I find weight rooms intimidating. Weights banging. Physically fit people all around. It’s hard to get comfortable.

Yet, my weight room orientation tonight was just that—comfortable. Alessandra, the weight room attendant, made me and my fiancée feel at ease with her dry wit, comprehensive knowledge, and pleasant demeanour.

She made us realize it doesn’t matter that other people are in better shape. “People aren’t here to look at you. When I’m working out, I’m focused on what I’m doing, not on the people around me.” What matters is that we are at the gym and trying to improve.

Alessandra shows Steele how to use some of the machines in the weight room

Alessandra shows Steele how to use some of the machines in the weight room

As the tour progressed, I felt more and more at ease as Alessandra carefully explained how to use each machine, outlining what to adjust and highlighting proper form. Her witty one-liners kept the orientation light as we made our way through the wide selection of cardio and weight machines available. She thoughtfully answered our every question with ease.

Asked to point out common mistakes, she playfully illustrated some particularly poor form on some knee raises. She then proceeded to effortlessly demonstrate the proper technique, putting her incredible athleticism on display.

Alessandra shows how not to do a knee raise!

Alessandra shows how not to do a knee raise!

Giving us advice on the various ways to perform pull-downs, she delivered her best line of the night: “That’s what I would tell my clients anyway, if I had any… I don’t.” [Editor’s note: we’ve just hired Alessandra as a personal trainer! Email fitness@glendon.yorku.ca to book a session with her today!]

Yet, she really should. An aspiring personal trainer, she delivered a great orientation, was very knowledgeable, and had a fun personality. She made feeling intimidated seem rather silly.

Once the orientation ended, my fiancée and I felt comfortable enough to do a cardio workout and use a few of the machines—something we would not have done in the past. The gym was not crowded and we were able to use every piece of equipment we wanted without a wait. The great selection of cardio machines, including new ellipticals, stationary bikes, treadmills and Arc trainers, was particularly impressive. I look forward to going back.

Though, not too soon. My legs are still sore from Pump It on Sunday and I’m set to do a group cycling class tomorrow. Wish me luck! I may need it to get through the month.


Book a free weight room orientation with one of our great staff – email fitness@glendon.yorku.ca to arrange a time. 

This post was written by Steele Roddick for the Glendon Athletic Club, as part of his #GACFitnessFeb challenge. Steele is trying something new at the GAC every day for the month of February. Follow his daily posts to read about his adventure in fitness and see all that the GAC has to offer!