Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Gym

I have been going to the gym three times a week for the past 3 weeks. Instead of losing weight, I am gaining weight. How does THAT work?

I went a couple of times in late October, once with my husband, and once by myself to get the "orientation" meeting with a personal trainer. This "orientation" consisted of asking questions about my health (valid), getting my weight (valid), figuring out my BMI (valid), calculating my body fat percentage (valid), showing me 3 or 4 machines (valid), doing some stretches (valid), and then going into the hard sell about how I should spend more a year for personal training services than I do for the actual gym membership (NOT valid). I tried to ask on three separate occasions if I could just see a trainer for an hour every 3 months or so, just to fine tune my workout. The trainer/used car salesperson completely dodged the question and kept telling me what a good deal the training package would be for me. It angered me enough to keep me away for almost two months.

If personal trainers want to have the respect due professionals, they should not whore themselves out like that. Because of the courses I took in college, I have more than a nodding acquaintance with principles of human physiology, and so I am not stupid. I hate being treated like I am stupid.

I know that the exercise is supposed to make me more energetic, but that "feature" is slow to kick in for me. So far, all I am is tired and sore. I am not overdoing it, I am increasing my activity slowly, and increasing weight in a manageable manner. But all I am is tired and hungry. Oh well, this too shall pass.

Here is what I have been doing (sample two weeks) 1M Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Lats, Chest, Pectorals, and 25 minutes on the bike at 70-80% capacity (Avg HR between 140-150). 1W Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Hip Abductors, Hip Adductors, Lower Back, Abs, Obliques, and 25 minutes on the bike. 1F same as 1M. 2M same as 1W. 2W same is 1M, 2F same as 1W.

I think I need to add one more cardio session in each week, so that I am going 4 times a week, assuring that I am allowing my body to recover, and that I am not overdoing it. I have to be concerned with a number of issues. First, I have asthma, and must be cognizant of my breathing. Second, I have a heart murmur, and some mitral valve regurgitation, so I need to keep my heart rate in check. Thirdly, I have to make sure that what I am doing is not putting too much of a load on my artificial hip. Finally, I need to be careful with my lower back, strengthening it slowly, so I do not re-injure it (I have had back surgery).

The thing I hate the most is that it takes so much time to start seeing any real results. I know it has not been that long, but I wish there were noticeable signs I could see. I am motivated by results, and the results are slow in showing up.

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