Sunday, January 10, 2010

A week in the life of a gym rat

"Alice, did you workout this week?"

"Just a little"

  • Went to the gym with Betty where we did something called 24-step class. Essentially, it was a step aerobics class with weights (a bar and some hand weights). It was a pretty fun, fast paced workout. Next time, I'll work with more weight though. I was thrilled because I'm stronger than I would have thought and overall, the workout was easy.
  • Met with the trainer at 24-Hour Fitness. What a jerk! He completely didn't listen to me AT ALL.
OK...I have to rant about this for awhile. I know it was an "orientation" the one they give to all new members. And I also know that the "typical" client who registers for a gym membership in January probably hasn't worked out in awhile. In any event, I met with the trainer and told him that I am a runner and that last year I ran four 1/2 marathon's, but that I had hurt myself, so my goal was to use the gym to maintain my cardio-fitness, and do some strength training. I made it clear that my primary goal was to become a stronger, better runner. I also mentioned that I was thinking about doing a triathlon in the spring or summer.

In other words, dude, I am a runner.

This, he ignored. First he had me hang onto some little machine that purportedly measured my body fat content (37%...thank you very much). I was not much surprised by this. I know I have some weight to lose. So, he made weight loss one of my goals ('s always a goal, but not my PRIMARY GOAL FOR JOINING THE GYM). He also lectured me for not using supplements. (I'm not opposed to supplements, per se, but I would want to talk to a nutritionist about this, not some 24-Hour Fitness trainer who has a vested interest in me buying Omega-3 supplements from him...GAH!)

Finally, we went to workout. He asked me if I ever work on my core and on balance. (uh, yeah, I do one legged squats off a bench or off a step 2 or 3 times a week). He pretty much ignored this too and had me balance on one leg, lift it forward, then do the other leg...yeah. I usually do 3-4 squats on one leg at different angles - front, side, back, behind, before switching legs. The guy made no comment other than saying that this should be challenging ( wasn't).

Then he asked me what I usually do when I get to the gym. I told him, warmup, stretch, and right now (because my freekin' goal is to maintain my cardio) I do 45 or so minutes on a bike or on the elliptical. Then I do some weights. He proceeded to tell me that my workout was all wrong. That I should do weights first and that I was doing too much cardio that I didn't need to do all that to lose weight.

Did you hear me dude? R.U.N.N.E.R....


When we went over to the weight machines, I told him I'd been doing some research, and I'd prefer to use free weights. He said the machines were just fine. Then fter watching me do 10 reps on one of the leg-lift machines, he told me that I was doing it all wrong.

I suggested to him that I'd prefer that he tell me how to do it right before I begin instead of having me do it first so he could tell me how I was doing it wrong.

Finally, he asked me if I be interested in signing up for three additional training sessions with him. Because in a "real" training session, he'd have me work harder.

I think not.

Now I certainly don't think I know it all about training, in fact, I don't know much, but I do know some things, and I would be very interested in learning more about how weight training can IMPROVE MY RUNNING AND CYCLING.

But mostly what I know is persuasion. It's what I teach my students. If his intention was to sell me some more personal training sessions, then he really needed to tell me how all of this was going to improve my running! (elementary sales theory dude).

((rolling eyes))

  • Tortured the rest of the country by posting beautiful, SoCal weather from the herd's fabulous morning bike ride.
  • Went to the gym with Betty again and worked the rowing machine at the gym for the first time. I had no idea how to even get the thing to work, but a really nice man next to me helped me out. Next time I'll try to go farther/faster and it seems like I should be doing something like windsprints (short bursts of speed, with a recovery time).
  • I think Anne and Glenn are mind-readers because both posted resources for rowing this week.
  • I've also uncovered Glenn's secret plan to turn all of us into part-time rowers (bwahahahahahahahaha).
  • I went to the gym workout with Betty again. I did 4 miles/45 minutes on the elliptical. I discovered that if I "run" on it, instead of using the handlebars, my foot doesn't fall asleep after 20 minutes.
  • Early Saturday morning, I went to the first workout for the San Diego Track Club's Rock and Roll Marathon Training Program. A good 600 people (at least) showed up to listen to all of the information. A part of the meeting that, with all due respect, took WAAAAAY too long. When I got bored, I took pictures. Here are Elise and me.
Elsie forgave me for neglecting to pick her up at her house. She was ready to run, hence the headphones.

BBJ signaling the number of seconds left on the clock. The previous evening he was running the timeclock at a high school basketball game and (apparently) neglected to hit the start button because he was so into the game.

