Posted in exercise

Pumping irons

I went to the gym this morning and got the gym instructor to help teach me how to lift weights. He ended up creating a personal training programme for me:)

He guided me through each step and I’m so glad I took the time to listen to him. So, every other day from now on, I will do my usual 30-minute walk/jog/run, followed by a 15-minute strength training session. I will do four types of exercises aimed at strengthening my upper and lower back, core, arms and legs.

They are:

1. lat (i’m guessing it’s lateral) pull down. I am to do 3 times of 16 repetitions with a one minute rest in between. Weight to lift: 60lbs.
2. Bent over row. 3x 16 reps with one minute rest. 30lbs
3. Chest press. 3×16 reps ” “. 10lbs
4. Squat. 3×16 reps. 5lbs on each hand.

How do I know how much weight to lift? Easy.

Start small – at maybe 10 or 20 pounds. Try to lift the weight on 16 counts. If it feels too light, add another 10 pounds and repeat the process until you have reached a weight where you’re really struggling to lift or push by the 16th count. That’s how I came to the amount of weight I am supposed to lift.

As you progress, you’ll find that you can lift the weights for longer than 16 counts. That’s a sign for you to add more weight. But you still lift or push for 16 counts and do three sets of each exercise.

I found the chest press and squat the hardest to do (properly). I could barely push 10lbs of weight and doing squats by leading with my butt felt “unnatural”. But I could really feel the burn even after two sets of 16 reps. I also learned that sometimes, stretching or lifting weights using the right posture feels awkward. But keep at it because it will minimise, if not prevent, injuries.

Right after stepping out of the gym, I swear I felt my stomach muscle stretch like I had just done 50 sit-ups. That’s motivation enough for me because I’m not such a big fan of crunches. But of course, I can’t be too overzealous and start strength training everyday – no matter how tempting that sounds. That’s dangerous actually. You’re suppose to train only every other day. Your muscles and bones need a rest day too, you know!

I’m really, really glad that I finally asked 1zham, the fitness instructor, for help with my personal training programme. He was only too eager to help.

So people at the office and gym members, go to your gym and make full use of your instructors. Helping you get fit and not getting injured in the process is what they were paid to do!

The way 1zham was counting the reps for me and making sure I did all the moves in good form made me feel like, I don’t know, Jessica Alba
training with her own PERSONAL trainer!

Of course, there were moments when I felt like saying, “shit this is painful/too difficult” and I wanna give up. But having him there giving me encouragement, made me even more determined to finish that damn set so I can get it out of the way already!

I just have to remember that he’s NOT the drill sergeant out to make my maggot little self into someone fit enough to join the US marine. Although his booming voice did make him sound like one!

At the end of the day, it’s my back that’s going to feel better and my arms and thighs that will be more shapely. Nak cantik, nak sihat, kenalah put some effort!

The exercise are actually easy to do. I just need to get used to them.



Suziemclean is a Piscean who can't swim. She is 40 and married to a wonderful (younger) man who makes her laugh, and finds her corny sense of humour "endearing". She lives with her husband, family and cat in Shah Alam.

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