Sports editor starts #getgrahamfit regime

Graham Smyth with Matt Wilde from Apple Fitness in Worksop w120414-1a
Graham Smyth with Matt Wilde from Apple Fitness in Worksop w120414-1a

SPORTS editor Graham Smyth gets his fitness drive underway at Apple Gym – this is his latest blog installment.

No pain, no gain. Poor Graham.

My ‘health kick’ is well and truly underway. And doesn’t my body know it.

I’ve almost completed two weeks at Apple Fitness in Worksop, and been introduced to all manner of painful exercises in seven sessions with the personal training team.

A reminder as to why I’m doing this – my waistline has grown by 10 centimetres and my bodyfat has increased by about seven per cent in three years.

Those facts will remain in my mind as a motivation to really give this thing a good go.

The experts believe they can get me fit in my lunchbreaks, and I’m optimistic.

While admittedly the early days have been tough, when you haven’t exercised in a while it takes your body time to get used to it all again. You get a reaction to the exercise.

Thankfully, my introductory session was fairly pedestrian to allow my trainer Matt Wilde to assess where my fitness levels were.

He gave me a heart rate monitor, and a watch that displayed the results, and put me through half an hour of moderate activity on the treadmill, cross trainer and rowing machine.

This was merely the calm before the storm.

The next three sessions involved kettlebell training, a boxing-based circuit and a spinning class.

In the next few blogs I’ll try to detail what each of these sessions entails and what the benefits are.

For now, in summation – the kettlebells left me sore, the circuit was 20 minutes of non stop cardiovascular training and the spinning class was hell.

I want to dedicate this blog to the fourth ‘real’ session, again with Mr Wilde, who produced a pack of cards as I entered the gym.

He then proceeded to put me off gambling for the rest of my life.

Each suit carried an activity.

Press-ups, clean and press with a weighted barbell, squats and lunges.

The number on the card equated to the number of repetitions I had to do.

So the 10 of hearts meant 10 press-ups. The Queen of spades was 12 squats.

The two joker cards carried burpees or an intense four minutes on the rowing machine.

And there was no rest in between cards.

Mercifully we ran out of time before he got through the entire pack.

The idea is to vary the activities so I work on my legs and glutes (squats and lunges) and upper body (press ups). The clean and press does a bit of both.

All four work on my core, as I attempt to stay upright or stable while in motion.

With time being so short, the personal trainers want to get my heartrate up into that range where I do myself a lot of good – and keep it there for the majority of the session.

Matt’s card game certainly did that.

And four days later I’m still feeling it. Stairs became a real challenge thanks to the tightness and pain in my legs and backside.

As I gear up for another trip the gym, a little apprehensive but intrigued as to what they’ll have me do next, I can safely say I’m enjoying it.

The variation in activities keeps it fun, the trainers aren’t intent on beasting me until I collapse and I’m looking forward to noticing the benefits in terms of my body shape and energy levels.

This week I’ve also entered gym manager Steve Chamber’s lair, where he gives clients ‘sports massage’.

Again, I’ll go into this in much greater detail soon enough, but for now rest assured that it was an interesting experience.

He’s hoping to improve my flexibility by stretching me and lengthening muscles that have shortened through my lifestyle (sitting down in the same position most of the day).

Steve will also try to free up the muscles in my lower back that appear to be locked up tight – no pain, no gain.

I’m off to the gym, enjoy your lunchbreak while I sweat through mine.

Follow my progress at www.twitter.com/GrahamSmyth or via #getgrahamfit