Monday, April 4, 2016

Power of a Group!!!!!!

During March we hold a month long challenge that encompasses duration cardio and intervals, upper/lower body splits and a couple benchmark workouts.  One of the benchmark workouts is a “Spartan” workout and I put a small group of the participants through the workout.  Steve was a late entry to this group, and he was so excited after that he wanted to write a piece about his experience.   

Last week was an interesting day at the gym to say the least. I was just getting off the treadmill having completed a 10 minute warmup when I saw a group of people gearing up for a "Spartan Style" workout with Big Joe. I was intrigued by the eclectic group that was about to embark on an undoubtedly intense workout. As I was just walking away to the bench press to begin another uninspired workout, I was encourage by Joe to join the group and give it a try. Immediately my mind began to delve into its typical thought pattern of excuses. "Nahhh, the hip kinda hurts today." Or "Uh, thanks but I haven't been working out much so I wouldn't be able to keep up, blah blah blah."

But today was different. Something was pulling me right into the group and I wasn't quite sure what it was. I could feel a vibrant energy brewing within the group as a few members encouraged me to join them. This energy trumped the laziness of my mind and I joined up. After a quick rundown of the exercises by Joe it was go time. 3 minutes in I was breathing heavy and was looking longingly at the bench press and of the comfort of an easy workout. That self -defeating thought only lasted a moment as another member encouraged me to get back up on the pull up bar like Dan Henderson training for a Rampage Jackson fight . Bam! The endless chatter of my mind started to fall away as I entered a deeper state of flow. It seemed as if the other members were right there with me as I observed them doing the tough reps with more ease. Joe kept the pace high with encouragement and adjustments to technique. That, I feel, was the biggest benefit of the workout. Its one thing to be in a group and have some good energy to get you through a tough workout. Its of WAY more benefit to be accompanied by a personal trainer such as Joe who is there to to make sure no one gets injured. A case in point, when I was doing some difficult plyometric jumps Joe observed my knees collapsing in which I wasn't aware of. As some of us know, middle age can be a ripe time for injuries from bad technique that our younger bodies could get away with. Bad habits have a way of perpetuating without to oversight of a good trainer and I'm thankful Joe was there to catch my bad form. 
After about 40 minutes the workout was finished and it was now time for some high fives as the endorphins started kicking in. This is why we go to the gym, is it not? For that endorphin rush which is the body's way of giving thanks for a strong effort towards a healthier existence. I'm now friendly with two of the members of that group who I had previously never met. They ask me to ask Joe (they are a bit intimidated by him) if he can continue this Spartan Friday for months to come. I believe they intuitively understood something special happens when you have the right energy with the right trainer. Who knows? Maybe this will catch on sometime soon at our club. But until next time, Happy Trails in the name of Health!!