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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

To Whom It May Concern,

My name is (withheld) and I joined your club about 2 weeks ago. Previously I swam for 4 years at Calif. Family Fitness. I observed somethingin the pool today, that concerned me. I am an R.N. and also a formerly mobidly obese person. I observed a trainer with a name tag (name?) helping train a morbidly obese gentleman in the pool today. He started him out running and lifting his legs and after 1 length he was so out of breath he would rest for 4-5 minutes and sprint and rest. As I was in the lane right next to him I could tell how out of breath (therefore how high his heart rate) and I became concerned that I did not observe a pulse rate being taken. The trainer would push this guy like one would push someone 200+lbs lighter in my opinion. What I know about people that big is that intense increase and sudden decrease in pulse like that could cause a heart attack - having worked in Intensive Coronary Care for many years, I have seen it before. Obviously I'm not a fitness instructor, but when I see something that seems so technically off I have to speak.

Thank you,
(name withheld)

*********************************

So, that's the letter we received. We called and spoke with her about her thoughts. Obviously the letter was written from a place of concern and as such we responded taking her concerns in mind but making sure that she knew that we had been doing this for a while and were aware of my physical limits.

I do want to correct one thing she wrote in the letter though. She stated that she observed me take one length of the pool and rest for 4-5 minutes while I caught my breath. It was more like 1 lap with a pause and then after the return lap I took maybe one and one half to two minutes break before begining the next exercise. And yes...I was quite out of breath but as we explained to her we're in the pool so that I can get my heart rate up without too much impact on my sore foot. The rest of the workout was pretty steady as far as heart rate goes but I don't think she was there for more than about 10 to 15 minutes of my 45 minute session. (I could be mistaken)

All I can say is that I do appreciate her concern and her professional opinion but in the end I kind of wish she would have just leaned over and asked if everything was ok. I really felt bad for Kendrick, my trainer. There has never been a time when he wasn't very conscious of my heavy breathing. He constantly checks on me and allows me to rest as needed and even when he pushes me he never pushes me past my limit.

I'm not sure what else to say...what are your thoughts.

10 Comments:

Blogger The EYE said...

actually, i pretty much have to agree with you. her concern is definitely nothing to scoff at; its too bad there arent more people with concern for others. however, i think going straight to gym management was a bit over the top too quickly... thats like calling the fbi or the national guard when you get pick-pocketed.

like you said: she should have asked you if you were ok, or if you thought your trainer was overworking you. if she still had concerns she could have approached the trainer. if that still didnt work (and there was legitimately a problem), then she should have gone to the mgmt.

as is, it kind of stands to potentially make the whole situation embarassing for all...

5:13 AM, October 04, 2006  
Blogger TH said...

I think it's pretty rare that someone is so concerned in the well-being of others - I'm glad to hear such people still exist. Of course, as you said and as the eye said, she could have taken a less formal route and just talk to you directly. Although it could be that she didn't want to inconvenience you by having you confront your trainer, and instead got the gym to do it for you. This of course can be seen as patronising and puts your trainer on the spot and makes the whole thing a bit embarrassing. But, I think she meant well, and that's what counts.

And I must say she does have a point with the heart rate. Not only is over-excertion dangerous it doesn't do any good for weight loss. As you know, fat is burned best at low heart rates, and in my experience having a heart rate monitor or constant checks to make sure your rate doesn't climb too high during exercise is essential. And having to pause a lot will not help either, the key to fatburning is to keep going for longer at a moderate rate rather than giving all you've got for short bursts.

5:43 AM, October 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd probably forget about it. Just some polite cocern...apparently you're working hard and the whole world knows it.

hope the pool workouts are going well and you're foot gets better

3:26 PM, October 04, 2006  
Blogger Julianne B said...

rock on with your bad self and keep going.. you are doing awesome...

12:29 AM, October 05, 2006  
Blogger Sean Perkey said...

the eye: I have to agree with you. I do understand her concerns and I know that the letter was not meant to cause trouble but it has the possibility of disrupting my training and putting my trainer under pressure that he shouldn't have to be under. I hope he doesn't start second guessing himself.

th: I get what you're saying about heart rate and the rest of my workout was pretty balanced as far as keeping a steady heart rate. The set in question was my first of the day and that's always going to get me breathing hard...the futher in to the workout the more I settle in.

Anon: thanks and yes I do think the pool workouts are helping. My foot still hurts but I feel I can get in a good cardio workout in the pool and I can increase the activity without hurting myself further.

Julianne B: Hey! Thank you! I stopped by your blog and congrats on your own loss!

9:09 AM, October 05, 2006  
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