I was not born a natural gym-lover. In fact, I’m admittedly kind of lazy when it comes to working out. Granted I absolutely love hiking, going on a leisurely jog, and spending time outside—it’s just serious sweat-provoking exercises that I find kind of intimidating. Plus, it’s challenging getting into a routine when my day starts at 3am and I’m confronted with the hustle and bustle of daily life.
I’ve tried pretty much everything…hot yoga (too slow), boot camps (too many people), group classes (are you really getting worked?), and a gym membership (wasted money)…not to mention every fad diet, cleanse, juice, soup, etc. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not hating on those things…they’re just not for me. However, I was delightfully surprised when I gave personal training a go with David Ashley.
David runs Fitness By Design. He works with his lovely wife and co-trainer, Holly. In fact, Holly left him at the altar nearly 25 years ago. However, after they both got married and divorced, the two reconnected, and are now living in marital bliss, at the gym, and at home.
David began body building in 1985, and has his B.S. in Sports Management, being certified through NASM, ACE, and ISSA. Oh, and it’s because of his services that singer Jordin Sparks shed 50 pounds of fat in a year.
But despite his impressive resume, I asked David to take on the challenge of me: an unmotivated, un-toned late 20 something with the hopes of simply waking up with a dream bikini body. That magic obviously doesn’t happen overnight.
I thought our 30-minute session would consist of David monitoring me on the treadmill, but that didn’t happen. Instead, upon my immediate arrival, we did a number of reps using weights, machinery, mats, balls, bands, and ropes—my body got worked, and it felt good. I suppose I crave one-on-one attention; someone telling me how to lift and when to squat. He pushed me, and I actually felt a sense of strength.
Their high intensity exercise program is designed to meet individual needs—they aim to produce the ultimate results in the quickest amount of time. They train a diverse clientele—ages 7 to 93, and all sessions are customizes to improve any given problem spot. (Thighs!!)
They’ll give you a nice dose of reality…taking your weight, body circumference (arms, chest, waist, and hips), and body fat measurements—in turn, David will determine his plan of action to get you the lean muscle you so desire.
David says an adequate exercise sessions needs to raise your heart rate and cause metabolic distortion; in other words, if you’re not feeling bitter-sweet pain, you’re not pumping hard enough. And he says many people focus on losing weight, when the true goal should be burning fat. To do that, you must learn to love weights. (FYI, a kettle bell swing burns 22 calories per minute, versus spinning which burns only 17.) However, he says the after-burn (the calories burnt post-exercise) is what’s most important. Consider this: according to my favorite trainer, the aftermath of a cardio session will elevate your metabolism for 2-3 hours, whereas a 30 minute strength training program will maintain a high metabolism for up to 30-36 hours post exercise. Yes, that means you’ll still be burning when sound asleep.
I’ve now been seeing my personal training BFF for a couple weeks, and I must say I have yet to no-show, cancel, or reschedule. He holds me accountable—and I need that. Plus, he’s totally witty and wonderful.
I’ll be documenting our training sessions regularly.