Saturday, October 23

McMuscles and Me

Ladies and gentlemen (at least the ones who endure my talk about boobs and periods long enough to still be hanging around)-
I would like to introduce you to my new workout partner.
That’s not his real name, you know. But it’s really fun to say. And it’s pretty gosh darn appropriate. I mean, just look at him!

Yeah, he’s a big feller. And he has graciously offered to whip my fat butt into shape. (My words, not his)
Whipping my butt into shape consists of a whole new workout regimen for me, focused on taking advantage of my YMCA membership. Intense cardio (hence my newest affliction and challenge- Boot Camp and the evil-iptical, along with running along side my brothers), light cardio (water aerobics and walking with Tricky Nikki), and the piece de resistance of the YMCA experience- WEIGHT TRAINING.
This is not for the faint of heart, folks. Lifting weights is far tougher than I could ever have imagined.
Back in the days of my high school career, I remember spending a semester in the weight room. I’m pretty sure it was mandatory, but during my brief stint in the weight room at DHS I learned that I don’t like weight lifting. Boys were not the best audience to have around while I was trying to eek out bicep curls with the girlie weights. And that had tainted my view of ever winning the Miss Muscles of the Universe competition.
Now that I am on the (dare I say) final leg of my journey to get to goal- losing the weight, cause it’s a whole other ball of wax keeping the weight off, but I’m tackling one mountain at a time- I understand what my half schnockered phys. ed. instructor was telling me back in 1994.
In order to burn fat faster, you need to increase your muscle mass. And that requires heavy lifting. Of the dumbbell kind. And for that, I now have McMuscles to steer me in the right direction.
So we are in that “first date” phase of our new partnership- learning each other’s routines. Ok, he already knows his routine. I’m the one who is 20 years behind. I should have paid better attention in the high school weight room instead of fixing my hair in the mirror the whole period…
Anyhoo, it’s amazing to me how simply complex weight lifting is. Simple in the fact that it’s not step aerobics and requires no choreography. Something I am very thankful for. Complex in that it is really hard to keep proper form while lifting metal. Or rubber. Or whatever weights are made of.
One fantastic thing about McMuscles is his willingness to teach. And instruct. You can totally tell he’s married by his comments. Today he said “Not that what you are doing is wrong, but you might try it this way…” Mrs. McMuscles has trained him well!
Now, I know that some women may be uncomfortable working with a male partner. For me, having been raised in a house with 2 older brothers, and being prone to competitiveness in all things, working with McMuscles doesn’t scare me at all. In fact, I think I would work less hard if I had a female trainer. I’d pull the “we are bonded in sisterhood” card. No such moves can be made with this guy. My goal is to work my body like I never knew possible. And I think it’s gonna pay off in the end.
For the most part, I am learning that the testosterone filled side of the room is where I need to be. The side that grunts and sweats and suffers for 15 reps and then gets a drink of water. (Seriously. I love it.)  Most importantly, it’s where I am increasing my muscle mass so that I burn fat quickly. The more muscle you have, the faster the flabby parts melt away. And McMuscles is teaching me good form, exposing me to diverse routines and machines, and showing me that there is no reason for women to steer clear of the “big boy” weights.
However, there are some major differences between how a man and a woman work out. 2 big differences in my case. 2 big somethings that can’t be avoided. And that is really where today’s story begins.
The first night of working out with McMuscles, we worked on a machine that does some super intense leg presses. You lay down on the seat with your legs up in the air, and push a massive plate up with your feet. He told me that lots of women avoid that machine, but it’s a great “compound” exercise, meaning that it works several groups of muscles at the same time, instead of isolating one muscle- like a tricep. (See? I listen to people sometimes…) This compound exercise works hammys, calves, glutes, and a bunch of other leg muscles. The trick is to lower and raise the big plate type thing by bending your knees to your chest.
Yep, to my chest, which sticks 2 feet out from the rest of my body. Especially in my minimizing exercise bra.
So I had to try not to snicker as I am boob bouncing off my knees in front of my new trainer.
Today, however, I figured we needed to address the elephant in the room. Cause we were working on chest and arms. I kept avoiding the subject, and worked really hard to be on my best behavior. Finally I said “Sometimes things fall out of my mouth. They may be off color. I have a mouth on me. So I wanted to warn you.” I think this statement put us both at ease. He knew I was ok with laughing at myself, and before the day was over would probably laugh at him too. And then, like I perfectly timed orchestral crescendo, we came to this is the machine.
For your information, I am going to share the “normal” way a person is supposed to use this machine. You sit on the seat with your chest pressed up to the big pad, elbows resting on top of the pad, firmly grasp the handles in front, and pull the handles towards your face. That's what is supposed to happen.

