Ups and Downs at the Gym

Exercising LadyOn Saturday I signed up for a gym, one with a pool, and I was all set to Kick Some Butt and get into shape. That was Saturday. On Monday I had my orientation session with one of the personal trainers and I found out why the gym is so inexpensive: they really, really want you to sign up for pricey long-term packages with personal trainers to guide your progress.

I do understand how it would help to have someone work with me one or more times a week, setting a program and helping me with form and execution, and pushing er, encouraging me to do more than I think I can but doing it safely. The problem is that I can’t afford to do that when each session costs what the monthly gym membership costs.

So my orientation ended with me getting teary (coz I was mad and upset that he wasn’t listening to me) and him backing off. I promised that I wouldn’t abandon the gym because of the conversation and would make the most of the options, including the pool (once that dratted bathing suit arrives).

Yesterday I went to make good on that promise. I tried to use the recumbent bike but my cranky knee made that incredibly uncomfortable so I didn’t stay on it long, though in retrospect, I should have simply done the slow back and forth rotations from PT. There’s a thought for next time.

I moved on to the resistance machines because I know how to do them, how to adjust and the form and even what weight I used to do so I have a starting point. Except these shiny new machines were proportioned for taller people; on the leg extensions machine, I felt as though I was Goldilocks sitting in the Daddy chair with my legs dangling. When I tried to get into position, the bar ended up around my toes instead of my shins. Oops, that machine didn’t work.

I didn’t recognize a lot of the things I saw but was able to hop onto the abductor/adductor machines and do 130 lbs on those. And the leg press, until I could feel my knee popping. So then I tried this other one for my arms/back that ended up zinging That Spot in my back. It started aching last evening and I ended up with a bag of frozen peas on my knee and an ice pack on the back. It was like the emergency room, only with wireless and popcorn.

I’m rethinking what I’m going to do about working out. I love this gym because of the pool which will let me do water aerobics and pool walking, protecting my knee and back in the process. But I also like strength training and am afraid I won’t know how to do anything that won’t hurt me on the other equipment without paying big $$ for a trainer.

So I’m going to check out Curves to see what they have. Since it’s for women only, I’m guessing that the proportions will work more to scale with my body. I can afford to belong to both places and use them for different kinds of training, which might actually be a good thing and give me greater variety. It would still be cheaper than what I paid to belong to my Boston gym.

The good part is that I don’t feel like a loser because my body is hurting after only one session. I know my body and what sets it off and when to stop because muscle pain has given way to joint pain. Or that pesky back thing. I’ll do whatever it takes to increase flexibility and range of motion. Even joining two gyms.