I live in an extremely fit neighborhood (Nob Hill, bordering Russian Hill). Walking up my street on a typical weekend morning, probably 50% of people look like they just came from or are going to a yoga studio or gym, or they are in the middle of a run or walk with their dog. People are really fit here! I suppose it’s the nice weather that really encourages everyone to go outdoors. I know that if it was cold or rainy, I’d definitely be discouraged to go out.

So I am not the most athletic person. I stopped doing regular physical activities once I hit university and due to my high metabolism, I never really felt the pressure to stay fit (despite me eating so much for my small size). Going to the gym would probably make me lose more weight is what I understood. Luckily, I had the guidance of some the boyfriend last year who showed me the ropes of what I could do at the gym. I learned a lot about weightlifting and the importance of form. Unfortunately, due to rotating co-op and school terms, it was difficult to find the time to go regularly.

Now that I’m settled in my new grad life, I’ve had the chance to figure out things like this. My company has a gym benefit that I decided I would take advantage of. We have an onsite gym, but I’m also able to enrol in an external gym. I thought it’d be nice to have a gym to go to on weekends. So again I surveyed a number of options - 24Hr Fitness, LiveFitGym, and Crunch. I was really sold on Crunch, and was even convinced to by $400 for 5 personal training sessions because it would be $100 more if I didn’t buy it that day (geez, they are expensive!). If you’ve met me before, you’d know I’m very easy to persuade. I know I regretted the giant purchase on the day I walked out, because I didn’t have a clue on what happens in a personal training session.

Eventually I got set up with a personal trainer based on my availability and goals - she turned out to be awesome. Crunch goes by the motto “No judgements", which everyone at the gym should follow, but I think the strong emphasis makes everyone more comfortable.

The intro session actually doesn’t count in the personal training count since it’s just a chat to understand of your goals, some basic exercises to check your balance, as well as chatting about nutrition and lifestyle. Then the first few sessions are for creating a program for you, covering a couple of exercises from there. The last few sessions of the set are a set of exercises that aren’t necessarily in the program.

Although our training sessions were supposed to be 50m~1hr, she usually went way past that to answer any questions I had or to check my posture for certain exercises. She was also very open to offering help if I ever saw her in the gym. I provided a sample workout and asked for her advice on it. She quickly responded with an updated 4-day/week program. I suppose this is the benefit of buying a set of training sessions to visualize short term progress, since there is enough time to get advice on nutrition, check posture, and a proper program made out for you. I can’t imagine getting much done in 1 or 2 sessions.

Getting a personal trainer has definitely helped me understand more about the equipment available at various gyms, and the large array of exercises I can do to feel like I’m getting a workout. I have never really found use cases for YouTube before but now I use it for looking up tutorials on workout exercises. From my recent search history: (Youtube is an embed type that actually works on Postach.io)

In this past month or so, I’ve learned that making the gym part of your regular routine is the best way to commit. This may sound silly to people who already see that, but for some reason I always saw it as another thing to do on a todo list, or an “appointment". I also tend to get distracted when going with friends, especially when it comes to weight lifting - you really need concentration and it’s difficult when your goals are different from the other person’s.

This is another step towards a regular life for me, and I’m super excited to consider myself fit - hoping it stays this way.