Blog 44 - Last Visit to Anytime Fitness


Me and Andre Agas...Brian
I am finished at Anytime Fitness. That is to say I've completed the Dynamic Golf Training course. I'll definitely be going back at some point because, despite not really being the most enthusiastic of gym-goers, I enjoyed working out at Anytime Fitness immensely.
My trainer Brian Hargrove must take most of the credit for that. I've mentioned how thoroughly professional, knowledgable and personable he is in this blog several times, but yesterday his star rose further still when he mentioned he had been selected as the strength and conditioning coach for the USA Under-20 rugby team. It's pretty cool knowing your trainer is a national team coach, even if you also know the slowest, least coordinated player he'll be working with is twice the athlete you'll ever be. Did I say twice the athlete? Sorry, that probably does that particular player a massive injustice.
Anyway, vacation, work and all the rest of it had prevented me from visiting the gym for three weeks. But I had been careful to practice some of the moves Brian had taught me every day, albeit for a few minutes. As Brian had mentioned repeatedly, a few minutes a day is far preferable to sitting on your lazy backside doing nothing, and consistentcy is so important to making what exercise time you do get worthwhile. 'You just gotta keep moving,' he'd say. So, despite the gap between sessions seven and eight, it wasn't like I went into yesterday's workout completely cold.
And the improvement my body has seen these last few weeks became readily apparent just a few minutes into the standard warm-up on the elliptical machine. When I began the course, I not only had trouble actually remaining upright on the darned thing, I also generated an alarming amount of sweat, and felt significant pain in my left leg. It typically took less than a minute to reach my target heart rate of 145bpm, and five minutes in the old ticker was beating so rapidly and I was feeling so ill-at-ease I'd have to slow down or alight from the machine altogether, puffing and wheezing like a little engine that probably shouldn't have tried.
Bear in mind I've never smoked, and stopped drinking like an uncommonly thirsty fish fifteen years ago. In fact, I barely touch alcohol at all these days. Simply by adhering to the early 21st Century sedentary lifestyle (and having one or two medical complaints), my body had grown more used to sitting in front of a computer for eight or more hours a day than pursuing some athletic endeavor. I grew up an avid sportsman (in England, that means I played several sports, not that I fished or hunted), playing soccer, rugby, cricket, golf, field hockey, table tennis etc. Basically if there was a ball involved, I'd either be hitting it, throwing it, or catching it. These days, I play as much golf as I can, and throw a baseball at my son (yes, he knows it's coming) but that's about all the exercise I get.
I certainly wasn't overweight prior to starting at Anytime Fitness, because my genes are such that I'd need to eat a dozen cream doughnuts every day for a year and be lifted into bed each night - I couldn't walk there myself because that would burn off all the calories I'd just gained - for me to add a pound or two to my seemingly underfed frame (I appreciate many people would kill for a genetic code like that, but it's equally frustrating not to be able to put weight on). But neither was I physically fit.
Back to the elliptical machine though - Yesterday, I was still going strong when the ten minutes were up, and I didn't reach 145bpm until six minutes had elapsed. Twisting while holding a medicine ball at arm's length was noticeably easier, and I was using a heavier ball this time. I was able to raise my upper body a little higher when doing sit-ups and the backward lunges were, dare I say it, a piece of cake.
I'm still not in optimum shape, of course. Following the diet restrictions (actually, Brian told me to eat more) and continuing to do the exercises for months, if not years, is the only way I'll ever achieve the level of flexibility, strength and stamina I'd like to have. Duplicating Tiger Woods's torso is an unlikely dream and a very long way off, but I'll never get there if I don't start.
In the meantime, do I feel stronger, more flexible and have more stamina that I did two months ago? You bet.
Do I think I'll play better golf as a result? Absolutely. 


Add comment

Security code