The responsibility that comes with the decision: Liisi’s training path with Anna-Liisa
How did you find your way to a personal trainer?
When I left the hospital, I knew I wanted to return to the volleyball court in the fall, but my dad didn’t want me to feel bad there, given that I spent several months in the hospital with no physical activity. Therefore, it would certainly be very difficult to immediately enter the court with other players who did not miss their training. I went to the gym several times with my father; then he contacted the trainer Anna-Liisa, and soon we began to work out together.
Did you have any fears and preconceptions about personal training?
Many things caused anxiety. For example, I was afraid that I would disappoint someone or that they would look at me somehow strangely, because I had never been very strong, and now more than six months have passed since my last physical activity. However, my biggest fear was that strength training will make me gain a lot of weight very quickly.
Name three circumstances/thoughts that personal training has given you.
- A new understanding that food = fuel.
- Gratitude to my body for allowing me to exercise.
- Workout lifts my spirits: If sometimes I come to a training in a bad mood, I always leave the gym in a much better mood.
For whom and why is personal training best suited?
I believe it is suitable for anyone who wants to feel strong in their body. In addition, a new hobby brings excitement and, I hope, good emotions to life. If you want to get off to a good start and not hurt yourself, for example, due to incorrect technique, then personal training is the right choice.
Anna-Liisa, how did your client come to you for training? Please describe in more detail your collaboration and how it started.
Liisi’s father contacted me first. We talked for a long time because it was a young volleyball player with an eating disorder. In such a case, I have my own rules and conditions that Liisi and her family had to fulfil (diagnosis, treatment, cooperation with parents and a psychologist/psychiatrist, and a real decision to change her life).
The beginning was very fragile, scary and unsettling for Liisi. We started very calmly, because in such a situation, training can become the “gasoline” for eating disorders. Here came in handy my own many years of experience with this disease, my counselling skills, Liisi’s own will and, of course, my coaching skills. Since we have many common interests and a fairly similar worldview, the trust between us grew rapidly. When the disease wanted to raise its head, we discussed and listened to each other, drew conclusions and found solutions and ways to move forward. Perhaps this word best describes our cooperation – trust.
What does your most classic personal training look like?
As a rule, our training covers the whole body and includes both strengthening and mobility exercises, and then the basic program. Liisi also plays volleyball, so she has 2 workouts a week with her team and 2-3 personal workouts with me. While our workouts are currently heavily focused on her sport, certain exercises are also planned to suit her individual needs.
Structure of the training plan – do you train together or on your own? Why such an approach?
Rather, we train together because that’s what we both want. I always want to offer my client a safe and high-quality environment, and if necessary, we can adapt or change the plan on the spot. There was a time when Liisi didn’t even consider going to practice alone because her anxiety and fears were too high. Now, when sometimes I have to go to the tournament with young volleyball players, Liisi goes to the gym alone without any problems. And it was also one of our goals that at some point she dared to do it. We have done an excellent job with this task.
Thanks to training, thanks to positive experiences, thanks to a certain routine, thanks to our safe environment, Liisi has become much more confident and independent. All this plays a big role in the treatment of eating disorders – the responsibility that comes with decisions.
Name a funny or unusual fact about personal training.
We really appreciate jokes and humour in our trainings, especially since Liisi has a great sense of humour. What we keep laughing at is that Liisi’s parents also go to the gym and often peep at what we do, but they don’t dare to try it themselves, because Liisi already trains with quite heavy weights and is technically very good. There was one training session when Liisi came with her mother and allowed her to follow our program. Mom managed to complete the whole program, skipping the most difficult exercises, after which she suffered from muscle pain for three days, avoiding stairs and sitting.
3 recommendations for people who are afraid to go to the gym or to a personal trainer?
- Sit down with your fear and ask yourself two questions.
- What’s the WORST thing that can happen if I don’t exercise and take care of my health?
- What is the BEST thing that can happen if I do exercise and take care of my health?
- Fear and apprehension are not necessarily your enemies. These characters are jumping on the table even if you have made the decision to change your life and get out of your comfort zone. So, a little fear and anxiety is a sign that a decision has been made. Behind fear there is always opportunity! The gym is full of people with different backgrounds, goals, and fears. I think this diverse community creates a kind of supportive structure for everyone to feel comfortable. It is your story that can motivate someone to improve the quality of their life.
- If you have made a decision, but still do not know how to proceed, then a personal trainer is the right person who can help and support you in the next steps and throughout the journey. A personal trainer can be the missing link that will connect you to new goals and opportunities and help you transform your fears into your strengths.
Anna-Liisa Sutt, personal trainer and experience consultant
Anna-Liisa has been involved in sports all her life – as a young athlete, professional volleyball player, coach, masseuse and consultant. As a personal trainer and volleyball coach, she carries all the values that various roles have offered her throughout her life.
Anna-Liisa remembers that as a coach she has a great responsibility, and therefore she is focused on the person as a whole, and not just on the shaping of the body or skills. It is important for her that her students are healthy both mentally and physically.
Her coaching goal is to create a safe environment for trainees where they can attack their weaknesses and develop their strengths through it. In addition to coaching, Anna-Liisa is also an experienced consultant and conducts trainings and seminars on eating disorders.
The beginning is just one step away!