Finding the Rhythm Again

I’m working with a new trainer, Adam.  During our first workout he asked what I needed to work on.  I was honest: I need stability work that gets me a good full-body workout and works my core at the same time.  I hate doing ab work.  And I want to do an unassisted pull-up on 10/16.

Our workouts give me exactly what I asked for.  I wake up looking forward to them and never know what to expect from one day to the next.  Well, except that he is going to kick my triceps/shoulders/ chest and back.  Adam is, I think, now almost AS invested in this pull-up thing as I am.

We’ve become comfortably friendly which is nice.  It’s different than when I worked with Guido; but each relationship we develop with someone is different than any other.  I dearly loved Guido (heck, he’s listed as one of my emergency contacts if I were to be in an accident.), I genuinely LIKE Adam (heck, he told me about a .. well, that’s a topic for between friends…)

My workouts with Adam, though, always keep me guessing, and never (sadly) seem to spend much time in the free-weight section of the gym.  So the one or two workouts a week I do on my own need to address both my fondness for the free weights and leave me able to deal with whatever Adam throws my way.

I’ve decided to go fairly basic for a while.

I picked up Gunnar Peterson’s THE WORKOUT from the library on a whim.  (I was there picking up one of the latest Dresden File novels… because sci-fi and mysteries are my preferred reading materials.)  I like the Peterson book.  While he talks about the four main points of fitness: aerobic conditioning, nutrition, strength training, and rest, the majority of the book is dedicated to strength training.

He offers that a completely body workout can be achieved with 13 moves which offer  near infinite variety through simple change ups. The moves really are basic strength training moves like squat, press and pull-down.  The fun comes when he reminds (me) that these can become completely different moves by:

  • changing your position (standing, sitting, using a stability ball, etc.)
  • changing your “tool” (dumb bell, kettle bell, barbell, cable system, etc.)
  • changing your grip or stance.

By simply altering these three things, he offers 22 different ways to do a squat and 60 different ways to do a chest press.  Variety that can last a life time.  Another nice thing about the book?  All the models photographed doing the moves are women.  Women who look like fit but ordinary women.

Right now I’m not seeking a lifetime of variety (though it’s comforting to know it’s there).  In the past few months, I’ve had changes enough in the gym; I feel like I’ve lost my rhythm.  I’ve felt off-balance and outta kilter when I’m not working out with Adam, but a bit frustrated when I am.  Like I’m on spin cycle…

I’m looking for something simple that I don’t have to think hard about.  I just go in, check 1-13 and do them.  Do them the same each workout for a few weeks just to get in rhythm again.

Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Push. Pull.

One. Two.

One. Two. Three.

And once I’ve found my rhythm, I’ll be looking for that variety again.


5 responses to “Finding the Rhythm Again

  1. Interesting, I’ll have to look at that book (though I don’t know that I’m ready for self-directed workouts just yet). I definitely feel all blah now that I’ve dropped to 3 days a week at the gym, and am looking forward to leaving my 3rd shift job and getting back in there on a more regular basis. You’re an inspiration!

  2. Sounds like a nice read I will have to pick it up. I know I am not ready to work without my trainer but I hope to one day be able to do what I can without someone guiding me. I seem to get bored quickly so I like it when my trainer mixes it up for me each week that way I have no excuse not to do well. Thanks for inspiring us Deb.



    on needing to find the rhythm before the changearound.

    for some reason that TOTALLY spoke to me.


    and email me again if you have new thoughts? plans?

  4. Colleen, I typically work out 3 days a weeks. I give myself permission for a fourth when I’m really stressed. And I first have to admit that I’m really stressed. This book has great potential for getting a good basic workout 3 times a week.

    I noticed there wasn’t a lot of balance work, which is what I add in those 4th workouts. Today was all stability and balance, for example.

    Mara, I started by scheduling one workout day a week without my trainer. Just so I could practice the idea of being accountable to myself and figuring out what I needed help with from my trainer. It let me verbalize things to Guido that I wouldn’t have known. Think about giving yourself the permission to experiment/play a little. But be very gentle yourself. I quit on myself a whole lot in the beginning; THAT it turned out, was the “muscle” that needed my personal exercising the most.

    and MiZ.. you’ve made a couple comments on people’s blogs about your workout. That you like the idea of being in a place that good for now, but you know will change. And thinking about finding a rhythm.

    Sounds like you need to have a sit-down talk with yourself about realistic expectations for a woman who’s working her booty off and raising a tornado. Then give yourself some more permission to live the life you have right now.

    It’s what you’re always telling all of us.

  5. Very cool that you’re settling in with the new trainer so well. I’m very interested to see if you’ll make your pull-up goal next month! (TOTALLY rooting for you over here on the opposite coast!)

    That book sounds interesting…might have to check it out!

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