getting buff

Thursday, April 13, 2006

working the weights

Last night was my first night on my new gym program and I certainly noticed a difference. I joined the gym a couple of weeks earlier and until I was able to have a fitness assessment and program done, I was just doing basically cardio trying to improve some aerobic fitness prior to getting into it seriously.

I feel like I have totally lucked my way into a great gym. I joined a local meathead iron pumping gym even though it was a little seedy because it was damn cheap (less than half what I paid the last abortive time I joined majorly intimidating fitness first - more about that later). The other reason was that it is close to where I live (under one minute in the car). This means even if I don't have the car (which happens from time to time), I can easily get there on the bike (which would admittedly be the first time that I have actually used the bike since I volunteered six months ago to look after it while my younger sister was in Japan).

The day after joining I came down with a cold which knocked me out for four days. So the first time I turned up for a workout, I found out that the gym had changed ownership. So in the last couple of weeks they have reorganised the place, built a new aerobics room, cleaned out a bunch of crap and have even started redecorating. It looks like it is going to be a really nice place and plus I got the cheap deal from the evidently greedy ex-owners who were trying to encourage as many people to sign up and pay up front before settlement. Smiles all round.

The gym owners are really lovely. It makes such a difference to walk in a place and have people know your name and ask how you are going. Plus because it is all new they are mega keen to treat everyone really well and create a fantastic environment. Which is all very nice as well. As part of my membership I get a fitness assessment every 6-8 weeks and a new gym program. I am really pleased about this because even though I am happy to self motivate, I do need a little bit of guidance as to what to do to get the most out of my sessions and not get too bored.

My first program is a "beginner's" program. I have four (or five) exercises with weights (machines or free weights) and then 30 minutes cardio with particular instructions for the heart rate to aim at. Last night I pushed myself pretty hard on the weights (even doing some grunts and groans trying to get those last couple of reps out). So by the time that I got to the cardio I was already pretty tired out and my heart rate was already well up there. So even just doing the same intensity of cardio as I was before, by the time I finished, I was absolutely cactus. Of course then I had to go and do more killer cool down ab and back exercises.

As I was walking out my trainer said that I looked like I had had a good workout. I responded with the frank assessment that I felt like shit. He said that was a good sign and was very encouraging about the heart rate that I had acheived in my cardio work. It doesn't take much to make me feel pretty happy with myself. So even my sore muscles today are a bit of an internal sign of achievement because I know that means that the muscles are rebuilding themselves from the workout that they got last night. Woot.


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