Back in June I wrote about starting to work out with Cregory Boatwright at Level Up Personal Fitness and my goal of getting back in shape. Several people have asked how it's going, so I figured I'd provide a follow-up with the goal of tempting you to go back to working out if you're not. Because I feel great.
Previous article: It was time to level up on my fitness goals (June 15, 2016)
I went to Creg because I wanted to find a trainer who would help me kick my butt back into shape while being aware that I'm in my 40s, not my 20s. I'm not as flexible, I'm balder and I could get hurt easier, but on the flip side, I complain less (ok, maybe not). I knew then, as I know now, that it's not the trainer who makes you in shape, it's you. It's the commitment and the desire, it's sticktoitiveness. It starts with wanting to feel good, fit into those pants that keep mysteriously shrinking and to be able to pick up your kid without pretending she's not heavy.
Three months after starting with Creg, I'm down more than 20 pounds and I'm lifting at least three times the weight I did when I started (I mean, I'm not lifting cars but I am lifting really heavy things). When we started in June, Creg made a point of starting out challenging me with exercises that showed him my areas of deficit and where we needed to be careful for achy joints, bad back, etc. (Man, I make myself sound terrible.) Creg used that to put together workouts that took me from creaky joints to strong muscle.
And you know what, in the beginning weeks I ached after we worked out. My shoulders, oy. During the first few weeks, after we'd do a shoulder workout, I'd lay in bed at night with my shoulders feeling a strong ache, and then complaining to my wife about pushing the little foaming soap dispenser in the bathroom (she had no sympathy for my plight, by the way). My biceps and forearms ached. And then... then that painful ache went away, and instead, I felt great. I stopped making that old person grunt when I bent over to pick something up from the ground. I just picked it up. Walking up the escalator no longer seemed crazy. Now my shoulders are beginning to look good, my stomach is way smaller, my legs are stronger, etc.
I haven't dieted at all. I have watched what kind of food / fuel I put in me, and it's good stuff. Each week I've watched the numbers on the scale slowly go down (wait, it went up) and go down again. But mainly, I've seen my belt get way too big, my shirts fit great now, and I'm digging out older clothes to wear (you know, the ones that mysteriously shrank a few years ago). And once you start feeling good, you want to keep it going.
"I hear this over and over," Creg told me. "'I've been coming for two months and only lost a few pounds!' So I ask them what they did over the weekend. It's a balance of working out and what you eat."
When you enjoy the neighbor's BBQ, grab a couple dozen cookies, slice of cake and a six pack or two of beer (or a bottle or two of wine), you're not gonna lose weight magically. On the other hand, I was at a kid's birthday party this weekend. I ate a cheeseburger, two hot dogs and two cookies (omigoshsogood) and a kale salad. I lost a pound the next day. Why? Because I work out 5-6 days a week, and when I'm not shoving amazing chocolate chip cookies in my mouth, I'm being conscientious of getting the right balance of protein, carbs and fats. And now my body is burning fuel faster.
But I suck at calculating macros (see my prior article for more info on that). Yeah, that lasted one month. I'm pretty sure I'd have lost more weight than the 21.5 pounds so far if I was doing my macros, but I'm just not that disciplined. But life's short and sometimes a chocolate chip cookie has to be eaten. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
So why am I sharing all this with you?
It's not ego, I mean, it's not thrilling to shoutout to thousands of people that I'm old and out of shape. Instead, it's one of those "seriously, if I can do it, so can you" stories. I don't want to see someone sweating it thinking about walking up the ever-broken Metro escalator, or dropping dead early because they didn't do even a daily walk or twice a week workout.
And I want to give my thanks to Creg. He's been amazing, and while I'm the one lifting all the heavy things and doing the crunches and running on my treadmill, he's the one keeping me doing all that in a healthy way, encouraging me. I may be 44, but when he says "Way to go, champ!" when I lift something really heavy, man that works. My hope is that he can inspire you, too.
Besides one-on-one personal training, Level Up offers small group classes and morning bootcamps. The small group classes are a great way to figure out how you want to work out with people just like you.
"You can expect to do weight training plyometrics and a core work," Creg said, describing the group classes. "With the small group atmosphere, I can make sure that you don't get lost or feel overwhelmed. You also end up having real friendships with the other participants, which creates accountability and motivation."
His small group classes include nutritional and program planning for when you're not at class so you can reach your goals. You get unlimited classes (morning or evening) for $200 a month. He limits classes to 7 participants per class, and even better, he's offering a free week when you sign up. The boot camps are Tuesday and Thursday at 6am (he may add a Friday class).
If you want to try the 1-on-1 personal training like I'm doing, he's offering three sessions for $99 to see what you think.
Go for it. Find your sticktoitiveness.
Contact Creg at Level Up Personal Training (4424 Georgia Ave NW) and call him at 202-674-3480. Tell him Drew sent you (makes me feel useful).
- It was time to level up on my fitness goals (June 15, 2016)