This year's RnR Program shoe tag is HOT PINK, a color not often seen in BBJs wardrobe
  • Then the club went for a short run. You'll all be impressed that I very maturely and wisely DID NOT RUN. Instead, I hung out with Irene, who was also not running due to having a cold.
  • The even bigger news from the morning is about the marathon itself. There have been rumors circulating for the last MONTH that there would be a 1/2 marathon this year. A representative from Competitor (who must have made the rounds as both Sara and Lisa have also reported that a rep from Competitor made the same announcement at thier WCRR meeting) announced that there YES, there will be a San Diego RnR 1/2 marathon this year!!!
  • Since I didn't run, I managed to convince Walter to go to the gym with me later. For the first time, I wore my heart rate monitor during the workout. The difference in reported calories burned on my Garmin HRM and the one on the elliptical was about 300 calories. (seriously!) If this is true, it explains plenty about why I haven't lost any weight. I am looking more into this. Another 30 minutes on the 'mill.
  • This morning I went to a CrossFit workout with Clarence and Daisy. Clarence is COMPLETELY into CrossFit and has been trying to get me to go to a Sunday workout with her for a couple of months. The Sunday workouts are free, so I finally went. CrossFit is a really excellent workout with lots of squats, lunges, pushups (which I suck at) pullups (which I'm even worse at) and freeweight work. I liked it. It's very fast-paced. After a 20 minute workout I was a sweaty mess.
  • I really need to work on my upper body strength. Even one or two "girl style" pushups, correctly done, are difficult for me. But anything with the lower body? I am a rockstar!
  • Since there was only a little cardio involved in the workout, and since I was already a sweaty mess, I went over to the gym for another round with Elly (the elliptical)...45 minutes. My legs are going to feel it tomorrow.
  • This afternoon, Walter and I relaxed in the spa for awhile
Don't hate us. It was another beautiful SoCal Day. We HAD to do heat up the spa.

So...that's the week of workouts for me. I figure I've got one more week of a full-fledged workout week before I go back to work.

I am still thinking about the weekend of Feb 4-6 and my serious overbooking. I'm likely to not go to San Francisco at all (I'll just tell 'em I have some family commitments that are conflicting) since I'd never be able to get out of SF on Saturday in time to get to Walter's Gala.

It's also becoming less and less likely that I'll run the 1/2 marathon either. I likely won't be ready for it, and it'll probably be another opportunity to hurt myself. My foot is feeling much better, but on days (like today) where I've used it a lot, I can feel some tenderness, not pain exactly, but not right either ((sigh)).

Thanks so much for all your advice and wisdom. I need peeps to point out to me that I should STOP occasionally. As you can see from my above discription of this week's workouts, I have a tendency to think I can do EVERYTHING.


  1. Holy batman, long post! :) That guy at 24 hour fitness sounds like a total douchbag. LOL.

  2. That trainer is exactly why it is so important to find the right trainer - one who listens to you!

    I might have to put the San Diego RNR half on my calendar!

  3. Ugh! Where do gyms find some of these personal trainers?!

    I'm glad you made a decision regarding your over-booked weekend! It's probably a good idea not to do the Surf City... even though I'm thinking I'll never meet you in person. Heck, how do I even know you exist? Hmmm...

    Have a great day, and don't forget to do your weight machines first and cut back on your cardio! ;P

    Hee hee... my word verification word is "drophog". Don't know why, it just made me laugh!

  4. Hi Cindi! My name is Christine, not Lisa, LOL!

  5. That's a lot of working out for one week! And the trainer sounds like he was on autopilot with all the newcomers in January, but he still should've been able to shut that off and actually listen to you.

  6. You beat me in making on gym visits last week. I also have a feeling that half is going to fill very, very fast once word really gets out. And, yes, keep rowing!!!

  7. I sooooo miss my trainer who left. He listened to me. The others don't listen. It's so frustrating when they don't listen.
    Sorry that you had a bad experience, I'm beginning to think that 75% of trainers don't listen. who needs that?!?

  8. Not defending trainer dude, but he probably makes less than minimum wage and only makes money if he books future sessions...othewise he should take the wax out of his ears and listen!!

    Good job on being so busy and on a side note:

    I really feel for you and Walter in the tub....Have you been told this week??? Just asking?? LOL...

  9. I see mr Douch-nozzle thinks he knows how to "train" people. he wasn't very receptive at all to your type of fitness and your goals. I am doing alotta plyos and single legged shtuff to get strong. very cool workouts on!! good luckw ith gettign "it" back...and staying injury free.

  10. Been there done that with the folks at 24 hour fitess. The worst is paying for the service and then not seeing results! Thank goodness you were strong enough to avoid the pitch.

  11. Trainers at a commercial gym are out for the sale. They have a monthly quota. ALSO, I've discovered that most people who weight train religiously detest cardio, especially running. He's just following the gym's protocol, which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with you on a personal level. I'd go with the Crossfit workout, plus it will kick your butt and keep you challenged every time. ;) Which reminds me, I still have the copies of P90X to give you.

    I'm still undecided on whether to run the full, half or relay for the SDRNR event this year. I'm thinking of signing up for the full and giving myself the option to switch to the half if I need to.

  12. That personal trainer sounds like a tool!

  13. That trainer sounds awful. We have trainers at our gym that are so nice. Although I don't use them, they will correct you if your form is wrong or help you use a machine correctly.

  14. Good thing you gave that gym guy the boot. What a tool. You know what you need to do and you made a good point...why let you go through the workout doing it wrong? Ummm he needed to correct you at the beginning.

    Sounds like you're really doing all you can to come back to running stronger and healthy.

    Love the post. :-)

  15. I HATE trainers like that! What a tool. And I have no idea what he is talking about that you are working out wrong. If you are full of testosterone and want to get HUGE, then don't raise your heart rate. Women, in particular, benefit from getting our heart rates up before doing weight training. Um.... Curves has built an entire franchise on that concept. I would work out exactly like you are doing. Your energy should be focused on your cardio fitness.

    Man! I really need to get my personal training certification! If there are idiots out there trying to "train" people, I should be able to clean up. ;-)

    It sounds like you are being smart about your recovery. I'm bummed that I won't see you at Surf City, but I am sure I'll see you soon.