Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 1 at the Gym

I had my appointment with the trainer on Saturday morning. It just happened to be the one year anniversary of my initial injury. I was given a tour of the facility and then we got to work. I filled out a series of health questionnaires and discussed my right knee. I told him that I was not ready for group fitness and wanted to work on the machines. I expressed my concerns with my weaker quad.

I spent a few minutes on the elliptical (forward and backward) and then was escorted to the stretching machine. It was more like a torture machine. In the opening questionnaire, I was asked about flexibility and I told the trainer that I stretched regularly. This machine has six settings and we had to try ALL six. He told me that many martial artists use this type of machine. He kept cranking the settings a little farther. At the end of this section, he told me that I am pretty flexible because some people have trouble just getting into this contraption.

We moved over to the weight machines. He chose four upper body and four leg machines - leg press, hamstring curl, outer quad, inner quad, abdominal, bicep curl, row, triceps. I told him that my shoulders do not "feel right" when my hands are over my head for long periods. My shoulders have a tendency to dislocate at just the right angle. Since I am new to this type of weight training, we were just guessing at the baseline weight. He charted the machine adjustments and weight. He explained that it is a good idea to chart the weight increases so that I can see my progress. I think I will chart because it will help me establish goals.

The hamstring curl is going to be the hardest. We spent the most time at this station because we had some work to do. We were able to modify the setup so that I could do a single leg hamstring curl. My right leg is pathetic. When we were working on this machine there was an older, and inspiring, woman on the machine next to me. She was wearing a shirt with the local retirement home's logo on it. She kept looking at me and giving me her best grandmother type smile. She did not say anything but I got the feeling that she wanted to talk to me about my knee. I bet she was thinking knee replacement.

Once we went through the exercises, we spoke about group classes and my options. He suggested Pilate's or a body sculpting class. He mentioned that there was a tai chi instructor who had class on Tuesday nights. I am interested but not sure. I want to focus on the weight machines.

My muscles are a little sore today but not as bad as I expected. Let us see how I feel tomorrow...

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