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I felt like I was getting away lightly


Sometimes, despite your best intentions, life just gets in the way. This morning when I turned up at Chris’ studio, I wasn’t feeling too great. Put another way, I was hungover. A fatal combination of my dad’s birthday and finishing an enormous piece of work I’d had hanging over me for three months culminated in a weekend of next to no exercise, and of eating and drinking—well, less than healthily. Add to that a long overdue catch-up with a mate that ended up going on into the early hours, and the morning after the night before I was hardly prepared for an hour of intense exercise.

Chris being Chris, he was more understanding than I deserved. But as luck would have it, I’d apparently timed my weekend off perfectly.

As Chris went through what we were going to do today, it didn’t sound like it was going to be as intense as the sessions I’d had already. This was going to be a weights-only session. No running. No jumping. No burpees, mercifully. I felt like I was getting away lightly—this didn’t sound too bad at all.

But then again, maybe I would think differently in an hour.

With my day-to-day gym sessions and diet going well (aside from this week, ironically) Chris explained the focus of our one-on-one sessions was going to shift towards weights and strength training rather than the calorie-burning, stamina-building HIIT work and cardio we’d been doing so far. I explained that my only experience of lifting heavy weights was limited to moving house a few times and carrying suitcases around airports. But as always with these things, my inexperience didn’t matter: Chris was there to explain the basics, the best techniques, the muscles we’d be working, why we’d be working them, and how.



The weights would start off small and build to what I could comfortably manage. Using all the equipment I normally don’t even make eye contact with in the gym, before long I was learning how to bench press and squat. Despite starting from whatever the level in front of Absolute Beginner is, I think I did ok. Admittedly, I’m not quite a pro yet (I don’t think pros shout ‘F*** me, this is heavy!’ before they lift every weight they touch), but with a bit more practice I could see myself swallowing my pride and trying this stuff in the gym myself.



Weights over and done with and arms well and truly fatigued, there was one last twist at the end of the session. To see how hard I’d actually been working myself, Chris asked me to do as many push-ups as I could manage. After almost an hour of lifting increasingly heavy weights, I think I managed seven before face-planting the floor. Apparently that was a good sign. I’ll take his word for it.

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