Wednesday 13 December 2017

Circuit training like ten labours of Hercules as new challenge begins

By david looby

David Looby using the battle ropes in the YMCA Hall, New Ross, on Wednesday night last.
David Looby using the battle ropes in the YMCA Hall, New Ross, on Wednesday night last.
David Looby

THE world of fitness has opened itself up to me, dear readers, and I, for one, am transfixed.

Friday saw me get my itinerary for the first fortnight of my 12-week weight, health and lifestyle journey, from Robbie Farrell, of the appropriately named, Weight Health Lifestyle, (WHL), training centre in New Ross.

To get a look at me in action prior to this, Robbie asked me to go along to a circuit training night in the local YMCA Hall in New Ross on Wednesday.

Now the last time I heard YMCA it involved some angular dance moves and dodgy clothing. I arrived in the hall not knowing what to expect, armed with Robbie's kind warning to only do as much as I felt up to on my first night.

On arriving I saw two huge ropes, a ball, a balancing wobbly thing, lots of benches, weights, a skipping rope and other strenuous looking things. Before I knew it I was waving the ropes around up and down and from side to side like they were strings of spaghetti. I was doing high knee motions before going on to sit-ups, stealthily moving sideways with a band around my legs, crab-like, jumping over yokes - all but high-fiving the trainers.

Dormant for so long (make that forever), the athlete in me was reborn.

Then suddenly, I hit the wall.

Robbie's sage advice had been cast aside in a foolhardy flush of youthful braggadoccio. Crumpled in the foetal position on the floor, deeply regretting the lasagne I had eaten before going to the class, I realised that it was better to take it easy and rejoin the class, albeit at a much slower pace, with my dignity in shreds.

On Friday Robbie told me my fate: Exercise six days a week for around one hour each day; sleep loads, eat more berries, nuts and good stuff; lay off the sausages, iced buns and cake; cut drink down to four units a week (must Google this!); do warm up and cool down exercises, and core exercises.

It was the last one that got me. Sitting there it all seemed very doable, but then the fear set in. What is a core exercise my lazy brain started asking, the echo getting louder and louder. Is it like coring an apple?

Robbie quickly showed me how to do some, including the plank, a pelvic tilt and a few more. No apples in sight.

Doing the plank for the first time I could feel ever fibre of my being shake uncontrollably for the ten seconds I managed.

I found myself out for the first of many 5 km walks that night followed by some more exercise.

Saturday I had a little less to do and Sunday was a day off. Having achieved treble my usual amount of exercise over the previous days I felt great on Sunday. Was it possible that even I could move from my unconscious, lazy routine into active, conscious exercise? Over the weekend I faced numerous challenges. The 'Ah feck it' impulse kicked in several times, whereby I almost, but didn't, justify allowing myself a freshly baked bun or some of the kids' leftover ice cream, (such a shame to throw it out!). All the Easter eggs neatly lined up in a row in the supermarket whispering dark chocolate secrets in my ear as I passed was rough, but I got through, pretty much.

WHL's absolute focus is long term weight, health and lifestyle changes to ensure that each client can live the life they want to live. They have their work cut out with me!

WHL Consultants, Northgate Medical Centre, New Ross; call Robbie Farrell on 087 7759716 or see

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