Post Injury/Corrective Exercise
My Success Story
Transforming Me, Injury Free!
With the pandemic, I had been working remotely in a less-than-ideal, make-shift office in my basement. Like the proverbial frog in a gradually heated pot of water, at first, I was oblivious to the looming danger of my situation. Eventually, the lack of natural light and fresh air, poor workspace ergonomics, and no social interaction within my cave depressed me like I never expected. I had more food and beer cravings and lost any motivation to exercise. Because of my mood, trips to the Life Time Club had evolved into circuits only through stations within the locker room – sauna, steam, and jacuzzi (the Executive Triathlon).
Leaving the Club one February evening I saw signage for the coming 60day Challenge. The seed was planted. It germinated within me for a week. A competitive urge welled up inside. In my mind was an epic battle between my former confident, competitive self and that which I had let myself become. The timing felt right. The flexibility of working from home, which would allow me to dedicate more to this challenge than perhaps ever again, wouldn’t last. I decided to make an immediate effort to elevate both my physical and mental states, and I would do it safely.
My younger self would have taken on the challenge alone. But age brings wisdom! My 51-year-old self knew that the best outcome would require a personal trainer with expertise in injury prevention, and who would coach me around the limitations of two previous shoulder labrum repairs, a knee surgery, and a chronic nagging calf cramp. During my 40s I had too many “false starts” with getting back into shape – where my best intentions would still result in a momentary lapse of judgment and another new injury. This time, I’d be deferring to a Life Time professional.
After some due diligence, an introduction, and in-depth consultation, the trainer I was sure I wanted to coach me for this was Omar Holl. I signed up with high expectations for both of us.
Day 1: Omar and I sat down and mutually agreed upon a plan. He emphasized the importance of methodically logging both diet and exercise. As a mechanical engineer, I am a number guy too, but ironically never before applied it to these. He set us up with shared access to a workout tracking spreadsheet and a really easy-to-use and insightful meal tracking app. The specific and progressive weekly goals he established for me in these tools, especially for calories and macros (protein/ carb/ fat) eliminated my guesswork. With these targets, I could simply focus on hitting them.
Day 6: Barely out of the gate, and my nagging right calf (soleus) tightened suddenly during a brisk walk on the treadmill. A cramp and then a pop and release. After much stretching, I still limped for several days. Omar immediately revised my cardio to rowing (which I’d never before considered) and the step mill modified to only press through the heel on the injured side. Close call averted!
Rowing became my go-to cardio. Taking advantage of the Apple Fitness+ guided rows on the high-quality rowers at the Club was a unique experience. With my Apple Watch on, I could follow the video instructor and monitor my heart on my iPhone in the rower’s built-in holder. Add in AirPods, and I was transported into a zone for a fast and fun 30 minutes.
Every one of my training sessions during this challenge was educational. Omar and I didn’t have much opportunity to indulge in small talk. Mostly because he pushed me so hard during the strength workouts that I was gasping for air between sets. I still got some questions in, and he shared so much knowledge. I learned new bodyweight-only exercises and stretches to correct for anterior pelvic tilt, how the interior rotation of the shoulder joint affects impingement, and several specific yet slight corrections to exercise form to reduce joint soreness and risk of injury. I will apply this education in nutrition and exercise far beyond these 60 days.
My Life Time trainer Omar Holl delivered on his promise to get me through this challenge safely, while still pushing me extremely hard. His periodic text messages to motivate and compliment me on progress along the way were appreciated and helpful. With a trainer, I doubled the number of people to which I was accountable. I did not want to let either of us down, so I pushed harder. I believe my results speak to this! I lost 22lbs of body weight and nearly halved my body fat to just 8.8%!
There is an obvious reason why this is not called the 60day Walk-in-the-Park, but the thrill of getting those results you dreamed of is worth it! The confident, competitive me has returned! I am not only stronger physically and cardiovascularly, but mentally and emotionally too. Healthy and happy Kurt is back!
Much respect and appreciation to my trainer Omar, and for the staff and amenities of a very well-run Life Time!