Exercise 101 – Part 3

In the last two posts, I discussed aerobic exercise and resistance training, specifically high intensity interval training (HIRT). What I wanted to focus on in the last of this series is my personal journey into HIRT and having a personal trainer. There are a couple of key points that I want to make.

Most of my patients are going to be at a beginner level for training. THAT’S OK!       You have to start somewhere.       I’ve always been surprised when I hear a physician tell their patients, “you just need to exercise.”       If you are carrying 40lbs, 60 lbs, or over 100 lbs of excess weight, any exercise will be difficult.       For example, when you go to the grocery store, and you are carrying 3-4 plastic bags of groceries, it’s probably anywhere from 15 – 25 lbs. Now image, you are carrying 16 – 20 bags of groceries 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I can tell you that if I was carrying just 2 bags of groceries, I would find any workout much more difficult. Now, multiply that number of grocery bags by 10. That is the reality of obesity. It changes your perception, doesn’t it?

You have to start somewhere, so your journey starts with a single step! For anyone embarking on a new change, it can be scary, especially if you are beginning your weight loss journey. Even more so, if you have tried before in the past and failed. You need to know that YOU ARE WORTH IT!! After undergoing IVF (multiple cycles) and finally a pregnancy, I gained 35 lbs.       It has taken me three years to finally lose that weight….and I’m a weight loss surgeon. We all have our own stories and our own struggles.       The key is to find a way to climb your own personal mountain. I tell my patients all the time, if you fall off the horse, get back on!       Even if you have bruises…..get back on that horse.

If you have the chance to go to a local gym, YMCA, or better yet personal trainer, I encourage you to do so. Look to see if there is a Groupon or online coupon for a session.       Any insight you can get from a professional will help, especially when it comes to form when performing exercises. One patient gave me an invaluable tip. I have Amazon Prime and can find free videos for prime members.       I enjoy Pilates, so I have downloaded several free videos. I’m sure there are other subscription services or even online videos (YouTube) that have free sessions from trainers that can show you different workouts. I have even found how to do a proper squat on Pinterest….you know you’re on your phone (I’m sure you’re reading this blog on your phone)….just look it up!

When I met my personal trainer, I told him that I was interested in HIRT. He explained that everyone is going to be at a different fitness level. In our first session, he really just wanted to see my form and endurance with each exercise. Additionally, he also took the time to see what the proper weight was for me to get to 70-80% fatigue of my muscle at the end of each set. I used to run and have worked out in the distant past with a trainer. I also have years of doing Buns of Steele 3 with Tamilee Webb (best butt exercises ever!). Very 1980’s….but she really shows you great form)!

I just completed my second session with my personal trainer. During that time, I would do 2 sets of three exercises. The exercises were performed at a moderate to slow pace and very controlled.   In a set, the first two exercises would be focused on several muscle groups (like upper or lower body) and each exercise would have 12-15 reps.   The third exercise would be full body and would last 30 seconds. The idea of the third was to get my heart rate up. (Even though it was beating through my chest during the two first exercises). I was to perform the third exercise quickly with good form, as its purpose was to get my heart rate up. It did.

I would then repeat that set again. I had a total of 4-5 different sets (it was a bit of a blur). We ended on 3 minutes of the row machine. He then told me that two more times this week, he had homework for me to do. It is as follows:

Warm up 5 minutes at a moderate pace
25 secs of 85% max (treadmill) run it out! Then, slow down for 1 minute, repeat this 5 times
25 push ups (modified are ok!)
25 crunches
25 rows
25 squats
25 walking lunges Then, rest 2 minutes
Repeat entire set starting with treadmill 2 more times, with no warm up

My goal is to get my last couple of pounds off. I am aiming to make an effort to get in 150 minutes a week and to make an effort to eat better. While I only walked as my homework last week, I have a new goal to do my homework at least one time before I meet with him again! You have to start somewhere, right?!


Bariatric Support Group

Dr. Hodges highly recommends patients attend monthly support group meetings. The meetings are led by Dr. Collins Hodges, both a licensed clinical psychologist and someone who has had bariatric surgery himself. The support groups are offered on the first Monday of every month from 6:30pm – 7:15pm CST via an online GoToMeeting. The meetings are open to the public, and there is no charge to attend.

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