Blog Number 23 - 6/2/10

anytimefitnesslogo250I'm over halfway through the Dynamic Golf Training course at Anytime Fitness. Appropriately, Brian (Hargrove, my personal trainer) having taken me through the off-season workout, is now focusing on pre-season exercises; those that aim to get my body into golfing mode prior to the arrival of continued sunshine. It features a set of drills designed to prevent the body from behaving too strangely and feeling decidedly ill at ease when you uncover the driver for the first time and try to unleash a 300-yard cannon. Ideally, he says, one would begin the pre-season routine six to eight weeks before starting to play regularly.
I start with the usual warm up - ten minutes on the elliptical thingymabob, although I'm beginning to feel so comfortable on the thing now, I manage to tag on an extra five minutes. I alight from the machine feeling a little more than merely warmed up, but there is no pain and I no longer pant like a dog.
On to the first exercise which, according to the course literature, is the Deadlift with Straight Legs. There is a problem, however. The notes state this particular exercise should only be attempted by those that are 'very proficient at a Deadlift and have very good core and leg strength'. 
Needless to say, Brian revises the exercise for me. In fact, he does more than just revise it; he dismisses it altogether, instructing me to perform a Hamstring Curl instead. Then comes the Shoulder Press - Standing with Dumbell in which two 10lb dumbells are held at shoulder height with knees flexed then the arms thrust upwards as the legs straighten. It's easy to begin with, of course. But anything between ten and 20 repetitions are called for, and after about #12 my muscles begin to wobble. If they had voice they'd undoubtedly be shouting 'For crying out loud Tony, enough already!'.
That doesn't sound very technical of course but it is, says Brian, pretty much what's happening. 'Your muscles are basically telling you they are no longer able to function properly, so it's time to stop,' he says.
I do...for a minute - just long enough for a quick glance out the window to watch the world rush by on West Kellogg Road and a quick gulp of purple-colored Gatorade which is foul certainly, but a marked improvement on that revolting sour melon Powerade I tried last week (what's wrong with plain old water actually?).
Then it's straight back to another repetition of the Hamstring Curl and Shoulder Press - Standing with Dumbell.
Eight more exercises including the Full Body Rotation with Medicine Ball and Row - Bent Over One Arm (on bench) follow, each done twice 15 times.
That sounds like an awful lot of exercises, and it is. The Dynamic Golf Training course is pretty full on. While you sweat and move from one exercise or stretch to the next in quick fashion, the powerlifters all around you (guys with arms as thick as my thighs and thighs as thick as my golf bag) might perform one lift. What they lift in that one moment, however, may be the equivalent of what I lift in a week, so we'll let it go.
A funny thing happens while I'm working out. As the sweat accumulates around my neck, and the muscles begin to wobble, I actually start feeling far less fatigued than I do on non-workout days. I'm puffed but ready for more. Many of the exercises are physically demanding, but Brian is always there to say that's enough for now, a few more, or pump it up you lazy lily-livered good-for-nothing sloth (he doesn't say that, of course, I just imagine it). He credits the reduced fatigue to a rush of endorphins, and high-fives me as we bring another session to a close.
It's a stretch, but I almost feel like I belong. I don't quite have the gym swagger down yet, and I'm not yet able to smile or talk whilst exercising like other people do. Plus, I've had to revert to a ten-year-old pair of training pants because that $12 pair I bought at Fred Meyer last week has already shrunk in the wash and is now being used as a washcloth.
But I continue to enjoy it, and can definitely feel the benefits. If you're serious about your game - your health in general in fact - I'd seriously consider signing up.

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