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Weekly Workouts: I’m Working with a Personal Trainer!

This was the happiest week! I started working with my own personal trainer! I know some of you might be thinking, “wait what?” but let me explain.

For the past couple of years I have been saying that I need a trainer and considered hiring someone to work with or program for me. It’s not that I don’t know how to put together workouts and exercise plans but I wanted to not have to think about it and have someone else push me in ways that I don’t necessarily push myself. I truly believe that working with a trainer can be a huge catalyst for growth and change, which is part of why I love my job as a trainer so much. I selfishly wanted some of that back for myself.


Last fall I got an itch to really get back to strength work and lifting. I kind of pushed it to the wayside when I was training for my half and then participating in our studio’s 62 day challenge but when the new year rolled around I was more than READY to hit the gym hard.

Imagine my excitement when I opened an envelope from the boy on Christmas morning and found a gift certificate for 14 personal training sessions! He was a personal trainer for 10 years and totally understood my wish to have my own trainer.

I was pretty picky about who I wanted to work with and I love, love, love who I ended up with. I have so much respect for her and I know that she is going to push me to a new level and help me find the strength and muscle gains that I am looking for. I’ll keep you guys updated on my progress.




Easy 3 mile run outside with the pup + pushing focus strength


2 sets of 15 reps of each of the following:

Dumbbell chest fly (25#)
Single arm dumbbell press (25#)
Single leg dumbbell squat to bench and stand back up (holding a 25# dumbbell)
Single arm tricep kickback (15#)
Bench reverse crunch
Regular crunch



3 miles treadmill intervals + pulling focus strength + hot yoga

Treadmill intervals: 

5 minutes warm (8:20ish pace)
9 minutes of 45 seconds on, 15 off (starting at 7:15 and working to 6:30ish pace)
7 minutes of 20 on 10 off (starting at 6:24 and working down to high fives pace)

I really pushed the speed on this interval workout. I tried for 45 on, 15 off until it felt hard to sustain the pace for the duration of the sprint and then switched to 20 on/10 off to finish.

For those of you who have asked about how I handle my rest intervals, I don’t slow the belt down (that would never work logistically and rest periods would have to be much longer). Rather, I VERY CAREFULLY hop to the sides of the treadmill and leave the belt running and then VERY CAREFULLY hop back on. I’ve been doing this for years and it works well for me.


3 sets of 10 of  each of the following exercises:

Single arm dumbbell rows (30#)
Dumbbell bicep curls (20#)
Straight bar RDLs (90#)
Assisted pull ups on machine
Lat pull downs on machine
Hanging knee raises


First session with my trainer! 45 minutes with tons of core work (she may love planks more than me…haha), pull ups, lunge variations, kettle bell deadlift/clean/overhead press combo, slam ball work, dynamax ball exercises, plyometrics, mini bands and more. It was hard and awesome!


Hot yoga

I needed a stretch day after three straight days of lifting!



7.25 mile run with Zoey

This run can be titled “all the things you shouldn’t do when running in the dark on a Saturday night.” Zoey and I set out with 4-5 miles in mind but then I decided to try a new running route thinking I could just “figure out” how to cut through a neighborhood to get from one main street to another. Well, that didn’t go as planned and we ended up winding through the neighborhood for what felt like eternity before finally finding our way out the same way we came in. It was freezing, I didn’t wear gloves, I brought my iPod instead of my phone so I couldn’t look up directions or call anyone and I tripped on the sidewalk about a mile from home and totally ate it. Bad runner.

Luckily, Zoey was a TROOPER and was full of energy for the entire duration of the run. And still was acting like her normal playful self when we got home. This girl loves to run and has endless energy.

I did put together a great playlist for the run so at least there was that.

And yes, I followed my own advice and wore my reflective vest so at least we were safe in that regard. Next time I won’t leave my phone at home! The problem is that I recently got the new iPhone 6 plus and it’s huge! How do you take that thing with you when you run?


Today will be rest or yoga.

Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? If not, would you like to? 

If you plan your own workouts, where do you find inspiration? 

REMINDER: Today is the final day to enter to win a $100 Kohl’s gift card!

{ 22 comments… add one }
  • Jen January 31, 2016, 1:38 pm

    i have a small, old-school “dumb phone” that i just have a pre-paid contract with, and i carry that with me on runs (a friend does the same thing when he cycles) for emergencies. i think it’s important to have a way to contact someone, just in case of emergency, but i also don’t enjoy the bulk of a huge phone.

    congrats on getting a personal trainer! my first (and last) personal trainer eventually became my boyfriend, and actually, it was a great experience–both the training and eventually the dating, hehe. when i have a bit more time and money, i’d love to do it again (minus the dating after, lol!), i felt like i made such incredible gains in strength, endurance, agility, and overall fitness!

    • Jen DeCurtins February 1, 2016, 11:06 am

      Haha! The phone is a great idea!

  • Liz @The Blonde RX January 31, 2016, 3:21 pm

    That’s so great!! What an awesome gift. I feel the same way about having someone help me train. I need someone to program it for me to keep me accountable. That’s why I have a Crossfit Endurance programming that fits my goals. 🙂

    • Jen DeCurtins February 1, 2016, 11:08 am

      That’s awesome! I’m glad you found something that works for you.

