Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mixed emotions about the gym today.

Yesterday was supposed to be our meeting with our trainer to change up our routine, get weighed in, get BMI and fitness level taken and all that good stuff. Notice I said it was "supposed to be" because it just didn't happen.

Marco and I had noticed we hadn't seen our trainer around lately. I figured, like the rest of the country, she was just away on vacation for the Christmas and New Years holiday. So we showed up to our appointment to find out she had quit. Well thanks for calling us!

I was really disappointed because I really liked working with her. She always had positive things to say and was very attentive. She was always offering help/advise with food since she was a nutritionist and I just all around liked her.

We rescheduled our appointments for today with a new trainer. I must say I went in with kind of a rotten outlook. I was still a little miffed they didn't bother to call us about yesterday and I just knew I wasn't going to like this new guy.

Boy was I wrong!

Our new trainer was great! He worked out two new routines for Marco and I to do and he really tailored them to our specific goals. Before we were doing the same exercises which was odd since we have different fitness goals. I want to lose weight and tone muscles while Marco wants to gain muscle. So the trainer took that into consideration when planning our our exercises.

He introduced quite a few new exercises and machines for the two of us. I have one set of weights I do on one day and then a second set of exercises I do on the next workout, alternating between the two. Marco has 3 separate routines to rotate between.

He also told me I need to slow down my cardio and do a lower pace for a longer amount of time. This is the part I'm not so sure about. Slowing down never seems like a good idea to me. I just want to keep going faster and further.

He isn't the first trainer that's told me that this is the most efficient way to lose weight. (to keep my heart rate lower, but steady, for a longer amount of time instead of getting my heart rate super high for a short time period, if you consider 30 minutes a short period of time) I have also read this from different sources but I just have such a hard time believing it.

It doesn't make sense to me that I burn 550 calories in 30 minutes my old way but now I am going to slow down, burn less calories but workout longer but lose more weight! But I'm going to give it a try and see if it really works as everybody keeps telling me it will.

So today I was on the cross trainer for 30 minutes (we were at the gym for 3 hours today so I couldn't do 40 minutes but I will next time) and burned 357 calories. How is that more effective than burning 550?

I am supposed to keep my heart rate at 124 which proved to be virtually impossible for me to do. I was moving at a snails pace and still hovering at about 130 for most of the time. I know 124 is a general guideline so I think I did pretty well. But I barely broke a sweat. Usually I'm dripping by time I'm done, even my fingers and ears get sweaty! My face wasn't even a pinky color. I'm very uncertain about this new cardio routine.

That said, knowing that I was moving at a snails pace and my heart rate was above 130 really struck me. My poor heart as been mistreated for so long. It has to work SO hard for me to do even the littlest of movement. Imagine how hard it would have to be working 10 years down the road if I wouldn't have started exercising it properly and remained as overweight as I was. What about 20 or 30 years down the road? How long could I have made my heart work overtime before it was just all ticked out? It made me really thankful for being able to lose this weight now and begin a healthier lifestyle.

Just some real quick stats before I go. I improved my fitness level by 1.7 points. I have gone from very weak, to weak, to ... well still weak. But I was told as long as I move up one point each time we meet with the trainer then I am doing well, so 1.7 is really great!

My BMI decreased by 1.5% which is great. I still have a lot of fat to lose before I am even close to being in a healthy range though.

The scale at the gym said I only lost one kilo (2.2 pounds) in the past 7 weeks but I checked back on my calendar at home and according to my scale at home I've lost 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) in the past 7 weeks (which is about 0.4 pounds off my target weight for that amount of time). I find it really strange that there is such a big difference between the two scales. The first time we had this meeting at the gym my weight loss on my home scale matched what their said right on. I'm going to stick with what my scale says at home since it's the one I use every week (and it gives me the beter stats!). We'll have to see what the gym scale says in 8 weeks when we have our next appointment.


kimberly said...

I looked at your pictures on your nest bio today and you look GREAT! Seriously, the difference is amazing. I am SO impressed.

I think I am feeling good enough today that I am going to take my puppy on a walk. Getting out of the house would do us both good!
I have been reading about your trainer issues - could he possible be wanting to help lower your blood pressure and build health not just weight loss? I don't know besides that...
Anyway, again, thank you for your support. I' haven't really gotten anywhere so far, since I got sick as soon as the holidays were over and haven't wanted to move, much less eat OR exercise, lol. Hopefully 2 days of a total of about 600 calories combined helped more than hurt, right??? LOL.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

Just want to thank you for keeping it real in your blog. I am trying to lose some weight and even though it's only a few kilos that I am trying to lose, it's takes forever for me to see the difference in the scale. I am more encouraged with what I see in clothing sizes.

Anyway, I'm checking in here every now & then to see the "real" thing. Good luck with your journey to being healthy :)

a fellow traveller in the journey of better health and lifestyle.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sarah,

First, let me say how much I have enjoyed reading your blog, and taking your weight-loss journey with you. It's funny and inspirational, and it has been so inspiring to follow you as you hit milestone after milestone.

That said, I just read your entry about your new trainer and new cardio routine. I was a personal trainer for many years, and can tell you with 100% certainty that if you can do 30 minutes hard or 40 minutes easy on the treadmill (easy and hard being relative terms) do 30 minutes hard. At the end of the day, weight loss is about calories in vs. calories out, and you're right - going harder = burning more calories. If you were going to change up anything, I would say maybe do interval training for a couple of cardio sessions a week, or switch up the cardio machine that you use, but don't make it easier. Listen to your body. Those dripping sweat workouts - those are the ones that you want.

You have no good reason to take my advice over a trainer who you pay for and you've met face to face, but I felt it was prudent to add in my two cents, as useful or worthless as it may be.

That said, whatever you decide to do with your cardio, all the best of luck to you on your weight los jouney. I hope that when you reach your goal weight, you will continue to blog, and take us along as you work towards your next big thing. (marathon? triathalon? ;)

Hans said...

Hello, I too am a personal trainer and I have some advice for you as well. When using free weights, lift with your back. If you feel sharp pains anywhere, that just means that it's working. No pain, no gain. If you're looking for more results, I suggest anabolic steroids. They should be readily availabile from someone at the gym, just ask around.