The gym workouts I hate most

The ironic thing about working out at the gym is that it never gets easier as you get stronger. What it gets is exponentially harder.

Sheylara at the gym

I mean, I sort of understand why that is so. You can’t get stronger unless there is enough exertion. There’s no point in working out if it’s going to be a walk in the park.

But where is the motivation if you never get to feel stronger because your weights increase every session even before you can feel your strength difference?

I guess there’s only one way to feel motivated: Looking good at the gym.

Sheylara at the gym

HAH.

Even when I feel like keeling over, I can take comfort in the fact that if I really do keel over, at least I’d look good doing it.

I put a lot of care in selecting my gym outfits. I even have two different pairs of gloves to match different outfits. The gloves, by the way, aren’t purely vanity items.

I realised that I needed gloves after working with hardcore weights that attempted to burn holes through my skin.

Sheylara at the gym

Need to protect the little hands.

So, the workouts that I hate the most, in no particular order:

Lunges

Sheylara at the gym

I’ve mentioned this before. I’m mentioning it again because my trainer enjoys making me do them.

He’d be like, “OKAY~! Now, your favourite exercise! Woohoo!”

And I’d go, “Hey, I just remembered I have a meeting to go to!”

My lunging expressions:

Sheylara at the gym

Lunges are totally evil, I swear. Just like Eric Goh.

Next.

Leg Extensions

Sheylara at the gym

See the evil-looking red padded thing just above my feet? I’m supposed to lift it with my feet (or thereabouts). It weighs about the same as a HDB flat.

Before leg extensions:

Sheylara at the gym

After leg extensions:

Sheylara at the gym

This is like a frozen grimace, an expression I practise a lot while working out. It means “I just died and this is my dying expression frozen for posterity”.

Unfortunately, leg extensions don’t actually make our legs longer.

Fortunately, we’ve only done this twice so far. I hope I won’t be scheduled for it anymore within this millennium.

Ball Crunches

Sheylara at the gym

This is a lot harder than it looks!

It is a billion times harder than it looks. Cos you have to balance yourself on the ball while doing crunches, and the balancing act alone is harder than normal crunches.

This was the first time I did it and I hate it already.

Eric had to hold me in place because I kept rolling off the ball. Haha.

Look of abject misery disguised as false bravado:

Sheylara at the gym

(I meant on my face, not on Eric’s face, of course. Eric looks gleefully wicked, as always.)

To make up for giving me three of my most hated exercises all within a day, Eric offered me some verbal motivation at the end of day.

“You did well today! Very impressed with your handling of weights and your control!” he said.

Well, tell that to my dead muscles!!!

To be honest, though, I think I am getting stronger. I’ll tell you why next time.

Sheylara at the gym

My trainer makes me a narcissist

Around my third week of training at the gym, Eric made me do push-ups, which went very well until he asked me to look in the mirror.

“Look in the mirror,” he said. “Check out your toned arms.”

I don’t have a photo of me doing push-ups so here’s a photo of me doing lunges, instead.

Sheylara at the gym

I said, “I can’t. I’m channelling all my efforts into not fainting from exhaustion.”

“Hahaha,” he said, “You’re doing good. Just look straight in the mirror and admire your rippling muscles.”

I tried to say something clever but I was at the same time struggling with the push-ups, so I could only manage a weak hiss like a deflating balloon.

Sheylara at the gym

While that was going on, Eric continued to make approving sounds at my muscles, which were, at that point, screaming for mercy.

“Don’t have lah,” I huffed weakly, “My arms look the same as always.”

“Okay, you’re done,” he said, “Stand up and flex in the mirror.”

I did what he said.

“See??!” he exclaimed triumphantly as I flexed into the mirror.

Sheylara at the gym

“Okay, fine,” I conceded. “It’s a little bigger than usual. Stop making me a narcissist.”

But Eric is apparently very pleased with the way my arms are shaping up.

The next time we had a photoshoot, he had our photographer snap lots of photos of my arms.

Sheylara at the gym

Sheylara at the gym

I don’t really see any cause for celebration because I have never been in the habit of scrutinising my arms, so I can’t tell the difference.

But Eric works me very hard every session so I suppose there must be some kind of improvement.

There’s always a lot of laughter during our sessions (mostly from me). I know it’s very bad to laugh when training but I can’t help it. I will laugh involuntarily when my muscles start burning. I think it’s an automatic stress-relieving response.

Sheylara at the gym

Also, Eric is always trying to trick me into doing more reps, which I find very funny, so that makes me laugh doubly hard.

We were doing lunges and he was doing them with me to give me some extra motivation.

I hate lunges with a vengeance.

Sheylara at the gym

For the first set, I can do maybe 20 and then I’m ready to order a wheelchair.

Seeing Eric do them with such inconceivable ease, I asked him, “How many can you do?”

He said, “Ooooh, is that a challenge?”

I rolled my eyes and tried not to collapse.

He continued, “Let’s compete. See who stops first.”

That was when I burst out laughing uncontrollably because it was such a ridiculous competition.

Sheylara at the gym

I demanded that he give me a 500 handicap but he didn’t bite.

In the end, because we’re always bantering, we end up not counting, so I always end up doing more, I’m sure.

Sometimes he will purposely miscount and I will protest and then he will say, “Oh, did I count wrong? I’m sorry, let’s start again.”

And then he would start from one.

Sheylara at the gym

Sometimes I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

When that happens, I guess the only safe thing to do is to be a narcissist.

Sheylara at the gym