Francisco kicked my ass and it only took him 40 minutes to do so. Last night, I went to NYSC for my first (and maybe last, just kidding!) personal training session. His name is Francisco; he is tall, dark, and training to be a fireperson. He’s also one semester away from graduating with a major in psychology.
First, he asked me a number of questions about myself.
What is it you wish to achieve?
How old are you?
How many days a week do you currently work out?
How much water do you drink? Do you drink alcohol? If so, how much and how often?
What is your diet like? Do you eat enough protein?
Are you on any medications? Do you have any injuries?
And I answered every one of them with more honesty than I use with a doctor.
After he was finished with the questions, he took my blood pressure and my heart rate. Everything seemed pretty O.K. He said it was slow and low. (I think that’s O.K., right? I have been told before, “You have a morning heart rate.” Which I guess translates to, “You have a heart rate of someone who hasn’t been annoyed and stressed out by the perils of commuting and work, yet.” So, yeah. Slow.)
After the numbers were all in, he calculated my ideal hearth rate for burning fat and achieving my best overall cardiovascular workout. And that number was 151. Lately, I have been overdoing it. When I finish jogging and moving slow enough to use the sensors (When one puts ones hands on the sensors while running faster than 3.5 mph, it screams at you: “NOT RECOMMENDED FOR THOSE USING A PACE ABOVE 4 MPH.) the machine spits back something in the area of 170. Francisco asked, “Does this happen immediately? How long does it take to rise that fast?” It takes a half an hour at least. I was told this, too, was O.K.
Basically, if you’re 31 and working your heart at 151, you’re burning fat. If you’re working your heart at 170, you’re working your heart. Or something.
Right now, you’re trying to lose weight so 151 is perfectly fine. When you’re 40, you’ll need to start working your heart more, so you’ll want to work your heart rate higher. What you’re doing is fine, but feel free to slow it down some in order to lose the weight you wish to lose.
After we got all the numbers and answers out of the way (25. 31. 4. Not enough. Not anymore. 0. I eat well. Yes. No. Not really. 71. 151.) I began my training.
Most of the time, the machine a person least likely wants to use, is the one they should use.
I began to think about all the machines and the fact that for the longest time I avoided running. Now, I love it. Well, I love to hate it. I couldn’t think of a machine I might try and avoid.
You might not find that with me, Francisco. I am somewhat masochistic. I enjoy beating myself to shit.
Oh yeah? That’s great!
And then we walked towards the back room. O.K., so I lied. There is actually ONE machine I avoid. And I had totally forgotten about it when I went on and on about how much I enjoy beating myself up. It’s the moving stair machine. NOT the stair master, the OTHER stair machine. The one I see people on and think, “Oh surely they will die soon. Either they’ll have a heart attack or they’ll slip on all that sweat and fall to their death.”
It’s your lucky day!
One of the machines was in use the other was out of order. Francisco told me about it instead.
Then we moved on to the bikes. I rode one for 10 minutes using a program that made sure my heart rate was up to 151 for most of the workout. Five minutes in, I was sweating. It felt wonderful.
We did lunges next. I have seen people do lunges and I have often thought, “That doesn’t look very hard, but I imagine it must be if folks are doing it all the time.” I am here to tell you, they’re really friggin hard. My thighs were singing punk rock songs.
We worked on abs next. I did curls and sit-ups on the mat while he said encouraging things to me.
I KNOW YOU CAN DO SIX MORE! I JUST KNOW IT! OK NOW SIX MORE! SLOWER! COME ON! YOU CAN DO IT!
I thought the vein on the side of my head was going to explode with each lift. And I contemplated kicking Francisco in the face a few times.
I LEFT FRANCISCO! GET AWAY FROM ME, FRANCISCO! FUCKTHISFRANCISCO!
But this man could talk me into anything. (Way to use that degree, Francisco.)
Anyone who has EVER made fun of Pilates is a total ass and can go straight to hell. That said feel free to correct me for any misinformation I am spewing out. Because, there is only so much someone can take in while their doing crunches and contemplating violence.
I have the second half of my training session next week. Then, we’re going to work on upper body strength (which I have little to none of). This whole thing is a ploy so I can guiltlessly consume all the brownies and cupcakes I want.