gainesville, Virginia, 20155
May 19
I am a 36 year old amputee. I am also a Mommy to a very active four year old. I've been blogging about my experiences as an amputee parent, providing a real life account of what it is like to parent with a disability.


Amputeemommy's Links

APRIL 6, 2012 6:30AM

My Trainer Needs Some Training?

Rate: 3 Flag
Yesterday morning I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a truck. Other than my plastic toes, everything was sore. I knew that working with a trainer would push me to my limits; I just wasn't expecting it to be so painful!

It took nearly five minutes of an internal pep talk before I dared move out of bed. I tried to bend down to pick up my liner when my back and hamstrings instantly let me know their presence. I still think of myself as young and spry. Yesterday my body reminded me that I am middle aged and out of shape.

Today I go back to the gym and face my executioner- err.. I mean trainer. So far I have done well holding my tongue, but today I fear that might change. Although I'm not trained in physiology, some of the exercises simply don't make any sense.

For example, my working on calf lifts seems illogical considering that I only have one calf. It is fine to work my existing leg, but why do I have to pretend to do a lift on my prosthetic? Telling me to just "squeeze the muscle" inside my socket just sounds silly and is a waste of time. I don't want to strengthen my calf on my stump. If it grows in girth, my leg will no longer fit!

Most of single leg balance comes from the ankle. I am missing an ankle; hence, my balance is going to be compromised on my prosthetic side. Encouraging me to balance on my prosthetic and lift an 8 pound weight over my head feels like a recipe for disaster. I can clearly envision tipping over and dropping the weight on top of my head, knocking myself out, and breaking my nose as I fall to the ground. I don't want to break my nose.

I have been hesitant to refer to my amputation when asked to perform the exercises. I have never been one to use it as an excuse (unless it meant leaving a party early but that is a subject for a different blog) and I want to be viewed as able bodied whenever possible. However, it is becoming obvious that my trainer needs more guidance from me about adapting at least a few of these exercises. After all, if I don't speak up and continue to try to please the trainer, I fear I could end up in traction.

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You are facing challenges, but don't let speaking up be one of them. Ask him how many amputees he has worked with, just casually. If he says you are his first, turn it into a training session for him. Mommy inspired reverse psychology. Just don't compromise your safety.
You know, I was wondering if you should be that sore, that tired that you couldn't wash your hair. It seems too much too soon. If you are deconditioned you are not going to get conditioned in one session, it would seem you need to work up to this level. Also what you are saying makes a lot of sense, as Asia said, what does he/she know about amputee health that you don't? prolly not much. I wouldn't think it is good for anyone to over do the way this trainer has you working out. Safety first.
yes, you have to be assertive with a trainer including changing to another if the relationship is not developing. I doubt very much he/she understand the challenges but a good trainer should embrace the situation and be creative. I always worry when they only have one or two routines that they are good at and stick to them instead or working with the client.

Muscle soreness is hard to evaluate so you need to speak up. It should never be more than can be stretched out and muscles should always have recovery time which is longer in the beginning. I would suggest speaking with a good pt/ot and am sure you have worked with good ones- they can give good advice and referral if needed including talking to the trainer.

And don;t let it discourage you. The benefits are life enriching.