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Thread: Does anyone work with a personal trainer at a gym?

  1. #1

    Does anyone work with a personal trainer at a gym?

    We're considering signing our son up to a gym with a personal trainer and wanted to know any positive/negative opinionns for those of you have done this. Our son is T12 ASIA A and from his injury level and below, the muscles have atrophied so bad, he's skin & bones in his hip/glute area.

    Thank you in advance.
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

  2. #2
    Moderator jody's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    east o the southern warren
    this is wonderful. I have an incomplete injury, I joined a gym while still using a wheelchair full time. I use LA fitness because they had a lot of equipment that was designed for disabled. and they had a pool lift that I could use. the pool was very benificial to me. he is a complete injury, so I a am not sure how he will benefit with lower body though. the trainer should be aware of the need to prevent pressure areas and damage to his skin. There are quite a few people here at care cure though, who work out and may be able to advise you. Have you looked in the exercise and recovery forum? there is a neet workout machine called vitaglide you might look into. there may even be a used one for sale in the equipment forum. I no longer go to a gym, but use a trike and do stretching and other exercises. I would love to afford a gym again.
    does he use a standing frame, or do any kind of work out?

  3. #3
    Hi Jody,
    Thank you for your reply. He's 16 months post and has hip flexor and sometime ab deductors. He goes to physical therapy 2x week, but they are working on balance, walking in his leg braces, etc...

    Our biggest concern is his lower body. He's so atrophied and has lost much range of motion in his knees and ankles and he stiff at the hips, still has swollen legs and feet. He's all ready had a DVT because his legs just don't get what they need. He's not interested in working at home with us or our equipment. He does much better when he has a commitment. We just got a stander a couple of weeks ago and he's in it 30 min. day.
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

  4. #4
    I did for a while and it was cool. I'm a T10. Make sure the trainer knows how
    fragile everything is below the injury. I worked out both from my chair and on
    a bench. Always wore a wide velcro strap around my core. They had a big
    handcycle available, too.

  5. #5
    Ask around at the gyms in your area if any of their trainers have had any experience with working with the disabled. The trainer I had for my free training session when I joined the gym was awesome!! He didn't have any direct experience with working with a paraplegic, but we were able to figure out what I needed to do to accomplish my goals.

  6. #6
    Thanks everyone. We looked at 2 in our area this evening. The first, not so good. Little equipment and the young "sales" gal had no idea of anything, she just suggested all the upper body, e.g., free weight stuff. So, we visited Gold's and talked to a personal trainer. He actually demonstated a brief portion of what they would do and we were impressed. He just did some stretching, etc.. However, I did have to watch them carefully to ensure they didn't extend him too far as he's lost a lot of ROM and has been sitting for quite a while. I think we're going to enroll in the gym and do a trial of the trainer under my supervision to ensure they understand his capabilities as well as his inabilities and needs.

    Please, if anyone else has suggestions, they would be greatly appreciated.
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

  7. #7
    Faithful, have you considered aquatherapy (pool therapy)? It is really good. Can your son stand in the water? If so, pool therapy is the best option, really it can make a difference, specially if circulation in the legs is a problem.

    The best way to go about it is to get some physical therapy in the pool sessions and ask the therapist to design a program that you can do on your own later. You can increase the number of repetitions and/or include weights. I can not recommend this enough, specially for lower injuries like your son's. It may be expensive, but if you continue later in your own you just have to have access to a pool.

    I read your post in another thread stating that your son is incomplete because he has no anal sensation. This is true, but keep in mind that sensation can sometimes come back later. I broke my L1 and at the beginning had no sensation either. It came back after several months.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MikeC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Tampa, FL
    Faithful, I had someone who used to work at Project Walk show my trainer at the Y exercises I should be doing. Maybe if you talk to someone at Project Walk or any of the other places like it they can print out a list of exercises. Have you tried the free week at SCI-Step? I'm sure if you go there they can give you a list of exercises that your son can do at the gym. I think it does make a difference working with a trainer - they can set up equipment and increase my ROM. Good luck - hope it works out. Mike
    T12 Incomplete - Walking with Crutches, Injured in Oct 2003

  9. #9
    I work with a trainer in our local gym twice a week and do my own workouts in between. It has been a godsend for me. We bsaically work out concentrating on form and function. He ensures that I use the proper techniques. For me, it is not just a matter of working out but working out efficiently and thinking outside the box to achieve my maximum potential.

    I also handcycle, stand in a standing frame,ride the fes bike at the rehab, use a Vitaglide and shoulder press.

    His being a T/12, atrophy of the legs and hip area is fairly normal.

  10. #10
    Agnes, thank you. We went to Health South for a while, but they didn't want him in the pool b/c bowel, bladder. Then, when they finally figured out it would be ok, their pool wasn't operable. We don't have access to a pool, but I'll keep looking as I've heard great things about.

    Mike C, thank you as well. We are probably going to take him to Project Walk the first of summer. He's taking 17 hours in college and between school, homework and therapy, there's not a whole lot of time. Besides, the closest one is in Austin and it's 3 hours away. But we are looking forward to it in June.

    Madsen, I appreciate your response. We've pretty much decided on the gym and trainer, it's just a matter of finding the right one.

    We have purchased a ton of equipment for home use, but he's just not the type to be motivated to work out. He works much better when he has a commitment/appointment. And, to a 19 year old, mom and dad just nag, a trainer/therapist is much more knowledgable (sarcasm inserted).

    Does anyone know if there is any where I can get a list of excercises that would benefit him (legs, glutes, etc) . I am concerned that a trainer not experienced in SCI and his limitations might cause damage. Maybe it's in my head, but yesterday while at the 2nd. gym, the trainer showed him some things they would be doing and he stretched his legs and what not. When we left, my son said that he felt the stretch in his hamstring. He hasn't felt his hamstring since 3-4 days after surgery. I wanted to be excited about the new sensation, but yet cautious that it wasn't over stretched.
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

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