Yourself and Your Personal Trainer
you sit atop a cycle going nowhere and wonder if you might be better
off on the stair-stepper going in the same general direction. Looking
around as you pedal like a child but with a lot less enthusiasm,
second thoughts about the gym scene sneak into your mind. You glance
at your watch, again, and check your pulse, again. It's still beating
you conclude for the fifth time in five minutes and you wonder where
all the sweat comes from. You're tempted to glance at your watch
once more and find that you are, in fact, staring at the thing in
is exercise? Is this what I've got to do to get in shape? I'm huffing
and puffing... I'm condemned and I signed up for a year. I want
a Popsicle. Whoa... easy does it... relax. Don't lose your cool
in front of all these neat people. That's better... we're in this
for the long haul. You and me, buddy. Ain't nobody gonna shut us
down. I'm talking to myself. Oh, great. There are two of us. Anybody
else want to join the nutso party?
on. Breathing is beginning to level out. Notice that? The shoulders
and arms are performing less like bamboo and I'm feeling a rhythm.
Takes a few minutes, maybe. The body, my body, is generating a charge
and my pace is picking up. I think I'm doing it. We're doing it.
This is a breeze. It's those endorphin things we've been reading
about. Feelin' good, lookin' good and movin' on. You and me, buddy.
What a team.
minutes on the bike and the gym takes on different color. The busy
sights and sounds are less distracting and you're a lot less self-conscious.
The intimidation factor diminishes. You're warmed up and can see
clearly. Now you can get to work, lifting the weights and tugging
on the equipment. That's where it's at. The iron and steel. But,
I shall make a plain and simple statement, a truth that you can
count on. What you need to know and do to progress toward your goals
is basic and uncomplicated. You can in one attentive lesson learn
the six or eight exercises you need to know, what muscles they work
and how to do them. The rest is up to you: to practice and apply
yourself, to observe yourself in the act of exercising, to focus,
to be diligent and to be confident that you are improving day after
day, workout after workout.
stumbling blocks are inevitable. We want things sooner and better
and easier. Be patient.
compare what we do to what he or she does and decide what we're
doing must be wrong. Be confident.
stand outside the activity as if it were without style or appeal
and therefore miss the involvement and play and muscular action.
get bored and think of the entertainments of life. Commitment is
whine, "There must be an easier, less demanding way." Be courageous.
greedy, neurotic, selfish and want power, now. Persevere. The rewards
are daily if we dare to press on. Humility, I am told, is one of
them. We're bothered and bewildered with the task before us. Stress
kills as sure as cyanide. Relax. It's your set. Stress reduction
is a brilliant benefit derived from pushing the iron and lifting
curious and want to know the "why" of the matter. Good, but seldom
does intricate knowledge in sport outweigh intense application.
I have seen more muscle-building experts spout the fascinating biochemical
features of cellular growth and the anatomical exactness of fiber
activity within the infra- and supra-spinatus while their bellies
bulged. Be intuitive and instinctive, feel and focus. Work.
You might want to do this: The above plain and trustworthy statement
of simplicity can be best demonstrated by a thoughtful instructor.
If your gym offers some basic instruction, take advantage of it
and become familiar with your surroundings. This will give you the
opportunity to adjust to the place, the people, time, space and
your inherent ability without a too-soon, too-stiff commitment to
a hired personal trainer. Get a sense of balance as your mind wanders
and wonders. Experiment with this and that by reading the placards
attached to the gizmos. Spy on the more experienced members and
mimic them using playful weights. Be easy on your old partner as
you scope out the joint out together. Share a few aches and pains.
You're no dummies.
strong. As you practice, observe and make mental notes you'll recognize
the interesting changes the body, mind and emotions go through.
Maturity is my favorite word in describing the process as you continue
the journey. The first month is a defining period for you. Within
these days you'll gain a clearer picture of who you are and where
Perhaps now you can employ a trainer who knows your elbow from your
wrist: Someone with integrity and common sense who can evaluate
you and set up a program to suit your needs. It will not require
rocket science for your first blast off and three sessions should
serve you sufficiently if you have an affinity for training and
the instructor has skill. You can arrange a monthly or bi-monthly
meeting for re-evaluation and a routine upgrade. This plan offers
on-going counsel and accountability while sparing your independence
and pocket book.
trainers can be trendy. They can be under-muscled kids who got a
certification attending some weekend seminar in San Jose. They can
be mutts, pedigrees, hound dogs or pets. Experience, substance,
respect and responsibility are sweet qualities to beg for. Chemistry
the internal language you and your trainer share is
so much to say. Alas, my time and space have run out.
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