Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My First Trainer - Baz

Mark really, but we all called him by his last name for some reason. He always wore this hat too! 

I met Mark a couple years after I first started to workout, and I watched as he led a very small group (3) of women in a boot camp. They all looked like they were having so much fun in the basketball gym, I wanted to join. But there was no bootcamp on the schedule, something odd was going on, I think they were all just friends.

So one day I went in and just asked if I could be their "friend"! ha ha

Mark and the girls said "sure I could join in" and I started attending his "bootcamp" twice a week. He had to start an official one with the gym, so we ended up paying a nominal fee, and had so much fun together!

I really enjoyed connecting with the other women and sharing a fun activity together.

Spinning class was also required since his main "gig" was a spinning instructor there, I think we did that once a week at our gym and once at the other gym he trained at. We showed up as "celebrity  spinners", this was back in 2005 to very early 2007 (the pictures here are in 2005 and 2006 so I am 45 and 46 years old) and I think spinning was just getting started.

Baz taught me everything, the basics. I knew nothing other than the fact I wanted to get "in shape" that was my goal, not real specific but I wanted to lose some weight and feel better about myself.

Baz taught me that I needed a combination of weights and cardio, that I needed to increase lean muscle mass to increase my resting metabolism and also that I needed cardio to burn the extra calories, and to keep a nice tight butt and shapely legs..He had a good set himself!

Sometimes it would be just the two of us spinning in the basketball gym, the music so loud that the racket ball crowd would complain.

Here he is demonstrating some goofy balancing trick on a bosu ball, I will need to them perform it to perfection after he has demonstrated. 

Below I am doing it, and why I am wearing silly gloves I cannot explain, I have grown since then, I don't wear them any longer, for anything other than tire flipping! 

We learned to use dumbbells, bodybars, balls, jump ropes, spinning bikes (and there really is a proper way to spin you know), and many body weight exercises. I really knew nothing to start and my knowledge grew.

As time progressed I wanted more. The group sessions didn't interest me any longer and the others often failed to show. If we all weren't there, there could be no class. This was not working for me, I was hungry to learn.

I asked Baz if he would be my personal trainer. Just me and him, lifting weights. It was deal between just the two of us.

My life would change completely after this.

I am strong, and even back then I was pressing some good weight, here I have 65 pound dumbbells and I was pressing reps! I am holding them so straight so the numbers can be read....

I got lean, there was no question about that, but I wanted muscles, I wanted to be full and have shape and make people go "wow!" when I walked by. 

I learned how to bench, I can see I am doing 135 here but don't think it was for many reps.

I loved cables then and love them now. They make my arms really look good.

Baz didn't teach me the science of strength training, I wasn't ready and probably wasn't interested, that came later in my lifting career. He did eat a lot healthier though, as we became good friends the foods were discussed more often. 

E-Z-curl bar!

At one time another member asked Baz if I might help her and he encouraged us to talk. We did, she started to follow me, I found that I was being held back by her. She knew nothing and I suddenly felt I knew so much. 

I eventually had to tell her that she couldn't follow me and train with me, I worried about it for weeks and I felt horrible, but she was causing me to focus on her, when I wanted to focus on me. This situation will continue throughout my years in the gym, but I quickly end it now before it can start, unless I want it to continue.

David and I would go to Baz's for parties and BBQ's, he loved to host and always had healthy, lean meats. That is the one thing I really recall is he was a stickler for lean meat, and no fat at all could be on a chicken. In the back of my mind, I think he had a job as a butcher many, many years prior.

I asked David what he remembers most about Baz and his response was "clean chicken, he could strip a chicken of every bit of fat and sinew faster than anyone I have ever seen!"

Baz has two kids, close in age to Cooper, so the kids were usually included, we would swim, BBQ and have fun.

Baz now owns a Planet Beach in San Jose, close to Santana Row.

As I wrote this I shot him an email, he and his girlfriend Silke are at Los Gatos Music in the Park, having a good time as always. 

In the end, Baz stopped working at my gym, so we could no longer train together. We discussed me coming to his other gym, but it wasn't close by, so we ended parting ways. I think I trained with him for a little over two years. 

Once we were no longer training together it was sort of frightening. I was nervous about going in and lifting on my own, would I know what to do and in what order? Who would spot me on the bench press? 

Then the thought of being on my own was exciting. Very, very exciting. You see, I had found that I really am a loner, I prefer training on my own. It's me and my music, or me and my trainer. 

I discovered that I do not really enjoy group exercise, I don't want to be held back by someone else, and it seemed I was always being held back, it was never the other way around.

I learned that a woman's place in in the squat rack, and beautiful women have muscles, skinny is not attractive.

I started seeking those muscles with a vengeance after this.

The next year and a half I would be on my own. And this year and a half would encompass more personal growth and discovery than I will probably ever experience again.

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