It’s been a while since I’ve lifted weights. And by a while, I mean months. I just flipped through my workout log, and the last time I had a workout with a significant weightlifting component was on Friday, February 8th. Almost 5 months ago to the day! This is mostly due to laziness on my part – it’s so much easier for me to get on an elliptical or go for a run, where I basically don’t have to think, than it is to lift weights, which requires constant focus on form and posture.
I’ve wanted to get back into lifting for some time now. When I was laid up and unable to exercise after my surgery, one of the things I looked forward to was lifting weights. But I never started lifting again, because I was apprehensive. Lifting doesn’t come naturally to me, and I was afraid I’d forgotten everything I learned, and I didn’t want to start lifting and fall immediately into bad or potentially harmful habits.
So, I decided to get back into lifting the right way: by working with a personal trainer. I’ve worked with personal trainers before, although it’s been about a year and a half, and they’re incredibly helpful. They can help create workouts that are custom-designed for your body and your goals, and they can impart a lot of knowledge that can affect all parts of your wellness plans.
I’m friendly with the general manager of my gym, so I went to her for a trainer recommendation. She went to the head of personal trainers, a guy named Mo, and came back very excited: Mo agreed to work with me himself, which she said was a big deal, because Mo apparently doesn’t take on many clients himself.
My first session with Mo was yesterday, and I’m already very excited to continue working with him. We spent most of the session discussing, very specifically, my goals and history, and he led me through a series of tests so he could assess various things. At one point, he had me do a series of squats and then said, “you sit a lot in front of a computer, don’t you?” Yup. He could tell by the way I hold and move my shoulders.
Mo was very impressed with my cardio abilities, and also identified areas that we’ll need to focus on. My calves are tense, which prevents me from activating more of my lower body during some exercises. My shoulders are hunched forward, so we’ll work on opening them up.
We also took all sorts of measurements to we could track progress. This was something I never did when I was at my heaviest – I just didn’t think to do it – but I suppose it’s never too late to start. Measurements around my neck, chest, hips, bicep. I stepped on a scale, which read 254. That’s not the same number that I got at home during my most recent weigh-in, but this weigh-in was on a different scale, fully clothed, after breakfast, and after about a liter or so of water. I’m okay with it.
Based on his number crunching and a series of measurements using body fat calipers, Mo concluded that I currently have 26% body fat, and 74% lean mass. More specifically, of those 254 pounds, 66 of them are fat. That’s a lot of fat. Wanna know what 66 pounds of fat looks like? Check out this classic clip from a 1988 episode of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” when Oprah wheeled out a wagon full of 67 pounds of fat – the amount she had recently lost. The wagon appears 1:53 into the clip:
Because this session with Mo was mostly assessment and chit-chat, I stuck around afterwards and completed 45 minutes on the elliptical. My next session with Mo is on Thursday. Stay tuned for my next post… a progress report on my Cardio to Vegas goal!
Keep it up, David!