Dear Coach: Volume 11 – A New Beginning

Back in November I published Dear Coach: Volume 10 (The Finale, For Now). I had been working with Mike Vacanti for four months as a personal trainer and was taking a break. The main reason I stopped working with Mike was financial. He is a fabulous trainer, but honestly more than I can afford. Also, while I resist change in some areas of my life, I crave it when it comes to fitness. So, I am excited to introduce you to my new coach and let you know how the first month went.

I have been following Ben Fritz on Instagram and Snapchat for over 6 months. Ben is out of Chicago and is a full time personal trainer who also does online training. While the last thing I want to do is compare Mike and Ben, I will say that I do think the two are quite similar (in my opinion) in that they seem to understand fitness for normal people. I emailed Ben (a very long email initially) telling him about myself and my goals to see if he would want to work with me. Let’s face it, I can be high maintenance. My lengthy email didn’t deter him and I started working with him on January 16th.

Since I am not setting weight loss goals, we created fitness goals for me. My short term (January to March) are:

  • More toned arms for summer – IN PROCESS
  • Get sleep back under control – SEEING DOCTOR TODAY ABOUT THIS ISSUE
  • Leg press 450 pounds – DID 513 ON 2-11 (500 was actually a long term goal)
  • NEW GOAL: Leg press 563 pounds
  • Bench press 85 pounds – DID 100 ON 2-7 (100 was actually a long term goal)
  • NEW GOAL: Bench press 115 pounds
  • Chin-up at 110 pounds – DID 115 on 2-7
  • NEW GOAL: Chin-up at 90 pounds

I met 3 of my short term goals and 2 of my long term goals in the first month (which means we probably didn’t set them high enough to begin with). The reason for that could be that I hadn’t been tracking my weights each workout. Ben utilizes an app called Trainerize. He schedules my workouts each day and then I enter what I actually do. So I have a record of sets, reps, and weights for each day. I think seeing that on my phone each day pushed me to do more.

He has assigned me macros (that was another thing that I liked about him – he does macros, not calories). Currently I am not tracking my macros – just can’t bring myself to do it. Luckily he understands this and doesn’t push me. He understands that weight loss is not a goal and that my overall goal is to improve total body strength.

While I check in with him some way almost every day (either via the app, Snapchat, or email), I send him a longer update every two weeks. While the good has been that I haven’t missed a workout and have been injury free, the bad has been that my sleep still sucks (but I am seeing my doctor today). My frustration has been two-fold:

* Month 1 he had me doing a day of core/cardio. I really have no desire to do either. Strength training is really what I want to focus on. I also thought I should be doing MORE exercises each time.

* Month 2 he has dropped my workouts from 5 times per week to 4. While some people would be happy, I have bitched about this. Also, I think I could still do MORE exercises each time.

I know I need to trust the process and he says we will move to 5 days per week in month 3. So we will see. And yes, he knows my frustrations and will have this blog emailed to him.

There you go. I am super excited with my PRs and progress so far. Be sure and check out Ben on his social media channels.

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How often do you change up your workouts? Have you ever worked with an in person trainer or an online trainer?



3 Responses to “Dear Coach: Volume 11 – A New Beginning”

  1. Hi Glenneth,

    I recognize myself in you.

    Many years ago, I was overweight. In my early twenties, I decided I was gonna remedy the situation. So what I did, was hit the gym and hit it often. I’d hit it 5 days a week. Then I went for 6 days a week. And when I had the summer off from University, I’d go 2x for 6 days a week.

    It can help to get explosive results in a short time. But it doesn’t scale up. It’s too exhausting and you’ll never last a lifetime.

    I know I didn’t.

    If you can manage to work out 4 days a week, then that’ll be impressive enough as it is.

    You can always do more, but sometimes… you’ve gotta remind yourself: less can be more.

    Nobody is where they want to be. Keep that in mind.

    Best of luck,