I miss being allowed to be strong

I’ve been going to the gym here for a while, since I moved really. I knew that it was a women’s gym; that it was small without any barbells or many machines; I knew it was not my big shiny Toronto gym with the muscle men and awesome trainer. I knew this and yet I still signed up because it was within walking distance. That was pretty much the reason. I needed a gym within walking distance since I didn’t have a car and this was it. Oh, and it has classes.

I signed up for one of the programs they offer – an 8 week program of diet and exercise. You sign up for two classes a week and the classes are small – 2-5 people in each. They offer Toning (ie lunges and squats), Spinning, and Boxing. I mainly signed up for the program to do the boxing since it was only offered this way, but I figured that I needed motivation to get back into the gym and get my strength back, so this would be good.

The classes are 30 minutes but they warned us that they would be 30 INTENSE minutes.

Really? I’m still waiting on that.

The boxing was good. I ached after the first class and I loved it. The second class wasn’t as tough but it got me puffed, which was good. I just wanted more. 30 minutes wasn’t enough.

It’s the “toning” class I have issues with. I understand that there are different training techniques and some people use low weights and high reps to train. These people are mainly women who are scared of bulking up. I didn’t expect this at a gym. Even a women’s gym.

I expected to be pushed to my limits, to be fatigued and sore and proud.

Instead I feel bored. We worked out tonight using resistance bands and even though I was working with the hardest band, I didn’t feel much. Sure, my legs were a bit tired after 50 million lunges and I was dizzy at one point because there was no air flow, but when we were doing bicep curls with lunges using the bands? I felt nothing. I gripped the bands as low as I could to increase the resistance but possibly because we were going so quickly, I felt nada.

I was bored.

So I talked to my dad about it and he mentioned that he doesn’t think many women in Australia and New Zealand do heavy weights like I did. This is a major generalisation, I know. But when I think about it, I know most women go mental on the cardio machines, do a million lunges or use the weight machines on low weights so they don’t bulk up.

I trained with an AWESOME devil of a trainer for 2 years who pushed me to bench press 50 lbs, to leg press my weight, to do full pushups and almost got me to do 1 pull up. I was STRONG. I was PROUD.

I miss that. I will push myself because nobody else will. I know my limits have not been reached here and I know I’m capable of so much more than 2 lb weights. Seriously, I’m not joking. They pulled out 2 lb weights last week. True, 50 shoulder presses will ache after a while with those but 50 shoulder presses would ache sans weights too!

I will stick it out at my gym until my contract runs out in November and after the wedding, I will seek a better gym where I am encouraged to be STRONG.

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6 thoughts on “I miss being allowed to be strong

  1. I know how you feel! I got to the point of squatting 100kg on a free bar at the peak of my training (twice my body weight and not on a supported smith machine). But something most people would do wrong is use the wrong muscles and posture when lifting weights, or jerking actions. I totally understand that you’re frustrated, but think of this time as pilates where you’re working on the core stabilisation of your body, so it’s a base from which to go hard after the wedding.

    What really scares me is the young personal trainers who have never trained hard! They cause so many injuries!

    • I agree with you on the young trainers who have no experience training hard, plus they tend to make a lot of assumptions about your strength and abilities without actually checking with you.

      I had a training session where the trainer told me to do modified push ups. I looked at her like she was insane and proceeded to do proper push ups. I’d rather be exhausted after 20 proper push ups instead of being good with 25 modified ones.

      I know I’ll have to change my expectations until the wedding and then afterwards, I’ll find a REAL gym and go hard again!

      (and wow on the 100kg!!)

    • Going okay. I’ve had an insane couple of weeks and as wedding planning kicks up a notch, it’s only going to get worse. But I’ll cope.

      Training is better. Last night’s workout was TOUGH but good. I like being exhausted at the end of a session.

      But I need to find myself another “Joe the Devil” trainer at some point. He really pushed me to my limits and beyond what I thought they were. Once I him a suitable substitute, I’ll be dandy. Feel like moving to New Zealand? 😛

  2. Very interesting. I’m a fan of the big weights and I know it’s not going to bulk me up, since, uh, well, I’m a girl. I like being strong and toned and able to lift things! When I get there in August I’m going to have to find a gym where that’s okay and I can do my thing.

    • I should have taken my time and joined up somewhere better, but I wanted a gym close by and there wasn’t a lot to choose from for me. Don’t be me – take your time and find the right gym!

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