“You should feel this in your abs!”
“Let’s try this one for 45 seconds.”
“Here’s a new one that you haven’t done yet. It’s really ‘fun.’”
“Let’s go one more round on those.”
These are familiar exhortations for the over 1,300 Y members who work with a personal trainer to get and stay fit. In some of those members’ cases, personal training is a way to get into a more disciplined training routine. For some, it’s a way to get ready for an important milestone, whether that’s a wedding, the birth of a child, or an upcoming birthday. For others, it’s a way to accelerate their recovery from an illness or surgery of some sort. And still for other members, it’s a way to supplement their current fitness routine and improve in some way. Whatever one’s motivation, personal training has become a core part of our Y’s health and wellness programming.
Over 5,471 personal training sessions have been conducted by the 110 Y Personal Training associates, highly credentialed fitness experts. Those include small group training sessions, partner training sessions, and individual personal training, for 30 or 60 minutes in length. More and more members are signing up for personal training, and many of them are achieving incredibly impressive results.
For a certain Y member and associate, personal training has become a way to expand my fitness routine, to force myself to do a wide range of exercises I wouldn’t necessarily do if left to my own devices, to help relieve the pain from a chronic back condition, and to stave off the relentless march of time for a guy in his late fifties with eight year twin daughters, a 22 year old son and wonderful wife who (may) want me around for a little while longer. For the past year and a half, I’ve been working with the highly-skilled, ever-cheerful but appropriately merciless Julie Gleeson at the Orokawa Y in Towson, just a couple of blocks from my office. I have always worked out four to five days a week, but like most people I fell into a rut doing much the same things every time, avoiding painful strength and core training, and not really improving my fitness level very much despite a lot of sweat.
It was at my wife’s suggestion (like most wives, Holly is never wrong about anything) that I decided to take the leap and sign up with Julie and get started. It was at about the same time that I decided to make other changes, including eliminating refined sugar from my diet, cut back on most carbs, and drink a lot more water. With my improved diet and fitness routine, I’ve lost almost 30 pounds, feel great, rarely have an aching back, and can do a whole bunch of exercises that I would never have dreamed of doing when Julie and I got started. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the Marines, but I might be able to at least survive a few days of basic training!
Our strategic plan, Impact 2020, which has guided our organizational focus since 2016, clearly lays out two priorities for how we make Health Living real in our Y:
- The Y will collaborate with like-minded partners in the region to promote a healthy lifestyle, with a focus on helping people achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- The Y will define Healthy Living to be more than fitness and nutrition and create experiences that impact all the dimensions of well-being, wherever people engage with the Y.
Without question, personal training is an important element in facilitating our ability to achieve those two priorities across Central Maryland, including for a certain hard-headed Irishman that Julie Gleeson has had to put up with over the past year and a half!
All the best,
John K. Hoey
President & CEO
The Y in Central Maryland