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Being healthy means you're probably in pain - Curt Yeomans

Who said your body wouldn't be in pain if you're healthy?

Seriously, I want to know, because they've obviously never gone to a fitness gym.

After one trip to the gym, your arms hurt, your chest hurts, your abs are burning and your legs have turned into jelly.

That's how I feel this week.

I recently joined a gym that stays open until midnight, Mondays-Thursdays, so I've been hitting it up for a couple of hours a night after work this week. It's the first time in more than three years that I've gone to a gym on a regular basis. Actually, it's the first time since I graduated from college that I've gone to a gym on a regular basis.

I remember workouts always hurt more on the day after, but I also remember the pain going away after a day. The pain isn't stopping this time.

I laugh at the person who believes healthy, young people wouldn't experience pain. It's a myth which somehow ignored the old adage of "No Pain, No Gain." It's my pursuit of health that's putting me in pain.

There are the shoulder presses, squats, bench presses, dips, calf raises, lat pulldowns, rows, curls, and leg extensions. There is a certain level of benefits you can get from doing most of these exercises on machines, but it's better to do most of these with free weights, if you can. It engages the muscles more, because it's all on you.

I try to do a mixture.

I do some things, like bench presses, on a machine and with free weights, because I like the extra insurance. However, I use barbells for the free weights version of that exercise since it's easier for me to handle. Other things, like shoulder presses are exclusively free weights, while lat pulldowns can only be done on a machine.

Then there's the hip adductor. Ah, the hip adductor. This is a machine where you put your legs into these stir-up type things -- kind of like what you'd find at a gynecologist's office -- and you're supposed to pull your inner hip muscles together to lift weights.

Now, I want to point out that there are two pads involved. One pad for each inner hip muscle. The weights are pulling these pads apart and you're supposed to pull them together.

Well, one slip and those pads have got you spread open like a Thanksgiving turkey that's about to be carved to pieces. It's not a pretty experience.

However, despite all of the pain, the benefits of improved health make it worth turning yourself into a blob on a daily basis. The pain will (hopefully) turn into the gain.

Curt Yeomans covers education for the Clayton News Daily. He can be reached at (770) 478-5753, ext. 247 or via e-mail at cyeomans@news-daily.com.