As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am gifting myself self-care this 2019 and a major part of achieving that goal is getting my body back into shape. There’s no question that when my body is healthy, my overall aura is better and more open to receive the blessings around me. Since December, I have posted my fitness journey using free and unsponsored exercise apps. Eventually, I added free exercise videos posted on YouTube.com as well. Since my New York trip, my exercise routine has gotten stagnant and I wanted to yield better result. So, when I heard about a free fitness training session at my local gym, I eventually gave it a go. My target is to properly use the weight machines and set a workout routine with someone who is more knowledgeable than I.
Going to the gym is not my thing. It just isn’t. Not only do I have to drive there and lose my motivation during the drive, the indoor workout environment really does not suit me, which is why I prefer to run outdoors or opt to do yard work where I still get my exercise but I also get to check off two things in my to-do list. After all, there’s just so much time in a day to get things done. So, this is a lot of effort for me to go; however, having someone waiting for me to show up is motivation enough. Once I’m there, I make good use of my time and really work.
While toning my body is my obvious motivation for lifting weights, there is an hidden agenda lurking behind my motivation as well. It is called Sarcopenia. Sarcopenia is muscle loss due to aging. I’m not afraid to admit it, I’m old and aging by the second. So lifting weight is not only beneficial to decrease muscle loss, it also up the ante for burning calories because muscle burns calories just for existing! Love it! And we know I consume too much calories – check my Insta – which is why the need to exercise.
Pros of working out in a gym
- It’s cheaper than buying my own equipment for home use, where space is also a factor, especially if gym is free to utilize.
- Being within a community of others working out is a good motivator, plus some are quite supportive.
- Air-conditioned room, especially enticing during the summer months.
- Weather friendly. Hard to workout in the rain. Plus, I can only do so much yard work for exercise. Haha
- Possible productive bonding session with fam and friends.
- Time consumption: ie. Separate workout session with my GSD; extra time to prep before an errand after.
- Additional gas expense, esp. since AC will most likely be on.
- Cost, if not free.
- Stagnant air.
- Decrease in fresh air and natural vitamin D absorption.
My target areas are my arms and abdominal. Everything else I tone is a plus. I am hoping the gym will help me prepare for our summer cruise family vacation. Here’s my 1st day pic. Taking pics on the workout floor is prohibited, which is great because we all deserve not to have unapproved ugly pics posted online, however accidental.
My week session
I went 3 times to the gym this week on 3 consecutive days for about an hour each because my trainer was available only on those days this week. I was worried about being overworked going 3 days in a row since it is a targeted exercise but she promised I’d be fine. Okay, I’ll bite, I say. The decision is ultimately mine whether to go or not.
The first day was fairly easy. We talked about my personal goals and my fitness background. My main goal is to learn how to use the weight machines properly so that is what we targeted. I can do cardio on my own. Weight machines are a little intimidating for me which is why I try to avoid it when I’m at the gym. By having a fitness trainer, I am able to build my confidence in using them. She walked me through a series of fitness equipment mostly by Life Fitness.
I did just 1 set of 10 on each while she watched me maintain proper form on 30 lb. weight. Then, we switched to a “ski-like” machine for 3 minutes. I forget the name at the moment. This one was a bit painful having already done some arms workouts prior; but, I can definitely see how it will help tone my arms. Then, off to free weights to work the biceps and triceps. We ended with floor exercises on the mat to work on the abdominals.
The second day, I repeated the series of equipments independently but this time I did 3 sets of 10 on each machine. I walked on the treadmill for 15 mins to warm up first. I maintained my form while pushing or pulling the weight slowly to work the muscle more. After, my trainer set me on the mat and did floor exercise with me to target the core muscles, with and without bands. During the plank is when I felt the soreness on my core.
On the third day, my trainer was not in. She was called in to sub a class. She texted me to come in at a later time but I had an appointment and unable to. No biggie. I was getting comfortable with the machines and so I did the same as the second day. I warmed up for 10 minutes on an Assault stationary bike. I really like this machine. It’s like having my own fan while I work out. haha. It works both arms and legs, or if I prefer, one or the other. Doing just the arm reminds me of rowing.
After warm-up, I worked on each count slowly on each machine and focused on each muscle movement. I maintained the 30 lb. weight; although, I can tell, I can do heavier on some machines. I did some floor exercises too before leaving for my appointment. On the way to my car, I can feel some soreness on my legs from doing Leg Extensions.
There are definitely a whole lot more equipments to try and eventually I will set an alternating routine to give my body a rest. Another week of session starts next week.
Where to get the free fitness trainer session
I got mine at a military base, where the gym and group classes are free. They offer 4 free fitness sessions with a trainer for military dependents and retired military. More sessions are available for active duty personnel. For me, four days is sufficient to get an exercise routine situated. It’s free. I’m not going to complain. My trainer is available on the floor should I have more questions or need more assistance.
All I did was walked in at a military base gym and inquired. I filled up paperwork and set up a schedule to meet a trainer the week prior. Check out your local military base if you have access to one if you need some assist on achieving your fitness goals on a budget.
Some base gyms also allow for civilian sponsored guests for a fee, some not at all, just have to ask, if looking to have a friendly face in the crowd. Some gym offer free trials, just go ahead and ask. Some even offer promotional free 30-day membership. They do exist.
Goals for next week
I want to sit down with her and set a routine for me to follow. I work best when I can see what I need to get done, as opposed to winging it and doing what I feel like doing. Having it on paper helps motivate me.
She will also do some measurements. Technically, it was supposed to be done on the first week. No biggie.
I eat way more calories than I burn. So, in order for me to cut my abdominal, I will need to have a calorie deficit, most importantly, I need to decrease my carb intake. I’m not going to lie, carb is life for me! This one will be harder than working out.
If looking for a free access to a gym, there is a franchise gym giving free summer membership to teens nationwide and in Canada. Check my post here to read more about it.
Many experts will agree that correcting the diet plan first is the best way to tackle fitness; however, I love food and while I continue to pursue a more balance dietary consumption, I’ll work on at least burning some of the calories and stay agile. This is the first time I’ve sought the guidance of a fitness trainer ever. I had no expectations. I just remained open to her suggestions because really she’s the expert. An open communication is key so don’t be afraid to let your trainer know if you have concerns.
Fitness is a life long journey and perhaps mine is on a slower journey than some. That’s alright too. The important thing is that I’m proactively working on achieving my goals. I will take what motivational queues I find to inspire the continuation of, especially on a budget. I’m looking forward to a more fitter body.
Until next time.