Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Resistance is futile

Monday 19th July – Monday session Week 2 - Resistance training

It was indeed cold (just under 5 degrees when I stepped off the train which, thanks to the marvels of VLine was 5 minutes late, and which in turn made me 5 minutes late for the session). It was also dark. This is a very depressing time of year, where many people leave for work in the dark and return home in the dark, with the only sunshine they see being through the window of their office.

Good thing for me, then, that not long after I got there we all went outside.

But not before a little bit of public humiliation. I suppose it’s to be expected when you turn up late. I remember back in the early 90s I went to the toilet in the middle of a Doug Anthony All Stars set and was incredibly impressed with the verbal abuse I received from Tim, Paul and Richard. This was not like that, but I (along with another person who turned up late) were nonetheless asked to do some exercise in the middle of the room while the trainer (different guy again… Seemed like a bit of a Phil to me) pointed and laughed and said don’t we look silly. Great way to get me on side. (A few other times throughout the session he pointed and laughed at a other people. And yet the guy wasn’t a complete prick. Other than his enjoyment at putting people on the spot, he seemed like an OK guy.)

Anyway, after that we did some stuff with resistance bands. These are big elastic bands with Resistance-bandshandles on them. They can be used for wrapping around things (feet, bars, stoic animals), and stretching with them. They are also apparently quite an effective torture device. Here’s the thing. I was sore. My body had not yet recovered from Friday’s session, and here I was hitting the exact same muscles that, when I got out of bed just an hour earlier, complained in a loud voice that this was simply not on. My tiredness and grumpiness from the night before had not waned. And now I was 5 minutes into this workout and it felt like the last 5 minutes of Friday.

Gyms go to a bit of trouble to make sure that you understand the risks involved in exercising, and if you have a heart attack well, then, suffer in your jocks. But this is one risk they don’t tell you about. They should put a warning on the door: Exercise makes you forget all the good stuff that has happened to you since you last exercised.

So having wiped my memory of my excellent (if not sore) weekend entirely, we then went for a bit of a run outside and into a multi story carpark. We did squats and lunges, the kinds of exercises you might expect, but up and down the slopes and stairs of the carpark. We also did some fast walking (it seems that “stereotypical fat man at the back of the pack” may well be a running theme over this course) and Phil was quite encouraging and understanding, if a little hi fivey.

When we got back to the gym, Andrea (whose name has changed to something a bit more anonymous since my first post) took us through some obviously made up statistics on bone density and life expectancy. I’m not sure exactly what she said, as my brain is quite good at filtering that sort of thing out. But she did say that it was important that we damage our bones so that they can get stronger. An excellent piece of advice for a bunch of amateurs, I must say.

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