Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Almost Too Tired to Post

So I've recently (yesterday) begun training with Frank the Personal Trainer at a small gym in Santa Barbara. Initially, my motivation for going was the upcoming wedding in June, but since I've been looking at gyms and trainers, I have narrowed my focus to smaller goals like my pants fitting better, my flexibility increasing and a better range of motion. I don't have a set weight-goal for June, but I want to be confident and comfortable. (Frank ---->)

Yesterday Frank the Personal Trainer and I completed an assessment which consisted of questions ("What brings you here? What are your goals? Any health issues? What do you eat?") and some exercises to evaluate where I am in my fitness level. Oh yeah, and the ever-awesome weigh-in and body measurements. It turns out my flexibility, posture, and balance are better than perhaps they normally would be for someone in the shape ('shape' being 'round') I'm in. My coordination of course could use some improvement (no surprise there)! So one hour, 12 push-ups, and 20 sit-ups later, I was dismissed with an appointment for 11am the next day (today). Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night - sore stomach muscles had yelped when I rolled over in my sleep and it woke me up! From only those 20 crunches and 12 push-ups. It really hit home (at 3:00am) that my time with Frank was long overdue and remarkably important.

I was pretty excited when I was on my way to the gym this morning because we were beginning the real 'fun'. Frank is a great trainer and has very realistic expectations for me. My hour of power went like this:
We began by introducing me to the treadmill. I had explained to him that I had never been on one mostly because of all those videos where the person stops or trips and flies off and hits the wall behind them....and the walls of the gym are brick!! I thought for sure with my famous lack of coordination I would on the next episode of America's Funniest Gym Security Videos. He started me off slow, increasing the pace as I became stable. It wasn't so bad! For some reason, it was easier for me at higher inclines. After 20 minutes on the treadmill, we did 20 squats, 20 lunges, 20 squats, and 20 more lunges followed by something I never would have thought of myself and might be hard to explain. He had me climb onto the bottom weight on a rack of weights, standing on the balls of my feet. Holding onto the top of the rack for balance, I stretched my calves by sinking my heels down, the going up on my toes 20 times.
(<---- Illustration!!)

After that, we went to the machine (that I'm sure has a name) where you sit with your shins behind a padded bar and straighten your legs. 20 reps at 30# (well, 10 at 30# and 10 at 15#). At this point, my legs were beaten to the point of surrender and as I got off the machine they almost gave out. Whee!! Then we did the reverse of that machine where you lie on your stomach and the bar is behind your calves and you bring it up and kick yourself in the butt. 20 at 30# and 20 at 15#. That brought us to the end of legs for the day and we moved on to....back I guess.
I was introduced to the TRX something something something which as far as I can tell is just a ginormous rack with straps and handles. So you go up to it, plant your feet together and hang on to the handles (attached to the straps attached to the rack) and lean back as far as you can with your arms straight out in front. I was at about a 45 degree angle - Frank showed me how far you can go and he was at like, 20 degrees. Then you pull yourself upright, opening your arms in a rowing motion. I think I did 20 of these at perhaps 50 degrees and 20 at 45.
(<---More illustration. This is my actual gym btw)
Frank is so cheerful. Not obnoxious, Richard Simmons-status but encouraging and motivating and very un-Jillian Michaels. That being said, he was VERY excited for me to do some pull-ups which, like the treadmill, was a never-before situation. He showed me how one starts out - a GIIIIAANT rubber band (4 or 5 inches wide) was doohickied around the machine and I stood on that while doing my pull-ups. It takes the edge off your weight - sort of like carrying someone in a pool.....but a little less so. So I did....20 of those, with Frank helping on the last two so I could get my chin to the bar (which is like 7' in the air, btw).
(<----- NOT my actual gym :-p)
Lastly, we did core work which is what I still feel the most two-and-a-half hours later. Laying on my back, I had my legs and arms in the air and touched my hands and feet together (think hog-tied) 20 times. OW! Then I did the same thing but right elbow to left knee, left elbow to right knee 20 more times. Walking out of the gym felt like being drunk, having the flu, and being underwater all at once. Which leads me to say that if you have the flu, stay away from bourbon and swimming pools.

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