A Beginner’s Journey to Fitness
Sree has been a member of Bent On Better for three years now, she is an IT professional and lives in the West Chester area with her family. Before joining Bent On Better, she had never worked out. She was aware that she needed some form of routine, but her knowledge of exercise was limited to treadmill walking or jogging.
Fortunately, her husband knew someone who could help her get started on the road to better health and fitness. Her husband connected her to Matt, owner of Bent On Better personal training gym and a former coworker at the YMCA who helped her begin her fitness journey.
Like any beginner, Sree had difficulty carrying out even the simplest of workouts. Walking would get her out of breath, lifting weights was challenging, squats and lunges would torture her, and she doubted whether she could actually carry a 50 lb kettlebell.
Knee and Back Problems
During her early 20s, Sree had surgery on her right knee because of an injury. Before, she had no idea how to carry herself or what to do in any given situation. Because she worked a desk job, she also had some back problems, which made her nervous throughout her workouts because she didn’t know if lifting this or that would injure her knees or back more.
Stronger than Ever
Every time Sree came close to throwing in the towel, she was encouraged to keep going by her trainers. They pushed her beyond what she thought she couldn’t do – and she made it through the end of the challenge.
With the help of her trainers and fellow members, Sree overcame her doubts and achieved her goal. She was able to raise that 50 lb. kettlebell.
“Today I can push myself and say, ‘Hmm, I think this feels a bit easy, this looks easy, maybe I should just bump up the weight.’ I’m not afraid of doing that so I’ve come a long way. Thanks to all the strength training.” – Sree
Some Struggles to Get Through
Aside from doubting herself and going through the physical hurdles of pain, Sree also had to overcome some mental challenges to maintain her progress. The first one was being aware of the amount of food she eats. Family meals were an essential part of Sree’s upbringing in a culture where eating together was a way to connect with one another. She struggled with self-control and ensuring she only ate enough to meet her own nutritional needs.
The second hurdle was showing up to workout consistently. As Sree puts it, “You know you need to come in at least two, three times a week but the more you strength train the more you experience soreness in the body, you have to get over the soreness and have the discipline to show up.”
Learning the combination of having the discipline of working out and watching out what you eat really goes a long way. While Sree may not have reached her goals yet, she’s working on it and enjoying her fitness journey.
“It’s the destination and the distance that keeps us moving forward, but it’s the journey and enjoying that journey is how we’re able to keep moving” – Matt April
Keeping an Eye on Your Form
Sree has come a long way since joining Bent On Better three years ago. Her knees and back no longer hurt when she did numerous sets of 62-pound kettlebell squats after first doubting her ability to lift a 50-pounder.
Sree also stressed the importance of being aware of your form when doing the weights. Sree had to undergo physical therapy after injuring her back lifting a kettlebell the wrong way when she was a beginner in the gym. She had to take a break and then return to the gym to re-establish her strength, starting with no weights and working her way up to 62 pounds. As a result of the injury, she is now more aware of how she lifts and performs her squats to avoid any pain. When she knows that her coaches are there for her every step of the way, she has a greater sense of confidence.
“… but I have wonderful coaches that are always there correcting my form, they’ll stop you and then say Sree hold on, pause, I’m going to correct your form and they’ll make sure that you’re doing the right way. That’s the best part of everything, you’re not on your own.” – Sree
Finding Strength, Gaining Confidence
At present, Sree is able to maintain her progress and gives the credit to the strength training program of Bent On Better, the well-planned workout routine, and the occasional surprises thrown in that make the workout experience more fun.
When asked about what she can say to those who want to make a change but haven’t had any experience in fitness or lifting weights, Sree tells us to not lose hope, have the persistence to come in to work out, and give Bent On Better a try.