Part Two: No Pain, No Gain.
Part two! Let’s learn more about how I’m totally crazy specifically when it comes to my workout addiction. I want to disclose that this feels like a genetic mutation since my father is part of an elite biking group back home in Connecticut and does two-a-days almost every day. Rain or shine…two-a-days. The man can’t sit still so I was bound to inherit this addiction at some point in my life, right?
How my fitness journey restarted (I say restarted because I was a swimmer for eight years and a rower for seven so it’s not like I’ve never stepped foot into a gym in my life) was by looking for personal trainers in Dallas. I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my skin which was enough for me to know something had to give. Clearly my own accountability was virtually worthless so a regular gym membership to the Y would be nothing more than a line on my credit card statement. After being frustrated with the ridiculous personal training rates I found a few options that I could manage, one of them being a fitness center called HIIT Fit Dallas, formerly known as Psycho gym (which was fitting at the time because, hi, we know I’m psycho).
I visited the gym and was instantly intimidated. It’s a simple yet effective open floor plan with very few machines, lots of weights, industrial looking pull up bars, etc. And overall, it was hardcore cool. It reminded me of the type of gyms I used in college to train as an athlete which was scary in itself because I had physically fallen far from being a D1 competitor. Honestly, the thought of working out in that gym felt oddly pathetic, but you have to face your fears to grow, right? So, before I had time to overthink the decision and convince myself out of something I desperately needed, I signed up for some small group training classes and tried to mentally prepare myself for what I suspected would be one of the most embarrassing decisions of my life.
The focus of HIIT Fit: functional strength training. Day one: I showed up ready for my death. As dramatic as that sounds, I was so intimidated and scared of embarrassing myself beyond repair. I remember being mortified as Nick, who ended up being my primary trainer and just so happens to be a very attractive guy that you would rather not embarrass yourself in front of, greeted me and let me know it was just him and I for a one on one. Great. So he would get a front seat to watch as I huffed and puffed during the LIGHT warm up and likely laugh under his breath when I couldn’t manage one full push up, modified. Thankfully, I was so wrong. In efforts of full disclosure, I was sweating/exhausted after the 5 minute warm up but my inner athlete kicked in and giving up quickly dissolved as an option. We took the workout at my pace. He was well aware that it was my first time doing a lot of these exercises since college and pushed me to get them done but not so far that I was low key puking in the bathroom between sets because again, balance. After sled pushes, turkish getups, sumo squats, burpees, and many more awful yet effective exercises were completed, the workout was over. I’m fairly confident I had trouble opening the car door after the workout so I wouldn’t say I was proud of myself, but I was excited to keep going.
I have to commend Nick because as a former college athlete himself who never lost the drive to be fit, he was nothing but gracious with me from day one. I didn’t feel embarrassed or self-conscious, but more so inspired to work harder and get better without any judgement (except for the time I missed the box while doing a box jump, or the time I snapped a band in half doing lunges, or the time I hit myself in the face with a med ball). He corrected every misstep in my movements as to never choose quantity over quality. He did all of this while pretending (key word) to hate when I put my own jams on for workouts that included Whitney Houston, Eminem, and of course, J Biebs (don’t tell him you know this but he loves Justin Bieber). Throughout the year he continued to add pressure, while monitoring my technique in an attempt to protect my injuries and still kick my butt. We’d add new exercises and use heavier weights so that I never once left that place with anything left in me. The knowledge behind the training was invaluable to me and when looking for a trainer, especially when you have serious injuries to protect, not something I’d recommend overlooking.
Two years later I can confidently advise you to not fear the name, the only psycho thing about it is how addictive it becomes – and me whenever I’m there. They have a group of well-educated trainers that really believe in the skills and movements they teach and have the education to back it. The longer I trained there the more I learned that the other frequent members felt the same way I did. The moment I got the hang of it I was at the gym six to seven days a week, twice a day when I could manage it. The feeling after finishing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout is like none other with BAMF-ness. Anyway, we won’t mention that I was handicapped with soreness for the first week and may have tried to cancel my second workout. I’m serious. Someone actually stopped to ask me if I needed help getting out of my car on day two after my first workout… but that’s neither here nor there. The point is I went back, again and again. After just a few weeks I could not only feel results, they were visible to others. I have to also credit the strict meal plan I was on thanks to the staff nutritionist. I was starting to feel toned in places I didn’t know I could be. As my brothers would say “you’re looking swole, brah.”
I will say this gym is not the place for you if you’re looking to get a light sweat and keep your makeup intact. This is more the flying burpee’s, tire flipping, and sled pushing (while your trainer sits on top of the sled yelling at you – thanks, Nick) kind of gym. Please know my intent with the last sentence is not to shy anyone away. The day I started working out there I was 80 pounds heavier than I am today, and had lost complete touch with my physical and emotional endurance. I just want to point out that I thrive on this kind of workout. If I can do it, you can do it. I enjoy being pushed to my limits, and I especially like proving people wrong. But there are hundreds of gyms in Dallas alone and success doesn’t come the same to everyone, my only suggestion is not to knock it until you try it.
The final installment of this three part blog is all about the now, because the now looks very different from what you've read above, but still includes a psycho me *eye rolls*. If you have any questions about getting involved at HIIT Fit Dallas leave a comment below and I’ll hook you up, you won’t be disappointed! I heard they even have new equipment, recovery gear, and a fresh coat of paint coming in hot to the gym soon! Until next time, BYYYEEEE.