A day in gym HELL!

Have you ever experienced a gym day, so bad and soul-crushing, that you feel, man, now I probably must change gyms! 

I hope not, but his is my story of last night’s gym experience.

Remember I am 59 and seriously pushing the limits.

My day in gym hell

So, yesterday, I was heading to gym as usual, amped, and really looking forward to a killer session – back and tris. Doing my first set and I realize something is NOT “lekker” (Afrikaans word in this context meaning “not all well”). I had the power, but absolute zero energy and zero stamina. I severely struggled to finish each set and had to wait significant times in-between sets just to be able to face the next one. And remember I am usually doing ALL my sets in superset fashion, so I am used to punching it at the gym.

I pushed myself through each set with a focused mindset. Now guys, such a mindset is a great thing to have. It means, no matter what, NOTHING stands in your way of doing what must be done. The ONLY time I will not train is when I have an official doctor sick certificate in my hand. Otherwise, my ass is at the gym, and I do what I need to do, no matter the pain, headache, or lack of energy. There just are no excuses.

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But the “bad” side of this mindset is that I do not listen well enough to what my body tells me. And it was screaming at me with every set!

But alas, I finished my training. After training I still wanted to do 3 sets of incline bench since I am focusing a bit more on developing my upper pecs. But I just did not have the stamina or energy. I even skipped my stretching session which I never do. So, I headed straight to the locker room (now remember this was Monday late afternoon so gym is packed). I took my shirt and shoes off and head to the sauna. I managed just 5min in the sauna and could feel something is waay off. I got out of the sauna, get into the shower, close the doors, and throw my workout pants over the shower wall and open only the cold water. One minute later and I had to get down on my knees in the shower. Feeling a pressure on my chest, severely nauseated and buzzing in head that is getting quickly worse. Now, I knew I had to make quick choices. I know something is going to happen here. I got out of the shower, very unstable on my feet. I knew there was no way in hell I will manage to get my pants back on again, so grabbed my towel and tried to put it around my hips as tight as I could, knowing, I probably going to hit the ground soon and I do NOT want to lay there exposed in all my glory! First, I tried to sit on the chair that was outside shower, but then I realize, dude, in the next couple of seconds, you are going to be gone. So, I slide out of the chair and sit just there on the floor, outside the shower holding my head.

The dung hits the fan

The next I know; I wake up some time later (as from a deep relaxing sleep, I must admit it was kind a nice – lol). There was a guy squatting behind me holding me upright in seated position and with the kindest face and calmest voice asked me “are you OK?”. I can’t remember his face very well, but I know he instilled such calmness in me with his sincere caring attitude. All, I know is I ask him how long I was out. He told me not too long. And… then I was gone again. Next time I waked up he was still there holding me and some more guys standing around…NOT my scene and NOT my proudest moment! Remember I was just wearing a towel!

This time I just registered what was going on around me and then I was gone again, 3rd time!

Apparently, they then struggled to get me conscious after that 3rd time and dragged me into a cold shower. After a while I came by. Not fully capable of comprehending all that is happening around me (everything was still hazy), I realize I am sitting in the cold shower with that same kind-hearted guy sitting behind me holding me upwards, to prevent me from choking with the water. Now honestly guys the feeling I had in that moment was that this is an angel holding me. The kindness and calmness that this guy brought for me in this situation was God send.

A day in gym hell. Have you ever had such a bad, soul-crushing event that took place at the gym that you feel you can't go back to this gym? This is my story...

Slowly I floated more into reality and by then the whole darn locker room was standing there as well as management. One guy offered me his bottle of electrolytes (thanks buddy). The guy holding me asked me if I am strong enough and he got up slowly (while the cold shower was still full blast) and supporting me to see everything is OK. Then he was gone.

I sat there in the cold shower for about 5 minutes and then, still dazed, got up to put my clothes on. I got to my car outside the gym and find my keys were missing. That still baffles me, my keys were in my backpack locked inside my locker, so how they got lost is a mystery. I searched everywhere and eventually found it at reception where someone handed it in – another good Samaritan. The club management was kind and genuinely concerned about me.

I made a stupid mistake of driving back home by myself…but thank God, got home safely. 

Immediately at home I checked my blood pressure: 99/50 not good!.

For 3 hours afterwards I still felt dazed, and my body felt like a train hit it. Next day my neck was sore from probably hitting something or being handled while unconscious. But I am MUCH better today, taking the day off from gym.

So, what went wrong?

Good news. Due to my new approach to raise the bar I am fitter than ever and lost nearly 10% unwanted bodyfat during the last nearly 45 days. My diet has also been extremely healthy, with just fresh foods, no processed stuff and lots of salad/veggies and zero alcohol. This had the effect that my blood pressure medication became too strong because the body has become healthier and regulate blood pressure better by itself. Thus, the blood pressure medication resulted in dangerous low levels of blood pressure. Not good. But now I can down the strength of my BP meds. That’s good news!

I need to keep my BP low because of my kidneys that has been damaged about 20 years ago.

The lessons learned

For me everything, especially this kind of stuff and tribulations are teachable moments that we must learn from.

  1. Be very in touch with your older body and health, never take your health for granted especially as you get older and push fit lifestyle limits.
  2. A healthy fit body makes you less dependent on prescription medication.
  3. Be focused, but not THAT focused that you don’t listen to your body when it talks out loudly to you!
  4. Guardian angels are out there, and I just say “THANK YOU JESUS” for sending that kind, calm guy that cared for me in my weakness, even sitting and holding me in a cold shower! This truly warms my heart.

Will I go back to the same gym? Yes. I might look like this invincible strong alpha. The truth is, we are more fragile than we can ever imagine, and we NEED human kindness to help us through the rough patches. God works in wonderous ways. My image might be slightly altered but nothing I cannot handle and in fact, it is not that we fall that matters, it is how we get up that defines us.

So, if you are brave enough to share your GYM DAY FROM HELL story…leave us a comment.

If you want to sign up too my older body coaching system for novices (ADVANCED SYSTEM II) – have a look here: CLICK HERE

Train hard guys, but train-wise.

God bless you all.

Gert Louw

7 thoughts on “A day in gym HELL!

  1. Thanks for sharing…it reflects a man who is willing to show his ‘weaknesses’ to others that they also may be wise as they get older. God indeed sends His agents of care to see after His children. So glad you made it home safely.
    Your brother in Christ Jesus,

  2. That sounds like something in a movie. I don’t really have a ‘day from hell’ unless you count army training, where they make you run and do pushups till you puke every day … but some years ago I signed up for a local gym after years of doing nothing, and the youngster says I get a free health assessment, so I say bring it on. What he meant was an hour of calisthenics aimed at establishing my ‘biological age’ or something. He made me do a whole bunch of stuff which I, being a guy, tried to do to the best of my ability. That wasn’t so bad, even though I was completely wiped out. What was bad was the next few days. I was crippled. Couldn’t get out of a chair without help. Every muscle in my body just locked up tight. Horrible. The moral of the story is, if some kid offers you a free health assessment, just say NO!

    1. Nigel, thanks for that input buddy. And you know the scary part is 90% of personal trainers out there is guiding guys more than twice their age. They might have the theoretical skills but they got no clue as to the fragility, pains, aches and problems and older body has to deal with. So true mate. Thanks for sharing…

  3. Dude, what an experience. Thank God you managed to get home ok, I think you were very lucky you didn’t pass out, which would have been a worse outcome. Thanks for sharing. Good points, never take life for granted.

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