Saturday, March 14, 2009

Doin' day at a time...other slogan.

There are two things that bother me about Greco. For the most part, it is a fine program that really is working very well for me, both in terms of losing weight and becoming healthier and more physically fit and so on and so forth. Every week, I go in on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to do a hardcore 45 minute workout. Each workout involves eight stations, and you do one minute at each station as you go around the room. Or maybe a minute and a half. I haven't really paid much attention. So one station will work on your legs, the next will work on your triceps, the next will be a cardio station, and so on and so forth. What's great about that is that every single day we're doing eight entirely different things. I have been going for about seven weeks, and I think only three excercises have ever been repeated in the 21 sessions.

That's great, and the people who go to each class with me are great. For those of you considering taking up this program, I have a little bit of advice. There are lots of hot, fit women attending these classes. Each station has three people (or two, or four, depending on how big the class is) working out there, and the group you are with goes around together from station to station as the class goes on. Class? That's probably not the right word. But I can't think of another one at the moment. Anyway, my advice is this. Don't get into a group with two hot women. That way, when you collapse halfway through an excercise and can't finish, you will feel even more ashamed because both of those women will power through that excercise far better than you will. Also, don't go in the group right in front of the hot-chick group either. Then they will definitely notice that you are failing. Go behind them. That way, you don't mind lying in someone else's sweat as much, and you have a tiny bit of extra motivation just in case one of them turns around and catches a glimpse of you gasping for air and giving up.

Not that any of this matters to me, of course. I am in a committed relationship and don't even notice that other women exist...just some advice for the single that convincing? But I have a different system. The station on which I like to start is the one that does the most ab-work. If I had to do that station last, I would be dead. So at least I think I can get a bit of a jump on it, and do it properly at least once. My abs are terrible. So that's my system. And, frankly, I don't care if anyone sees me collapse and give up at a station. No one was under the illusion that I was in shape before.

Which brings me to one of the problems I have with Greco. I get that many people need motivation, and will do better if people are watching and shouting encouragement. I am not one of those people. If I have stopped during an excercise, it is because I can physically no longer perform that excercise. And I need a few short seconds to catch my breath and begin again, or I will be doing it wrong and getting nothing out of it. For the most part the crew at Greco are good about this - Danielle and Sonny and Brad, the three young folks in charge of the classes, don't put a lot of pressure on me (except for Danielle, who seems to take a perverse pleasure in getting on my case, but at least she's funny). During many of the excercises I close my eyes so no one can make eye contact with me to shout encouragement. Also because when I keep them open they are swimming in sweat by the time the first round is over.

One good thing the trainers do is adjust your posture or your method as you do each excercise. It helps me make sure that I am doing it properly, which is good. But I'm a self-motivator. I work as hard as I can, and then I can't walk home, like on Wednesday when it was an almost-all-legs workout. And the other thing that bothers me - also related to motivation - the music. They pump in this music in the room, in order to give you a soundtrack to your workout. That's cool. I do that at home. But I would rather have dead silence than kick off a workout to the sounds of Britney Spears. And although most of the music is solid, if not great, the occasional bad song really throws me off. On Friday, there was Guns N Roses, a bunch of good hard-driving classic rock, and then - Go For Soda. Nothing against Kim Mitchell and his inoffensive brand of Canadian pop-rock, but seriously? Go For Soda? There goes my rhythm.

But it has been working well. Every week I get weighed in - I have lost 26 pounds in eight weeks, I have been doing this workplace challenge for seven weeks, and have lost 21 pounds in those seven weeks, and I have been doing Greco for six weeks, and I have lost 19 pounds in those six weeks. So far so good. And now, I can actually make it through most of the excercises wihtout collapsing and gasping for air. Which would make me seem cooler to the women, if I cared about that sort of thing.

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