So I met with the trainer today. Apparently, today was a get to know me and figure out why I even want personal training day, so no charge.
His qualifications: He's certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and has been for 5 years. He works part time as a trainer and as a cycling instructor at my gym, as well as being a soccer coach in a local prep league. His primary job is as a purchasing agent in the athletic department here. And he is, I confirmed, old enough to be my father, as he's just barely shy of twice my age.
He asked me why I was looking at a personal trainer, what my athletic history was, what my goals were (both specific fitness ones and general appearance ones), what my current workouts are like, how often and for how long I'm willing to work out, and asked what I thought I struggled with -- though next week, when he puts me through a fitness evaluation, we'll see what I actually struggle with. He also asked which types of cardio I do, and what generally causes me to stop -- for example, my lungs give out when I run, I just generally feel tired after half an hour of high intensity on an elliptical, my legs start to burn on a stationary bike, with a rowing machine I just feel sore all over if I've been doing strength training that day, and with swimming I end up slowing down which makes it harder to breathe properly.
I told him I was looking to add some mass to my chest and back, add an inch or two to my vertical leap, improve my cardio health so I can manage a 25 minute 5k and a 6 minute mile, and increase my hamstring flexibility so I can touch my toes without bending my knees. I'm hoping to get to 165 pounds with 10% or so body fat, and am looking for a diver's build: lean, defined muscles, no vascularization. I explained that my arms and shoulders seem to be a weak link for a lot of multijoint exercises, and explained both my exercise-induced asthma and my recent battle with mono. As for my athletic history: tennis in high school, fencing in college, volleyball in grad school, with tennis and racquetball thrown in when I can find a partner. Weights began at the age of 24, and took me a year and a half to gain 15 pounds.
From this, he's currently planning on having me do strength training 3-4 days a week, 45-60 minutes at a time, with a full body routine rather than splits. He said he thinks my goals will be best met with explosive work: plyometrics, an odd cage-like apparatus at the gym where you start out in a squat and push up to standing on your toes holding weight-bearing handles over your head while leaning forward, and the like. He also seems to think that a BOSU ball will become a substantial part of my routine, to engage my abs in ways that are useful on a court and in life, not just on a mat.
Whee! I'm all excited to see how this is going to pan out.