Thursday, November 7, 2013

Apparently I require making payment to be tortured ... I mean strength training

This post is hugely overdue. I keep meaning to take photos to go with this post but even with all my photographic training (and I do have a lot) I cannot apparently remember to take photos at 6 am when being put through my strength training paces.

The Tri-gospel according to Amy:

Actually according to urban legend it is gospel according to decathlete Bruce Jenner (Back before he married a Kardashian and therefore was worth listening to). Swim with swimmers, run with runners, Cycle with cyclists, strength train with strong people ... maybe.

From ESPN here is the quote attributed to Bruce Jenner.

The secret to Jenner’s success was his preparation. In the 1970s, most decathletes trained with other decathletes. Bruce Jenner, however, trained with some of the world’s best athletes in each of the 10 decathlon events. "If you train with a decathlon man," Jenner told Dave Anderson of The New York Times in 1976, "you can’t visualize that you can do much better. But if you throw the discus with Mac Wilkins or throw the shot with Al Feuerbach, then they’re 20 feet ahead of me. You learn much more that way."

Fitness Together
I met with a trainer from Fitness Together last several Friday's ago. I was referred by my friend Cristina, better known as TriathlonMami. She loves them. They love her.

I met with the owner. He's nice and smart and approximately the size of a semi-truck (which is a good thing when shopping for a strength trainer, in my opinion). Then is a team of trainers you actually work with I met with Brian. He's from Ohio - we talked about roller coasters. They are good guys. But neither one of them are triathletes. It was a good workout. I was sore for maybe 2 days.

So did I sign up. Not immediately. Here were my concerns.

First this program is very expensive even with the TriathlonMami discount. 

The pro of personal training is: you have an appointment and you show up and they put you through the paces and if you do what they say you get stronger.

The con of personal training is: it's not priced to do forever. It's very expensive and when you have a one year plan. It just doesn't make sense. Unless you are very wealthy (which I am not).

So for one week I said, I'll do it myself. And you know what ... I didn't. It's just too easy to put it off.

The inner conflict
But I will say this Personal Training works. I used a personal trainer like this after I had each of my kids.  But that was a temporary thing 3 months once or twice a week with the goal of get skinnier. My plan now is two strength workouts a week for a year to get faster at Ironman Chattanooga (and anything in between).

Then I got an email saying I found you a partner so it will be half-price. And I grabbed it. I had my first session a few Monday's ago at 6 am. The trainer is a woman named Gabby. I now have 3 Gabe's in my life. Geez that's a lot.

Now I've been going twice a week since I started. I can't tell if I'm any stronger than when I started. I have learned that I don't know how to jump rope. I am not good at slamming the huge weighted ball (apparently I need more anger). I'm not terribly coordinated when it comes to exercises that are across my body (think left knee to right elbow), oh and today I almost dropped a bar which was quite exciting for everyone around.

But I've been going - I have the appointment and I've been going so I hope that's good.  My only open question is when you choose your plan for strength training is it important that your trainer understand endurance sports? I have a big maybe for this. In endurance sports we not only need strong muscles but we do a lot of thinking about what's called the power to weight ratio which means mainly that you want to be strong but light and lean all at the same time. Also since what I do is a series of super repetitive actions my strength routine should definitely be designed to strenghten the muscles I use and the supporting muscle groups to reduce the chance of injury. I'm not totally sure that this is the way my strength routine is being designed at the moment.

But I'm not very strong at all now so one month of general strength training is not going to hurt me at all. We'll see where I go from there.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you are going. I know that strength training helped me enormously on the IM marathon last week. it's like all of a sudden I could hold a better form for longer times. We have different trainers though, and if you have questions about what they are doing ask them! It's expensive and an investment so if it were me I'd ask about the big picture and where its going. With me, they spoke a lot about building muscle endurance .... good luck!