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Thread: Personal Trainers

  1. #1

    Personal Trainers

    I’ve heard many people of this forum mention they have personal trainers. Is your personal trainer just a regular one… like one I would find at a chain gym or do you have someone that specializes in SCI? I am a walking quad and I would like to find a trainer who will push me, but still understand that I have special limitations. I would also like them to help me design an exercise program I could do by myself and then meet with the once a week. Would anyone like to share their experience and what works best for them? Also, if you have a special trainer, how did you find them? I am close to Project Walk, so I have considered going there, but I walk pretty well and I work on gait training at PT once a month, so I am not sure that is the place for me. Sorry for all the questions and thanks for your time!

  2. #2
    I worked with a trainer for about 20 sessions. He was an athletic trainer that didn't specialize in SCI i would not recommend doing that. I eventually got hurt. I am now working with a trainer that my PT works along side of and she has the knowledge of back injuries and such. I was getting very strong before I got hurt but now I am back to square one. So make sure that the trainer knows SCI injuries. Ask your PT I found that the gym plus trainer was a great combination for strength and waking muscles that would other wise not be used.

  3. #3
    if you do decide to hire your own personal trainer, the key is to find one who specializes in functional exercises. Check thier credentials and make sure they are certified by an outside organization, not just the "inhouse program". The problem is once you find a trainer who is educated and knows thier stuff the price tends to get pretty high, because they are worth it. By the time you find some one who is qualified it is going to be about the same price as PW. you can always go to the chain gym and hire one of thier staff who are certified through an inhouse program and pay a reasonable rate, but you get what you pay for. You might as well just pay your buddy who likes to go to the gym to help you. At leat this way you will save some money.

  4. #4
    So would you recommend PW for someone with my abilities? I don’t mind paying their price. I am going broke between acupuncture and PT, but I don’t mind pouring all of my money into this right now.

    I have another question for you… I just left my OT and she was saying that even though my muscles are a 4 or 4+ they might not get to a five because of the damage to my cord. I don’t really understand this… I would think that if I could move the muscle, then I could strengthen the muscle. Why is that not true?

    Walkinhstrong, I am sorry you are back at square one. I hope your recovery continues!

    I would love to hear from more people!

  5. #5
    My daughter had a trainer from a conventional gym, who might have been more effective if she would have shared the exercises that her PT had recommended. We wasted time and money because he didn't receive the guidance that he needed . Some SCI clinics will give an evaluation, work with you for a week or two, take photos of you doing the recommended exercises, design a program and give this to you when you leave. The other mistake we made was by going to another clinic, where the PTs did not have experience in the neurological area. They had a wealth of information about the muscles, but little neurological knowledge, which can make a difference in the progression of your gait. We learned this the hard way. If you did find a good trainer or PT, travel time can also become an issue.

  6. #6

    We have worked with a lot of walking SCIs. Our original client Mike T, is 63 and is relearning how to jump. He now has a ~6 inch vertical and ~36 inch broad jump, not bad for someone who couldn't get their toes off the ground last year.

    Following this link and filter for Phase V clients to see our clients who take steps or walk.

    Eric Harness, CSCS
    Neuro Ex, Inc
    Adaptive Performance and Neuro Recovery

  7. #7
    Junior Member woodmann32's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    orland park , IL
    i am a t5-t6 they say complete , I work out at bally total fitness and the trainers their work great. the trainer i have now is a woman and i have made more progress with lifting weight than i have with any other trainers in years. She worked with me and we developed our own work outs and know what machines we can and can't use, we now know how much weight i can do from machine to machine and the ones i do from the chair and the ones out of the chair. we thought about writing a book on this and showing the that people with SCI can work out at a normal gym and whitch machines are usable.


  8. #8
    I would recommend exploring your options. This way you can make an educated choice on what is right for you. Try out some different facilities and trainers and see what you like the best.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gambrills, Maryland
    My sister is also a walking quad and she has a trainer that comes to the house (that was the only option since Amber can't drive and there's no time in the evening to go to a gym). When I started looking for one, most shied away when I told them she had a spinal cord injury. The one we did find said she hadn't worked w/ spinal cord injured people before but she was willing to give it a try. I explained to her that she had limited use of her arms and legs and that she really wanted to work on strengthening them and her core (basically everything). I told her about the tone issues, etc. I was pretty impressed when she first came to the house because she did some "homework" on spinal cord injuries, had some questions for Amber re: her spinal cord injury and the first 2 "trial" sessions went real well.

    Make sure they give you at least 1-2 sessions as a trial run to see if it will work for you and the trainer (Amber has another trainer fill in when her regular one was unavailable and Amber didn't like him at all - he was not very patient and Amber always felt hurried). Also, make sure they have a background and certifications in personal training. Amber's trainer went to college for excercise kinesiology(sp? or something like that). Also, Amber's PT & OT created a detailed home exercise program for Amber and her trainer talked w/ her therapists on what types of exercises to work on and the muscles to focus on. Right now, Amber's trainer comes to the house 2 days a week for 1.5 hours each day. It has been going real well for Amber.

    Good luck!


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Apex, NC

    What are your goals? Is it more about getting into shape (i.e. stronger, leaner, etc.) or is it about walking longer/faster, etc.?

    If its about getting into better all around shape do you belong to a gym? Most gyms require you to be a member before you can use one of their trainers. If you do belong to a gym, I'd try there first because it might be expensive if you had to join a gym to check out the trainers. If you don't and are going to join one obviously their personal trainers will be very important to you.

    I've had about 8 personal trainers over the last 10 years. Though fairly expensive ($60 to $85 per hour) I had a good experience with most of them. I had a bad experience at Ballys but I am working with a trainer at another Ballys location now who is great. I have had some shoulder problems and he is also a chiropractor and has worked with me to build those muscles.

    I would try to figure out who is in most demand and see what you can do to get one of them. If you need to and are comfortable with it lie and say you've had some bad trainers and don't want to get someone who is bad again and you are very skeptical. I found that the trainers who have been to college and understand how the body works were better than someone who has some lame certificate and is nothing but a glorified spotter. Also make certain they understand nutrition and can sit down with you at least once a week (on your time but it takes less than 5 minutes) to see how your nutrition plan is going. They should understand resistance training (weights), cardio and nutrition and should be able to pull a program that hits all three of these for you. I do cardio on my own but want them to review what I've done on a regular basis for cardio, nutrition and weights. They should also tell you how they are going to monitor progress and it should tie to your goals. If you want to get leaner they should have some way to regularly measure your body fat.

    Good luck.

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