During the last week of 2016, I joined a gym to work with personal trainers in order to help me move towards my goal of building more lean muscle mass. At home, my strength training regimen has involved really long sessions with lots of repetitions (with light dumbbells), which hasn’t really gotten me anywhere. I know that to build real muscle I have to stress my body and keep progressively adding weight to make the muscles grow stronger over time. By doing the same thing and lifting the same size weights over and over again, the body just becomes used to it and gets to a point where it won’t continue growing. Therefore, I decided it would be best to get professional help that will take me through the right progression as I know that I would probably injure myself easily by just trying to add more weight when my body may not be ready for it.
Before deciding to join said gym, I went in for an assessment after emailing to inquire and letting them know about my goals/injuries/etc. Right off the bat, I knew this gym was the right place for me. I really liked the trainers and the gym. Before the assessment, we sat down and discussed my goals and history in detail. The trainer I talked to had already talked to the other trainers about me and let them know that I had a foot injury that I would need some help with to recover, which was nice. I felt like they listened to me and we were on the same page. I knew I would be in good hands so I decided to join. The trainers designed a workout program for me that focuses on the following:
- stretching to prevent injuries and gain more flexibility in certain areas that are a bit tight
- strength training to build large muscle groups
I have worked with a few of the trainers already and they change the workouts around depending on how I have been progressing with the exercises. The workouts are also changed around to make sure that different body parts are targeted during each workout. This is to avoid overworking certain muscle groups too much and also to make sure that all muscle groups are getting a proper workout. The trainers always make sure to take notes so that the next trainer that works with me knows what we worked on at the previous session, what size weights I was comfortable with, etc.
The few sessions I have had so far have been extremely helpful. I feel like I am working different muscles that I have not used before in my workouts. We have also been working on improving my core strength, which is an area that is extremely weak for me. Gosh, I did not realize how weak and out of shape my core was! I hope it starts getting stronger soon.
In addition, the stretching program I was put on to improve the mobility of my foot has helped tremendously. It is starting to feel a lot better and less stiff. I look forward to continue working with the trainers to reach my fitness goals.
So far, I have liked having the guidance of personal trainers to take me through the right progression and take me at a pace that is comfortable for my body. I know that if I tried to do muscle building by myself, I would try to do too much too soon or start overworking muscle groups too much until they get injured. It’s nice to have expert guidance to design a program tailored to me specifically and also watch my form to make sure I’m not doing anything that will hurt me.
The experience with this gym I decided to join was the complete opposite from the experience I had with the first gym I had gone to earlier in the week. The first gym I had visited just didn’t feel right for me at all. I felt my injuries weren’t respected very much during the assessment and their packages pushed all this other stuff I wasn’t interested in (beauty consultation, cryosauna sessions, and stuff like that). I’m just a normal person that wants some help with working out and wasn’t interested in all the add-ons nor becoming a star athlete. Therefore, I decided that wasn’t the right place for me.
I am glad I took the time to find the right gym for me as I know my muscle building journey will take a long time. Muscle building is something that doesn’t happen overnight and it will take years to get to where I want to be. I am a member of a type 1 diabetes athletes group on facebook, and a lot of the transformation stories are truly inspiring. These transformations have taken many years and have involved a lot of effort and discipline. I am mentally prepared for this and know that I should not get discouraged by apparent lack of progress during the first couple of months/years. I am looking forward to the journey and am confident in the ability of my trainers to get me to where I want to be. I know it will take a lot of time and effort on my part and I hope I don’t give up even when the going gets rough.