  • Hilary January 31, 2016, 3:22 pm

    I have been working with an online trainer, but i think a personal training in person would be fantastic! Looking forward to hearing your experience!

    • Jen DeCurtins February 1, 2016, 11:10 am

      Training in person is so different because you get someone watching you and giving you feedback which I love! I’ll definitely keep you updated.

  • Ashley @ A Lady Goes West January 31, 2016, 3:45 pm

    Hi Jen! I wholeheartedly agree with you working with a trainer. As a trainer myself, I’m actually considering getting one for me too. While I know what to do, it’s so much easier to have someone ELSE thinking about your fitness and challenging you. And we all have form issues to clean up. Totally cool. Great set of workouts for the week! I just finished a yoga session to round out mine. Have a great day! 🙂

  • Jessica January 31, 2016, 3:58 pm

    I have the iPhone 6 and feel like it is so big, I can’t imagine the plus! I used to wear my phone on my arm when I ran, but when I upgraded that no longer worked. After much trial and error, I found that the XL Spibelt works best. I wear it so that the phone sits on my lower back.

  • meredith @ cookie chrunicles January 31, 2016, 7:09 pm

    I did work with a trainer way back in the day! Ha – I forgot that I did. It was before I became a more serious runner. I am all excited because I won free run coaching so I plan to use that to train for a race. I never had a coach before so this should be interesting!

  • Sherri January 31, 2016, 8:01 pm

    I love this post! I think the accountability and having someone push you out of your comfort zone is so spot-on! I do macro coaching and also still have a coach myself. Granted, she’s a friend and we coach each other, but it’s the accountability that I need/desire even though I have the knowledge to do so myself. It’s just such a different experience to have someone else pushing you!

  • Sherri January 31, 2016, 8:03 pm

    I love this post! I think the accountability and having someone to push you out of your comfort zone is so spot-on! I do macro coaching and even though I could take care of my own numbers, I still use a coach to keep me on track and push me when things get tough (like this month…I turned 40 and after the holidays….it’s time to get back on track!).

  • Megan January 31, 2016, 8:39 pm

    I too am a personal trainer and I started working with another trainer about 2 years ago – it is awesome! I only do it every other week but I love not having to think about what my workout will be that day and I usually end up doing things that I would never make myself do, haha. I also totally consider it ‘continuing education’ and always find ways to apply what I learn to my own clients.

  • Aurora@Fitness is Sweet January 31, 2016, 9:44 pm

    I wish I was capable of jumping on and off the sides of the treadmill—I had to do it once during an interval style class and definitely flew off! I worked with a personal trainer for many years, who taught me to lift. I loved it—I felt it was the best way to get the strongest, fastest. It also meant I had a really solid lifting base when I started Crossfit a few years later!

  • Julie @ Running in a Skirt February 1, 2016, 8:54 am

    A trainer?! How exciting! I can totally understand why you would want one.
    I have a 6+ too and have been carrying it around in my hand for a year b/c I have nothing to put it in. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the phone, but it is not runners friendly. If you find a good pouch for it, let me know!

  • Joy February 1, 2016, 9:08 am

    You look fabulous! And I’m so glad you’re feeling fabulous, too. At first I wondered why a personal trainer would hire a personal trainer, but your reasons are illuminating! Not having the think about the workouts and having someone to push you…so smart!

  • ACKTIVE LIFE February 1, 2016, 3:24 pm

    I have been focusing a lot on strength lately too…It feels good to lift and be sore (in the good way of course). I honestly just get inspiration from Pinterest workouts and bloggers like you. Sometimes I just go into the gym though and just do what my body wants and make it up as I go along…Usually works and gets the job done!

  • Jodie February 2, 2016, 7:26 am

    I always love your workout posts!!:) I know what you mean about getting a trainer. Congrats on that. Will you be sharing your workouts? Do you take reader requests?

    • Jen DeCurtins February 2, 2016, 2:13 pm

      I’ll share the types of workouts and exercises that we do but I’m not sure I’ll post the exact workout since I feel like I’d be taking her creative “license” away if I did. Does that make sense? I for sure take reader requests, whatcha wanna see?

      • Jodie February 11, 2016, 7:31 am

        Yes makes sense. Your fav yoga butt exercises as well as one for back.
        As well as working on and improving back extension from beginner to advanced. Thanks in advance.

  • Jessica Dickson February 3, 2016, 3:54 pm

    Great post! I really enjoyed this one. I would love to meet with a (female) personal trainer once a week in my area (Hickory, NC) — Where did you start your search? Any tips… Not sure where to begin. Thank you! Namaste.

  • Jill February 5, 2016, 4:28 pm

    Just discovered your blog and LOVE it! Had to comment on this post regarding your long run and not wanting to bring along the big phone. Got a FlipBelt for my birthday last year and it is a total game changer for outdoor distance runs. There are little slots for your key, phone (even smart phone size), cards, etc. and you just flip it over and *knock on wood* everything stays intact. I’ve seen some people wear them around their waist but I find it more comfortable to wear mine a little lower more down around the top of my hips. Happy running 🙂

  • erin February 21, 2016, 3:59 pm

    I’ve never had a personal trainer, but would love to! I would love for someone to push me and just keep me on track. I’m awful by myself in the gym and get so distracted or bored, so I try to stick with work-out classes. But, a trainer would be amazing. How often are you going to see her?

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