The opening of Youfit in Huntsville, September 15, 2014, at the former Gold’s Gym location, 7900 Bailey Cove Road, was a most welcome event for this workout enthusiast.
I was there on opening day, resuming my split routine — currently Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. I’d recently taken a month off from working out, following my previous gym’s closing in late July. Then I resumed workouts with body-weight exercises at home.
But the home routine soon ended. In late August, when I made a down payment to reserve my Youfit membership, management said the club would open by October. So the voicemail and e-mail announcements of a September 15 opening caught me pleasantly by surprise.
I was a happy customer right away. The facility has a spacious floor layout, more than enough free weights and machines for serious workout buffs like me, and very reasonable monthly rates.
This opening day was leg day. About halfway through the session, while I was on the leg press, Mark, one of the trainers with YouCoach, a sister organization, introduced himself to me. He went over several points with me regarding form, foot placement, and range of motion.
The next day was chest day. Again, I got some coaching from Mark during part of the session — e.g., form and range of motion on dumbbell pullovers. I was confident that he and I would work well together. But I also knew I’d get a good push from him. He didn’t let any flaws in form or execution pass.
Now, I’m not a beginner. In fact, counting Mark, I’ve had five personal trainers. Two of these, 1992 and 2009, were for one-day brush-ups. But the last time I had a whole series of lessons was 22 years ago — January-March 1993. And there’s nothing quite like these 1:1 sessions — nothing like getting an honest critique of form and workout plans — to spur me to better results.
So I decided to sign up for three months of refresher training, beginning the following week. For three months, I had Tuesdays and Thursdays with my trainer, Mondays and Fridays on my own. The next three months, December to March, I was on my own. Then I resumed training with Mark two days a week. I find this a good balance — getting professional coaching for half the workout week, then practicing these instructions on my own for the other half. By alternating the workout sequence from one week to the next, we hit all muscles groups during training.
And I like alternating three months of training and three months of solo work. Three reasons for this: First, I would get into a rut training all year. Second, it would break the bank. Third, I need periodic rest weeks. Who doesn’t?
About 20 years ago, I seriously considered doing physique competitions and maybe some modeling; but time constraints put the kibosh on that, and what I’d heard and read about pre-contest dieting — well, that definitely put me off. I’m not big — there’s no way I’m going to look like Joe Football Player. But there’s always room for improvement. And I continue to see subtle, gradual improvements — a bit more chest width, a tad more hamstring muscle, a little more abs definition. I plan to keep this up.
Updated from original blog, published on the old version of my website October 18, 2014.