!

Today's Personal Training Session and The Past Week of Yoga Challenge Photos Up to Sunday!

I had an amazing weekend with friends, stayed on plan, didn't track anything but in my head and didn't gain any weight... woohoo!

I am SO happy to be back to the gym though and I had a great training session today to learn some specific exercises from the LG workout plan that I didn't know how to do yet.

I was really surprised and happy to see how much more my body could do that I wasn't sure it would be able to, like have the correct form on the deadlift and squats, actually be able to do bench tricep dips and the hanging leg raises! I always forget how much stronger and more capable I am now and it feels amazing!

These are the exercises we focused on that I practiced and learned how to do correctly:
-Deadlifts (Barbell)
-Stiff Leg Deadlifts (Barbell)
-Tricep Dips (Bench)
-Glute Bridges (Barbell) on bench
-Squats (Barbell) – difference between front and back squats
-Good Mornings
-Hanging Leg Raises
-Rope Crunches (Cable)
-Upright Rows (Barbell)

I now feel much more capable of fully following the LG plan and getting a fantastic workout with correct form and I'm very excited that I can finally deadlift, load a barbell and use the squat rack and smith machine!

Tomorrow I'll do cardio since I did a full body practice session today and then Wednesday I should be able to restart the LG plan from week one!

And since I couldn't get online on my laptop all weekend, here are last week's yoga poses in order of doing them:

Day Fourteen May Yoga Challenge - Upward Plank Pose

Day Fifteen May Yoga Challenge - Lord of the Dance Pose

Day Sixteen May Yoga Challenge - Child's Pose

Day Seventeen May Yoga Challenge - Modified Camel Pose

Day Eighteen May Yoga Challenge - Cow Face Pose

Day Nineteen May Yoga Challenge - Fish Pose

Day Twenty May Yoga Challenge - Goddess Pose

Motivational Monday

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Thursday Weigh-In - May 17th - Week Sixteen Strict Keto

Thursday Weigh-In - May 17th:                     
05/17/2018:                             -0.0 pounds
Lost Since 01/29/18 Restart  -14.4 pounds
Total lost Since 06/29/15:      -72.4 pounds
Current Weight:                     157.6 pounds
Days Cheat-Free:                       109 days

Well, looks like I may have hit an official plateau with my weight loss since I lost nothing this past week and all of 0.2 lbs in the last three weeks.

It's normal and it was bound to happen sooner or later so I'm not even upset about it right now plus I haven't worked out since last Saturday and I won't be in the gym again until Monday since I'll be away from home this weekend and that's probably affecting things as well.

I think one of the reasons I'm not upset about it is because I've done great with my food choices for most of this week so I know that's not it. There have been no extra little (or big) sips, licks or bites since Sunday and everything has been planned, weighed and measured.

I made the changes I felt would be beneficial to my body and the weight loss will kick in once again at some point int time, possibly when I start working out again and if not, then I'll be happy with lowering my body fat and losing more inches.

I still have a lot of progress to make but I'm seeing how much I've already made and I've come really far, so this isn't a setback, it's just a plateau and those happen.

Other than that all I've done this week is study, study and study some more. This has been a really information-intensive chapter and I finally feel like I'm starting to retain and understand this stuff!

Tomorrow I head out to spend a weekend with good friends (some of whom I haven't seen in almost two years) and despite the promised crappy weather, we're going to have a great time! My food for the weekend is more or less planned so I don't have to worry too much about it and I plan to stay on track there the same way I do at home.

And now, back to studying!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

This Coming Week...


That's pretty much it in a nutshell. If I'm not sleeping or working I'm studying or working on my visual study guide (I'm a visual learner and it takes days to put a study guide together that works for me) but I'm learning things as I go so it ends up being worth it in the end.

This week is a really off week in many regards: not only is this an insanely large amount of info for this week's chapter that has tons of things I need to memorize, learn and understand including the locations of many muscles and how they are affected by different ways of moving and standing, but I'm heading out for a weekend with good friends on Friday morning which means I work Thursday and I still need to find time for appointments, groceries and everything else I do over the regular week plus all the assignment... so it's going to be a long week.

The biggest thing on hold right now is the gym and only for this week. I hate to do it but this is the easiest way to make everything but working out fit (and I'm still doing some yoga so that's something).

I'll be back from my weekend trip on Sunday evening and then Monday I'm meeting with a trainer at the gym to learn everything I don't know how to do that I need to know for my LG workouts. So that will be a full-body workout day, then the next day can be yoga and cardio and then I'm going to restart the LG gym workout from Day 1 because I haven't even finished week one yet and I don't want to pick it up in the middle after not working out for a week or so. It makes sense in my head so that's what I'm going with.

I'm enjoying what I'm learning but I'm not used to being this immersed in something that's mostly new to me. I'm tired but I did finally finish the study guide for this week's chapter (it's about three times as long as the study guide for last week :O) but it needs to be with all this info.

I just need to keep working away at it and I'm sure it'll eventually stick like it did last week. I also need to run assessments on two people this week (plus practicing on my friends this weekend lol) but I think my official assessment people are Charles and Dmitri.

So, that's what my week is looking like. Hopefully it all comes together to make this weekend more fun and less study, study, study, although my study guide and text book will be coming with me lol.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Past Week of Yoga Challenge Photos - Posted on Sunday's From Here On Out

I decided that since I do my NASM program posts on Saturdays (or at least I have for the last two weeks) that I'm going to move my weekly yoga post to Sundays and see what happens with it.

I have really been enjoying the May yoga challenge so far because there are so many new to me poses in it and it's always fun (or almost always lol) to figure out a new pose!

Here they are with in order of doing them:

Day Seven May Yoga Challenge - Cobra Pose

Day Eight May Yoga Challenge - Standing Backbend Pose 

Day Nine May Yoga Challenge - Revolved Head-to-Knee Pose

Day Ten May Yoga Challenge - Warrior II Pose (in both directions)

Day Eleven May Yoga Challenge - Reverse Warrior Pose 

Day Twelve May Yoga Challenge - Bridge Pose

Day Thirteen May Yoga Challenge - Dolphin Pose