After more than a month of laziness, Fernanda Langhammer found her way back into fitness with the help of Dessange Paris Bahrain.
Summer is always a good time to escape the heat and travel on holiday. The problem with extended trips is that we end up getting out of our exercise routines – at least I did. I was pretty consistent with my running and core exercises, but now that I am back on the island, I have been finding many excuses not to get on track again. I was pretty excited to visit Dessange this month for a Personal Trainer (PT) session at their amazing health club to see if this would be the push I desperately needed.
Dessange is that place where you feel at home – with the extra perk of having a team of excellent professionals at your disposal. You can exercise, head for a relaxing massage at the spa, get your hair and nails done, all under the same roof and have a healthy drink from the juice bar at the end of the day.
I arrived at the welcoming reception and got my key to the locker. After my PT session, I would have to head to the office, so a shower and change was definitely something I would need. I left my belongings inside the cubby, already looking forward to being embraced by the fluffiest robe in the world (at least in my world) – I was happily anticipating it after my workout.
I arrived at the health club located on the upper floor of the Dessange villa and Maja, the Health Club Manager, introduced me to Tracy, a new trainer from South Africa who had just joined the team. Tracy was super excited as I was her first client for PT in Bahrain – she’s got years of experience in the field, though. She started by asking me my goals while we moved to the elliptical machine so I could start my five-minute warm-up.
Toning is always my main exercise goal, so she planned a full-body circuit to work different muscles. We started working on my abs with a yoga ball; initially, it seemed easy and fun, but it quickly became pretty challenging. For each exercise, I had to repeat it three times. According to exercise experts, repetition of a specific movement invokes muscle memory; as you repeat, your performance during each set will improve. One of the best things about working out with a trainer is that she will keep the motivation levels high. Even when you think you can’t do something, she finds a way to help you keep up.
We then worked on my biceps, triceps and inner and outer thighs (using different equipment). I noticed that the muscles I use more, such as the biceps and outer thighs were pretty easy to work with. However, my triceps and inner thighs, which I barely remembered existed, were quite tough. But with Tracy’s words of encouragement and her clear instructions, I ended my sets successfully. We also worked on squads, glutes and shoulders.
I was feeling accomplished, and my serotonin (a hormone that controls our mood and is responsible for the feeling of happiness) levels were skyrocketing. However, the best part was yet to come. Tracy takes cooling off seriously, saying it is as important as the exercise. She asked me to go to the power plate, a vibrating machine that helps to reduce hip, back, pelvic floor and inner thigh pain. After the regular standing position, I also used it for knees, lower back and arms. The 30-second duration of each pose was enough to loosen my tensed muscles. I then moved to the mat on the floor for some stretching, which was done with Tracy’s help. But the cherry on top was when she started massaging some key areas of my back and legs – VIP treatment at its best after an hour of hard work. The whole idea of a comprehensive cool-down is to reduce the next day’s soreness.
Before I left Dessange, I quickly visited Michelle at the juice bar and got my green juice made with celery, cucumber, green apple, parsley, spinach, lemon and ginger – healthy and delicious! I also got a glass bottle with flavoured water in a personalised Dessange bottle to keep me hydrated during my busy days.
I must confess that I was a bit sore the next day, but mostly in the abdominal area. Tracy’s attentiveness to post-training paid off, and I am very thankful for that.
The good news is that I, indeed, went back to my exercise routine – now I just have to stick to it!