August 31, 2013

The Athlete Factory - Life of Elle Calgary

A Healthy Experiment

Elle x The Athlete Factory

The Dilemmas

Worst Fall from Mobile Patellas?

Just days before Western Canada Fashion Week 2013 Spring Show, I broke one of my toes.

Just as I was walking down some steps, my knee dislocated and I feel so hard down the stairs that my shoes actually flew off my feet – cartoon style.

Photo by Nicole Ashley - Life of Elle CalgaryI laid on the cold sidewalk for a long five minutes before I was able to pick myself up. Scraped, bruised, and broken, I still hopped into my car and drove to the MUA’s to get prepped for the WCFW show.

Determined not to give up, I still walked in WCFW, wearing knee braces on both legs.

I have mobile patellas. Basically, my kneecaps can and will fall out of position, resulting in limping and, in worse case scenarios, falls. As a result, my body has adapted to this weakness but making use of my calves, quads, and lower back muscles.

When I come home from a long night of wearing 5 inch heels, my calves and quads are seriously sore, my lower back muscles scream in pain, and my knees are a little more than just wobbly.

I will not stop wearing high heels. High heels gives that extra height and posture to produce the illusion of longer, more slender legs. As a short Asian of just 5’5″ working in the fashion industry, high heels are a must!

So, I have no choice but to endure wobbly walks and incapacitating sore muscles … bzzz, bzzz! WRONG!

According to the doctor, proper exercise and building muscle strength would increase stability and take more stress off my knees.

I, however, am NOT a fan of exercise at all. It’s just so boring and monotonous. Also, I honestly don’t know where to start – what exercises do I do, how long do I exercise, how often should I exercise?

Being the geek girl that I am, I Googled. Taking advice from Google is like taking advice on computer repair from a beautician who may or may not have any computer knowledge: I don’t actually know the credentials of the people who are sharing their exercise knowledge.

Is the advice on internet helpful or harmful?

Not knowing the answer, I stuck to my normal exercise regiment of on-and-off Just Dance sessions & 15 minute ab workouts (phone app), which are more fun than helpful.

The Athlete Factory has The Solution

When Jermaine of The Athlete Factory approached me with a workout plan, I was reluctant. I bargained. I even offered up my Health & Fitness Editor, but he was determined to work with me to build a stronger frame to support my lifestyle.

We started our first session on August 8th, 2013 and it has been five sessions since then.

Has there been a change?

<—– I want to you look at these shoes.These shoes are one of my more painful shoes to wear because the soles are very skinny and spongy. Also, these shoes push my heels up 5.5 inches, resulting in sore calf muscles and very serious lower back strain.In just an hour of wear, I’m usually rushing for a seat. When I wear these torture devices for a day, my lower back muscles cry for days.After just two sessions with Jermaine of The Athlete Factory, I found it super surprising that I was able to last a full day in these shoes and not have any lower back pain the next day.


DMacStudios Makeup

The Athlete Factory has The Solution (cont.)

It is all about firing the right muscles and relaxing the wrong ones. My first sessions with Jermaine taught me how to control my muscles to build hip stability, the base for better posture and less muscle strain.

More Than Going Through The Motions
For the first couple of sessions, we worked on squats. These squats were nothing like the squats I pulled through in Kungfu classes years and years ago. These new squats builds strength in my hamstrings and glutes.

If my quads or my lower back muscles were sore from these new squats, I was doing the exercise wrong! Jermaine kept a close eye on which muscles were firing and corrected my form to ensure that we building strength in the right spots.

Focus & Discipline
I’m not a quitter, but I do try to take the easy way out (intentionally or not) when it comes to exercising, especially when I’m on the last reps. It takes quite a bit of focus and discipline to ensure the right muscles are in used and the wrong ones remain relax.

I appreciated having Jermaine watching over my routine to make sure my focus and discipline do not waver.

Willpower VS. Capability
I am imbued with tonnes of willpower. So, I tend to push myself past my limits to the point of unnecessary injury.

How do I know if I am pushing myself too much? I don’t. I’m too focused. That’s something my trainer would notice.

The incident: I was pushing through my deadlifts and Jermaine noticed a shake in my form. “What did you eat today,” he asked. The truth: All I had was coffee and he could tell.

The result: No bike sprints! I could push through my bike sprints, but I had no fuel in me to power through the exercise – all I had was willpower. Jermaine would not have that – fueled by willpower only would hurt more than help.

Elle X The Athlete Factory

Since we started working together, I haven’t limped or fell from knee dislocation. In addition, I have not taken ANY muscle relaxants to relieve terribly sore back muscles.

Don’t get me wrong … I do get sore muscles from exercising at The Athlete Factory. It’s a good kind of soreness, though – a comfortable sign of athletic accomplishment – not debilitating injury.

I still frolic around the city in super high heels for an extended period of time, resulting in sore glutes and hamstrings – no back pain. Actually, it’s a strange feeling. Every time I come home from a long day of heel strutting, I tilt my head to the side and wonder, “why doesn’t my lower back hurt?!”

It’s like magic.

The Athlete Factory: Highly Recommended – ♥♥♥♥♥/5

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One thought on “Elle X The Athlete Factory

  1. Susan Knight says:

    Awesome!! I train at The Athlete Factory as well.. my work is a bit different as I am a powerlifter, but the principals are the same. I look forward to seeing you at AF one of these days… perhaps you could teach me to walk in heels? I am only 5 foot.. and need all the help I can get! I have also written a few blogs about my time at The Athlete Factory, feel free to check it out!

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