So it’s been about a week and a half, since Liz and I joined a gym and started working out. Last Wednesday, I had an actual training session with my trainer (Lorenzo), and it left me pretty beat up. He started me on the treadmill at a really relaxed place, just to get my blood going and my heart beating. After about 5 minutes of this, we started the workout.
FYI I’m doing my workouts mostly in the mornings, at 6AM. So far, it’s been working out pretty well (though I do need to get blog stuff done the night before, sometimes).
We worked on a machine that focused on my chest. Imagine yourself sitting with your arms extended outwards from your side, so that your body forms a T. The machine had two handles that were on a wire, and the whole motion consisted of pulling your hands together, in front of your chest.
While I was able to do a moderate amount of weight, after a few repetitions… it became harder and harder. Lorenzo kept on reducing the weight until (and this is embarassing) it was on the lowest setting. That process was… really humbling.
After that, we went upstairs into an area of the gym that’s the most intimidating to me. The free weights are up there, and typically there are some large men lifting what look to be uncomfortable amounts of weights. I think the more I’m there, the more comfortable I’ll be… but I’m definitely self-conscious everytime I walk through there.
Lorenzo and I went to one of the back studios. There, we did this thing where I was on my knees and catching a medicine ball he threw at me. My job was to catch the ball, throw it back, then drop down and do a pushup. Again, this is embarassing as I wanted to do more… but all the energy in my arms seemed to have disappeared. After only doing a few, I went to push up and it’s weird to describe, but it felt like I didn’t find anything in my arms. If that makes sense.
After that, we worked on two more machines in the upstairs area. One was similar to the first machine, except this one had joystick like handles, and used jointed arms as opposed to wire. The other was a bit like being inside the powerloader from the movie Aliens, in that it felt like I was sitting *inside* the actual machine. For this one the goal was to grab the handles (which were closer to your body), and push outward.
We ended the session by doing some core training. One exercise involved me looping my feet through a large sized rubber band. Laying on my back, Lorenzo would pull in one direction and I was to provide resistance in the other direction. 30 seconds at a time. In the last 5 seconds, Lorenzo always pulled a little harder. Sneaky guy.
The final exercise involved me with my back against the wall, lowering myself until I was in a sitting position. I was to hold this for as long as possible. Again, I don’t think I lasted all that long. After 30 seconds, Lorenzo came over and put his hands on my shoulders… and pushed down, forcing me to provide even more resistance upward.
Though I was a little sore after the workout, the next day I was definitely feeling it in my muscles. The killer though was not one, but two days after the workout. I hadn’t done much stretching, and as a result I was in a constant state of discomfort. I was really irritable around Liz on Friday. In fact, I felt so uncomfortable that I was tempted to leave work on Friday morning, and just go home and lie down. My back was causing me so much discomfort that the mere act of sitting was just really unpleasant.
Thankfully though, the aching has passed (at least until the next time I do a workout). Last Friday, I went in and did the stair machine. Lorenzo told me to do 10 minutes, 2 minutes off, another 10 minutes, 4 minutes off, and another 5 minutes. I didn’t get close.
I was able to last 10 minutes (which surprised the hell out of me, honestly), and took a longer break. I was able to go another 2:30 before stopping and resting. And after that was able to do another 2:30. The whole time I saw others around me who were climbing stairs for what seemed like 20+ minutes at a stretch. It’s hard for me to fathom it.
On Sunday, I went back to the gym with Liz in the morning. My plan is to work out 3 times a week, but Lorenzo suggested that I try 4. I balked, but this past weekend decided to give it a go. It was a shorter workout on Sunday, where I just did the stair machine again. This time around, I lasted a minute longer.
On Monday, I missed my appointment for my regular session. We had to reschedule, and I had forgotten we were going to workout from 5 – 6AM. Yeah. In hindsight, I now realize how crazy this was… and I no longer believe I can actually make a 5AM workout time. So though I showed up ready to work, Lorenzo was already booked. So I hit the treadmill for about 30 minutes, and ran and walked and ran and walked for as long as I could.
Sorry this is a bit of a ramble. I will say this though: for all the work and hassle of going in 3- 4 times a week, I do feel a lot better, and really do feel like I have more energy. So far, so good.