After my initial fitness evaluation at Equinox, I was ready to jump into my new workout routine full-tilt. During my first week, my new training guru, Jayme, took me to a level of soreness I’ve not experienced in a long time, if ever. I spent the first seven days of our program gimping around like a little old lady and begging my hubby to massage various sore muscles (there was always a new one, it seemed—muscles I didn’t know I had). It was definitely a good soreness, though. The kind where you know you’ve taken your workout to another level and pushed yourself out of your comfort zone.
In my first session, the overwhelming thought in my head was, “Are we there yet?” My workout started innocently enough, with step-ups onto a bench for the requisite 20 reps. Twenty is Jayme’s fave number in my training, so I’ve gotten really good at counting to 20 in my head while she tells me to keep going—and I swear she always makes me do one or two extra. That, or the blood rushes out of my brain and hampers my counting ability, which is entirely possible.
After my reps on both legs were done, and some shoulder presses and V-raises were complete, she handed me a jump rope. Oh, jump rope. There is no love lost between us these days. After a torturous two minutes with the jump rope, I got small break before starting the combination over again. During this first workout session, we did three combinations of moves with about five or six different exercises. Each combination was completed three times so that by the third set of each move, I was really at the point of muscle fatigue. Or, let’s be honest: total muscle failure.
Just two days after my first session, I was back in the gym again under Jayme’s direction. Still sore from session one, we got after it again. Strangely enough, even though I was still sore, it felt good to get my muscles moving again. I was just as exhausted after session two, in which we did enough squats to get my legs shaking and “skull crushers,” which worked my forearms. I didn’t even really know you could work your forearms.
Now, don’t let me scare you from getting a session with a trainer with all of my talk of fatigue and exhaustion and difficulty. Yeah, you’ll be tired. Yeah, your muscles will be fatigued. Yeah, you’ll do difficult moves. But you’ll be pushing yourself like you wouldn’t if someone wasn’t there counting your reps. You’ll also be surprised at how hard you can actually work and how hard you can actually push yourself. Your body is capable of a lot more than you think it is, and even with a trainer, you’re always the one in control. Skilled trainers will see when you’ve exhausted a muscle and can’t eke out any more reps. But often, I find that when I think I can’t do any more, when I hear, “Ok, give me five more,” I find that I almost always can.
That first week in training felt like my own personal boot camp. I was physically sore beyond belief. After our third session or so, and probably when she’d seen that I was still gimping around like a little old lady, Jayme told me to take a hot bath. I listened and took a long, therapeutic soak in the tub. Trainer’s orders, and it did wonders for my aching muscles. Stay tuned for my next training update; I’m sure there is more fun in store for me. —Erin