Blog Number 16 - 5/21/10

I attribute not being much interested in fancy, hi-tech exercise machines and strutting round a gym in fancy hi-tech exercise gear (I did actually buy a pair of Russell Athletic training pants for $12 from Fred Meyer last week) to the fact I was cursed with a body best described as 'kinda funny-looking'. I'm tall (6'3") and very slim (okay, skinny) and have a hard time adding so much as a pound to my 165-lb frame. A doctor once told me to drink more beer if, indeed, that was the only thing that helped me gain weight. It worked for a while, right up until the time another doctor told me to stop because the tiny increases in weight probably weren't worth the damage I was doing to my liver (his actual words were more like 'You're doing what!!????**&!!).
But I digress. The plain and simple truth of the matter is that I have always felt decidely awkward in gyms, at least the few I've been in.
Here's the thing though; I am absolutely loving going to Anytime Fitness and working out with Brian Hargrove, my personal trainer during the eight-session 'Dynamic Golf Training' course. I've been twice now and while I still don't feel terribly comfortable (I wouldn't go as far as to call it a phobia, more of a complex) I am actually looking forward to going back. Who knew exercising could be fun?
I think there are two main reasons for this; Brian is not only a nice guy he's also very professional and assesses carefully which are the most suitable exercises for me given my health (or rather lack of it) and history of training (or rather lack...).
He started by putting me on a new diet. Well, he advised me to up my daily calorie count to about 2,600, with 400 grams of carbs. He said to eat five or six meals a day and then told me my BMR Total was 1,775.35. Naturally, I forgot what that meant moments after Brian told me, but now with the aid of Google I know it's my Basal Metabolic Rate which indicates how many calories I need a day to perform normal bodily functions - not how many I need to play golf for which I will obviously require several hundred more. As for the working-out part, I start each session with ten minutes on an elliptical machine which I don't think should be quite as hard as they are. I put on a brave face, but by the fifth or sixth minute I am really beginning to feel it in my legs, especially the left one which I have always regarded as a bit rubbish. Shotly after finishing and getting my heart beat up to 144 bpm (haha, I know that means Beats Per Minute), Brian appears with a medicine ball, a Swiss ball, a three-foot long white foam cyclinder, a mat, and a metal bar. He asks how I'm doing and if I'm in any pain. 'Not yet,' I say.
A series of well-directed exercises follows, and when I say well-directed I mean efficient exercises that clearly work the part of the body they are meant to without the need for 500 repetitions. I feel stretched, looser, more alert, and yes a little puffed too. But I don't collapse to the ground gasping for oxygen.
Perhaps I should, I don't know. But I do know it's working and that I am going to be a fitter, stronger, more flexible person at the end of it.
Session No. 3 'Weight-Training' is early next week. I'm concerned about falling backwards with a 15lb dumbell in my hand, but I'm also excited about the improvement in my overall health, not to say golf game, that Brian says will result from lifting these weights. Bring'em on!


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