As a collegiate athlete on the Slippery Rock University women’s cross country and track and field team, I thought I was in great shape, until I worked out with SRU bodybuilder Adam Gibson.
After watching Gibson compete in the Mr. and Mrs. SRU Bodybuilding and Figure Show last weekend, I was hoping he would take me through a typical workout in preparation for an upcoming show.
On Tuesday during common hour, I met up with Gibson at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center for what I thought would be an easy workout. I was so wrong. In just a little over an hour with him, I worked muscles that I didn’t even know I had.
Weighing in at a whopping 114 pounds, you can probably guess that I wasn’t able to squat or bench anywhere near what Gibson could. He was kind enough to modify most of the exercise stations to better suit my small build.
One of the exercises I really struggled with was the military press. For this overhead lift, Gibson said he typically lifts 120 pounds for each barbell in each hand. I pressed only 20 pounds total.
After a solid workout of leg extensions, hamstring curls, cable crosses, lat pulldowns, bench presses, bicep curls, and tricep extensions, I was feeling it for the rest of the day…and the rest of the week.
During our workout together, I learned that it’s more about repetitions than heavy weights for more of the exercises.
Gibson also taught me that lifting is all about taking small steps. Don’t do too much, too soon. He also said that it was normal for me to start with such small weights, but it’s also important to make it increasingly more difficult over time.
Going on a six mile run, like I’m used to, takes endurance, but lifting weights takes great strength, which I was clearly lacking.
After surviving a tough workout with him, Gibson said that he sees a bodybuilding and figure show in my future, and I’m definitely considering it.
For the next workout, I’m thinking of taking him on an extra-long run with me. Do you think he’ll keep up?