Tag Archives: gym

Not a Gym Rat

Like I’ve written before, I do not enjoy exercise just for its own sake.  Sure, I recognize the benefits to health and fitness.  To be motivated, I need to be entertained in some way.  Music or video doesn’t do it.  I would rather hike up and down a mountain all day than get on a treadmill for 30 minutes.  Exercise has never been my highest priority.  If I am given a choice between social/happy hour or a dinner with fun people and a workout session, the exercise session will never win.  I’ve never been nor will I ever be a gym rat.

Since I embarked on my transformation last fall, I have been spending small, but consistent, amounts of time on a classic NordicTrack and performing sit-ups and push-ups.  When I reached a weight I historically considered sustainable, but still had (have) 8-10 pounds to lose, I decided to move to phase 2.  I needed to step up the exercise, much as I dislike it, to meet my weight and fitness goals.

I knew the big box gyms wouldn’t work for me (been there, wasn’t impressed), so I researched alternatives.  I found a locally owned gym that specializes in customized, personal training options.  I took advantage of a marketing offer and gave it a try.  The first meeting was an information and requirements gathering session.  Erik, the gym owner (also a trainer), asked questions about my fitness background, eating and exercise habits, current weight and fitness goals, and schedule availability.  He recommended a trainer and we scheduled the first gym session.

I admit, I was feeling a bit cocky about what I accomplished on my own over a long, long, winter in the Upper Midwest.  The first couple of personal training sessions involved assessment and refining of goals – setting a baseline.  When I came to the first, real workout session, I came face to face with reality.  Yes, I had accomplished great things on my own.  However, I had gaps in my flexibility and was out of balance with quadricep (dominant) and gluteus muscles.  In the short time I’ve been working with Chris, the personal trainer, I have learned more about body and muscle awareness than I ever did from participating in gymnastics and swimming/diving in my youth.  I have also learned how to keep my now slightly arthritic and spurred right shoulder loose and increase its strength.  With just a couple of personal training sessions and applying those concepts at home, I am already experiencing positive changes.  I’m filling the gaps and learning the skills to maintain more complete body fitness.  Admittedly, personal training services are not inexpensive.  If a person partners with a friend or small group, the services become much more reasonable.

The fitness industry has changed significantly since the 20th century.  For example, I discovered the foam roller.  It’s a very simple concept – use a firm foam cylinder to massage tight muscles.  In the past, I was always very flexible; but, it seems 25 years of sitting at a keyboard has changed that and I am now working to regain posture and flexibility.

When used properly, a person can obtain the equivalent of a deep tissue massage with a foam cylinder.  Below is one example, but there are many more.

The local sports retail chain sells one size and brand for significantly higher cost than online retailers.  Shop around – you will not be sorry.  It’s the greatest thing!