Only I am physically incapable of using the machine in this manner. You may recall I had a similar problem while using the abdominal machine a while back. The big pad, short arms, and big boobs do not an easy workout make. My choices in this department are fairly limited. I can maneuver the girls under the big pad, which cuts off all oxygen to my body, and eventually I will slump over, causing a scene. Or I can pop those suckers right on top of the pad and half smother my own face. What was the lesser of two evils going to be? I didn’t have a clue, but was pretty sure we were about to find out.
As McMuscles was showing me how to do this machine (I might add that since he is Goliath, he put it on the max weight and did one arm at a time) I kept thinking to myself “He’s gonna do the math. He’s gonna figure out that this is gonna be awkward.” So I am standing there half smirking and trying not to giggle. Walk around with cups like mine and you learn to have a sense of humor about it.
After he had finished his reps he stood up and said, “Go ahead and give it a shot.”
By then, I was just beside myself, desperately trying to hold my laughter inside, at the risk of giggling till I peed in my Poise. And I sat down. The pink elephant in the room made a mighty roar.
Even as I scooted up to the proper spot on the machine, the girls kept me a foot away from being where I needed to be. It was like I was hugging watermelons and trying to get to the machine.
“I’m sure you see my problem here…”
Poor McMuscles. I’m sure he was questioning what he was really getting himself into with me. Out of respect, I didn’t look him in the eye, just became very clinical about our predicament.
“So I can do this…” shoving the boobs under the pad and into my stomach, “or I can do this…” laying them on top and hiding my face. “Suggestions?”
(It probably didn’t help matters that I was wearing a tshirt that said “Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite” which was laying out on top of the machine…)
At that moment, I was kinda thankful my eyeballs were buried in my mammaries. I couldn’t see if he was embarrassed or shocked or amused. I just heard his response.
“I really don’t think it matters.”
So I kept them up top, and we went on with our workout. I really pushed myself, all jokes aside, and I’m pretty sure that tomorrow I won’t be doing anything with my arms. Just running with the brothers on some trails. Working on making it to a mile and a half.
And as for McMuscles and me? Our next workout is Monday night at the Y. And as long as we keep laughing, we are going to get along just fine.


Angela Pea said...

ROTFLMAO!!!!! I have the same problem with that machine!!

Buff Chad (my trainer) just laughs when I do pushups. The rules are "lower with arms until your chest touches the floor" Um... Yeah. My chest touches the floor when my arms are about 1/3 bent. Chad's now tells me that I need to lower until my boobs are smashed against the floor and and my elbows are fully bent at 90 degrees.

I'm so glad you're working out again! Go Charlie!!

Lynda with a Y said...

I've actually gotten on some machines the wrong way until some kind YMCA staff member comes by and says, "um, you're supposed to turn around..."

The Curvy Goddess said...

Congratulations on your body love/weight loss journey! McMuscles is very very delicious.

I am around eye candy based on what I do. I'm a personal trainer and love what I do. I want to make a dent in the fitness/body image empowerment department...Just like you.

Lena said...

Id let mr. muscles train me!! hahah. I have same problem. Im 5'1" short arms and DD boobies. They just dont make those machines for curvy woman. They are made for stick figures I guess

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