Pop-Up Personal Training

A few weeks back a coworker sent out an invitation for people to take part in a “pop-up personal training” session at one of the libraries on campus. It seems the Rec Sports department is trying out a new program where they send a trainer to any interested office on campus, where they then lead staff in 45- to 60-minute sessions of resistance training. The first session is free, and then the office has the option to sign up for additional sessions for a small fee.

I was intrigued, and eagerly signed up. It promised to be a relatively chill session, as the organizer assured everyone that no change of clothes would be necessary and all fitness levels would be welcome. So today I trundled off to the conference room where our session was being held, and was met with 4 coworkers and the trainer (who taught my Couch to 5 Miler running class back in the winter!).

The session was awesome! It was actually the first session the program has done, and if the rest are like ours was, I think it will be a successful program. The trainer did a great job tailoring the session to an office environment, and left us with easy-to-replicate exercises that we can do at our desks. The session looked like this:

  • A walk around the workplace to warm up (bonus tours of coworkers’ office spaces!)
  • Gentle stretching of our warmed-up muscles, specifically targeting ones that might suffer from sitting at desks all day
  • Explanation of how to engage our cores and how to find the proper position for the pelvis when we sit
  • A circuit of squats, push-ups, tricep dips, and leg extensions (specifically targeting glute activation) that all included using chairs and desks for resistance
  • More stretching
  • A time for questions or concerns

All in all it took about 45 minutes, and even though it was a nice, gentle session, I did break a bit of a sweat! I especially appreciated the guidance the trainer gave about activating the glutes, because mine are notoriously lazy and now I have exercises I can do that zero in on those lazy buns. I felt energized afterwards too, which was nice as I still had a full afternoon of work to get back to.

I don’t know if my department plans to do more of these sessions, but if they do, I will totally be there. In the meantime, the exercises we did are perfect for the morning routine I’ve been working on developing in my head but have yet to execute. Every morning I have a 10-minute walk from the T to my office – a perfect warmup. When I get to my desk, I’ll stretch (which I need to do more of anyway!) and then do some strength exercises, and then stretch some more, and then start my day stretched and energized and ready to go!

But hang on, I hear you say. You are notoriously terrible at being motivated and following through with things like this! Unfortunately you are correct. BUT I have a plan for this too! Stealing Finding inspiration from one of my friends in Team Okay!, I will institute a reward system using stickers and perhaps even small prizes to motivate my sorry self along. Each morning I complete this routine, I will get a sticker. My prize system is yet to be determined… maybe a fancy iced coffee beverage for a full week of stickers? We’ll see. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Do you have a job where you’re stuck at a desk for most of the day? If so, do you make time to move around?
I’m pretty terrible at this. I’ll make a valiant effort every now and then, but I usually succumb to slumping in my chair for most of the day.

Have you ever done resistance training using your desk/chair/other random furniture? Any exercises that you found work better than others?

Have you ever used a reward system to motivate yourself? How’d it go?


4 thoughts on “Pop-Up Personal Training

  1. Very cool! I sit waaaay to much at work, and always end up hunched over. I have an adjustable work stations so I can stand too, so I try to stand most afternoons, but it’s still not really enough. I used to use little star stickers in my planner for every workout, and for a while it was pretty motivating, but I never followed through on a reward system, so it sort of petered out.

    • Hunching is such an easy habit to fall into! I tried out a standing desk but have since realized that it’s not set up properly so I slump even when I stand. Not good. Maybe one of these days I’ll get off my always-lazy butt and fix it!

  2. This sounds kind of awesome. I kind of wish my work had something like this but they are paying for my gym membership I guess I can’t complain. Not that I go, maybe that should be a job requirement. 🙂 I have actually been trying to sit more in the last few weeks, standing all day has been kicking my butt. The only exercise I do with my chair is try not to trip over it. 🙂

    • I’m jealous that your work pays for your gym membership! I wish my work did that 🙂 I feel like I need to find the perfect balance between sitting and standing… if I stand for too long, my feet and legs kill me, but if I sit too much, my hip flexors and hamstrings get all tight and sore. I like your chair exercise, haha… sounds like me! 😉

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