All Aboard the Gill Train

Sadly, I have officially finished my sessions with Gillian. For anyone who missed my first post about this, a personal trainer in the midtown Toronto area, Gillian Thomas, contacted me a little while ago and asked if I would be interested in complimentary personal training sessions with her twice a week for four weeks.


I said yes please. So I had eight sessions in total (it ended up being over five weeks), four times in her studio, Inspira Athletica, and four times at the track near both of us. The studio is just north of Yonge and Lawrence, so just a quick subway ride away from me. It was pretty convenient.

I really enjoyed my sessions with Gillian, a lot more than I thought I would. And I was surprised how much I still liked her while she was making me do exercises that made me want to cry (I almost did cry once, though she told me I must have a pretty good poker face because I kept looking at her and smiling so she thought I wanted more). I didn’t know it was possible to hate what she was making me do while liking her so much. She was just really awesome to hang out with. Sometimes I was just excited to see her, so then when I got there and she put me to work it was a rude awakening that I actually had to work out. Rude, Gillian. Rude.


I have also definitely been seeing some improvement over here. I still can’t do a proper push-up (all in good time, my friends), but I am getting better. And the first time I did a plank for her I could only hold it for 36 seconds. By the time I finished my sessions with her I could hold my plank for a full two minutes!

I think 2.05 was my longest time. Not too shabby! I was very proud of myself, and it’s motivating to see results like that.

I have also discovered that I have a new least favourite exercise. The inchworm. You start standing, then bend over and walk your arms out until you are in a plank, and then you bring your arms back in. If you are a visual learner like myself, perhaps pictures will help you. It basically looks like this.







I was supposed to do 12 of them and I could only do 8 before I nearly collapsed. When Gillian did it she made it look so easy.

I have also discovered that kettle ball swings make me feel like this:


I don’t hate them, but by the end I wanna die.

I was sore after each workout (which I always think is a good sign because to me that means it’s working) but I was never as sore as I was after the first time. Which, good thing, because not being able to walk properly for three days wasn’t very practical. But all of her workouts were intense, and there was one particular studio workout where I was the sweatiest I have ever been in my entire life. I left Evan at my pad while I met with Gillian and I came back all red-faced and sweaty and he looked at me and said “I feel like Gillian is taking your workouts to a whole new level…” I felt like that too.

So I guess the two main questions here are, can I feel/see a difference in myself, and am I going to continue with it?

First of all, yes to the difference. I haven’t weighed myself in about two years because I really don’t care to get obsessed with that number, and I am tall and big boned anyway so I am always going to weigh a lot. When I was at my most fit I didn’t really lose any weight, I was just noticeably more toned and I dropped a couple sizes. So in that regard, I have definitely been feeling more svelte lately. I seem to be fitting into my clothes better and my muffin top has not been spilling out all over my pants quite as much. So good news! I think the most noticeable differences are in my limbs though. I thought that might be my imagination, but the other day I was wearing shorts around the house and out of nowhere Evan said that he could tell my legs were looking more muscular. I hadn’t even asked his opinion. It was nice that someone else noticed and confirmed what I thought might be happening. I may have started strutting around after that.

And I can notice a difference in my strength. I mentioned the plank thing, but my squats and lunges were far better by the end, and I could lift a lot more weight with my legs.

Now…will I keep up with it? Many of the circuits Gillian put me through used only body weight resistance, so I can do them right in the comfort of my own home, which is very awesome. In theory. Have I done them in my own home? Nope. Apparently it only works for me if someone makes me do it. I may have been cursing Gillian’s name during my workout, but after each session I would feel so incredibly motivated that I couldn’t wait until my next one. But then that feeling faded and the next day I just wanted to leisure. It’s difficult to keep that motivation going. I’ve had a lot going on this week, but when things simmer down a bit my plan is to regularly start hitting the gym.

The personal training thing is nice because all you really have to do is show up and someone is there to kill you in the best way possible. If you are in the area and are looking for one, I highly recommend Gillian. She really was awesome.

Gillian does have drop-in boot camp classes on Sundays at 10am at her studio ($15 or 10 classes for $100), so I want to start going to those. If anyone wants to come along with me I am all for that! We can have a bootcamp party.

Overall it was a really great experience and I am sad it’s over. But I know Gillian and I will remain friends.


So I am looking forward to seeing her in a more leisurely setting!


10 responses to “All Aboard the Gill Train

  1. I’m so glad you that you had such a positive experience. I had a lot of fun working with you. You definitely have gotten some great results out of all your hard work!

  2. You should keep doing it! Seriously, personal training is the best thing I do to keep in shape. I know it’s a money expenditure but it’s worth it for your healthy. And you’ll keep seeing those results and that’s super fun.
    The personal trainer lover

  3. Haha Lindsey you crack me up! This blog is totally awesome (just like our girl Gillian!) and yah, inchworms are the WORST. As if I don’t get enough of Gill already, I choose to go to her bootcamps on Sundays too – shockingly, she makes us sweat like crazy there too. Sometimes more than in the actual sessions because it’s the only workout of the week for some people who go so she makes them extra hard. You should come – I’ll be there this Sunday for sure!

  4. I also HATE the inchworms. The only thing I hate more than that is..hell, I don’t know how to describe it. It’s like you’re sitting down in a V position and then you twist back and forth with your elbows to each side. That explanation was awful and I’m not artistic so you’ll just have to trust me on this one.

  5. Im all up to joining you at bootcamp but i have arms like a noodle! Also, 10am?? ergh

  6. Hi! So really random (and late) comment but I have recently found the answer to my workout needs. I have no problem motivating myself to work out but do have issues with actually WORKING when I’m working out (i.e. I will lazily elliptical or something). Have you ever tried at home DVD workouts? The only motivation you need is to get it in the DVD player and then someone is yelling at you what to do. Just a thought! Plus, now that you’re living with Evan, it’s something you could maybe do together?

    • This is not a bad idea… I have all the Carmen Electra striptease DVD’s, haha. I wonder if I could get Evan to do those with me. One of them is actually a really good workout and I used to do that quite regularly, but still it’s easy to do the “Nah, not right now” thing and turn it off. I will have to look into it though, maybe I can find one I really like. Fitness classes are good too, Body Pump is my FAVOURITE. All you have to do is show up and you are guaranteed a good workout.

  7. Oh, Body Pump is my favorite too! But unfortunately not all gyms have it 😦 I am doing the Insanity workouts right now, and it is crazy crazy hard but I have seen very good results. And b/c its so hard, taking off multiple days in a row is a BAD idea since it will just make the next workout harder if that makes any sense (but I still cannot do that craziness 6 days in a row like you are supposed to). Shaun T. is kinda awesome and a great motivator.

  8. I am the worst for motivating myself! I usually have about a week of good workout/healthy eating days, and then I go back to laziness and junk. I’ve purchased a Kinect and some fun games to go with it. DVDs that I do enjoy are Jillian Michaels, specifically The 30 Day shred and Banish Fat Boost Metabolism. They are also super cheap on Amazon!

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