For those of you who know me, you also know that I came late into the “work-out” game. It all started when after booking a trip to Cozumel, I realized I was going to have to appear in public in some type of swim suit. So, I borrowed some aerobics video tapes from a girlfriend, and started doing 30-minute cardio work-outs in the privacy of my 450-sq. foot apartment. I would come home around 6-6:30 from work, put on some shorts and a t-shirt, move the furniture out of the way, and pop the video in.
Since then, I have graduated to a gym membership and work out regularly....I’ve come a long way! There are many great attributes to classes, the hardest part being pushing through the embarrassment of not knowing what I was doing for the first few MONTHS. I felt accountable for my attendance when seeing the same people week in and week out. I also made new friends to boot.
The problem with classes is that you could potentially be doing things incorrectly that can then lead to injury. After all, it’s one lonely instructor against a good number of us who are at varying levels of competency.
A great example is body pump. For months before trying the class, I had only been using the machines to do weight training. But often, my short legs wouldn’t quite fit properly, and when all was said and done, I was only using the 4 machines I could fit into. In between rep. sessions, I’d walk over to the classroom and watch the body pumpers go.
So one day I got up the nerve to go in.
I tried to follow along, and used pretty light weights in the beginning. At first, you may feel like you’re wasting time because you’re not sweating, but this is probably the most critical time as you learn proper form and get used to the names of the moves etc. so that you don’t injure yourself. I started getting the hang of it after 6-8 classes.
Then, every 1.5-2 months I increased my weight amounts, just by the tiniest bit each time. It involved a lot of switching in between, which got stressful, but I also knew I didn’t want to increase the weight at too great an interval.
But every once in a while, I’d pull or tweak something. This would lead to weeks of doing light weights while recovering. I even got elbow tendinitis once, which took me out for half the class for months. Then that was followed by weeks to months of building back up. This was frustrating. I finally stopped increasing altogether. I was in a rut. So, what happened next? Next post!