Daily Archives: February 24, 2009

Pump that Body

One of the great things about doing the good ol’ Get Active class at Yaralla gym is the variety of exercises on offer.  The format can be a bit haphazard, but we get to try all the various types of aerobic workouts that the Les Mills mob make available.  Les has some great workouts, but absolutely crap taste in music.  Of course, this is just my humble opinion, but if Les were to start using AC/DC, Guns n Roses, and perhaps The Angels music to pump up his devotees, then I’d bet there would be a lot more men in those classes.  Techno is just noise to me, I prefer music that makes you want to jump, run and scream.  The sort of music that the psych ops folk recommend to soldiers heading into battle.  Music to make you violent, and criminally insane perhaps?

Anyway, the workouts are great, and early on in the piece, I had another lesson in humility, but got a fantastic workout at the same time.  This particular day the workout was Body Pump.  The object is to work out with weights, usually dumbells, and barbells.  Great!  Let’s do this thing! 

Noting how tiny the weights the ladies around me were putting onto their bars I actually smirked.  It’s true, a real snort of derision.  Puffing my chest out a little I sauntered over to the weights bench and selected some ‘manly’ sized weights, and slid them onto the ends of my bar.  I hefted it, maybe I should toss a couple more on?  Nah, better start light.  The lady next to me goggled at the size of my weights, “Are you sure you want that many?” she asked, a look of concern on her face. 

I wanted to laugh the laugh of a man who has stared down death, but instead I merely shrugged, and said the words that have been number one cause of most Ozzie mens’ deaths, “She’ll be right.”  She shook her head and looked away.  I had another little smirk.

The class started, and as I hefted the weights the trainer looked over and called, “Um, you sure you want to lift that much weight?” 

I nodded, and smiled back at her.  She also shrugged. 

The class started well.  Really well.  I was hammering that bar up and down, over my head, side to side in time with the music, and was actually enjoying myself.  For about the first five minutes.  From there things went downhill… rapidly. 

By the ten minute mark every muscle in my arms, back and neck were screaming for mercy.  Sweat was flowing off me like a river, and it felt as if my eyeballs were going to pop out of my face and ricochet around the room.  At the fifteen minute mark the trainer called a quick break, and while the rest of the class took time out for a quick drink, and a bit of a wipe down, I dropped to the floor and started ripping weights off the end of that bar like my life depended on it…. well, it did! 

By the time the class re-started I had reduced the weight to a quarter of it’s original size, but the damage had already been done.  My arms felt as though they had been ripped off and replaced with strands of spaghetti, because I was still struggling to lift the dinky little weights that I’d left on each end. 

As is always the case when you are in an embarrassing situation, good ol’ Fate rocks up and wipes your face in it.  For some reason I glanced toward the gym, and standing there with a gaped mouth expression on his face was one of my workmates.  He looked at my trembling arms, then at the tiny weights on the ends of my bar, then back at my arms, and shook his head in disbelief.  Ok, I could see that it didn’t look good…

On my first day shift didn’t I hear all about it.  I shrugged it off, and even tried to explain, but I’d been caught cold.  I threw down the challenge.  I lifted my hand and pointed at him, wincing horribly as pain shot down my withered arm, “If you think you’re so bloody hot then, come and join in some time!”  He laughed at me.  Not one of them took up the offer.   

 Aerobics is for girls… apparently.

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