Learning to love the gym

I've never been a gym bunny. I've always been of the school of thought that you can do your cardio outside - rain or shine - and your body weight can be used for a lot of exercises.

But, recently I've changed my tune.

All my flatmates go the gym. They seem to love it so, begrudgingly, I went along recently. 

Next thing I knew I'd signed up for a year. 

The thing is I'm strong through my legs, but my upper body needs some work. Likewise, I have certain areas of my body that I know strengthening will help me run better, more efficiently, stronger and faster. 

Classes at the gym I find brilliant - but I'm a scaredy cat and have made my flatmates take me to my first couple as I didn't know what the process, or etiquette, was. 

I've also avoided going until I could get a personal trainer to show me around. I didn't want to be injuring myself so close to Motatapu, or at all, because I didn't know how to use the equipment properly. 

On Tuesday, I met up with Beth - one of the trainers at my gym.

Essentially, I'm not interested in cardio at the gym, but I wanted help with that overall strengthening.

After assessing my fitness level and needs, Beth wrote me up a programme.

My arms, legs, core and generally my entire body was worked out for an hour.

She absolutely nailed me. My favourite was the seated leg press, but probably because I was able to do it without it hurting too much! 

When I hopped into my car, my arms felt like jelly. When I hopped into the shower, I only half-washed my hair as raising my arms up felt like too much of an effort.

However, it was a great kind of soreness - that type where I know muscles have been worked out (some that I didn't even know existed). A few days later and I can still feel it. Especially, in my shoulders. But, tonight I will go back for more. 

Do you think going to the gym helps your running? What's your favourite exercise at the gym? Any suggestions for exercises that would help strengthen my knees or hips?

Email me on rachel.young@press.co.nz, comment below or follow me on Twitter @YoungRachelS 

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