Blog Number 11 - 5/14/10

Using an Elliptical Machine is Way Harder Than it Looks
At 11.30 Friday morning, I strode into Anytime Fitness on Cordata Parkway, shook hands with my trainer Brian Hargrove, took a questionnaire, did a few supposedly 'light, warm-up exercises' and discovered just how unfit I really am.

Anytime Fitness on Cordata Parkway looks really cool. I don't have much to compare it with, not being in the habit of going to gyms, but it appears very state-of-the-art to me. Inside the 4,000sqft facility are dozens of those impressive but slightly scary-looking exercise machines that regular gym-goers look so comfortable on but which do nothing to hide my awkwardness and, indeed, total lack of conditioning.
I'm here to test the 'Dynamic Golf Training' course ($299 for eight sessions with a personal trainer, plus 24/7 access to the gym for 30 days) at the end of which I will, according to the brochure, 1) feel less pain while playing, 2) be able to play more often and, most importantly, 3) play better. Lofty goals to be sure, but after just one session, I'm pretty confident my trainers; Brian Hargrove and gym-owner Anthony Hamilton, are going to pull it off.
Why? For one, Hamilton and Hargrove both look the part. They are obviously super-fit, and Hamilton clearly isn't just a business owner, but a man who walks his talk. Second, the brochure, which describes the course as a 'Powerful Golf Weight-Training Program' dismisses convincingly the legitmate concerns of participants - that by lifting weights they might bulk up and consequently lose flexibility, tempo and feel in their swing.
Having observed Tiger Woods's metamorphosis from geeky ectomorph to ripped powerhouse and his accompanying 14 major championship victories, I suspect Hamilton is correct in saying that lifting weights won't be detrimental but will actually benefit one's co-ordination, flexibililty and feel. And anyway, let's not delude ourselves here; eight sessions is not going to turn this 160-pounder into a 220lb golfing brute who stamps his authority on the course with 320-yard drives and 190-yard 7-irons.
I have a feeling the next four weeks are going to be quite tough and will expose a rather upsetting lack of strength, mobility and stamina.
Still, it'll also be fun (at times) and if I can check off even one of the brochure's three great promises, then I will consider the effort totally worthwhile.

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