The Weight is Over – Part 36: Ask Matthew ANYthing – Next Week He’ll Reply

Workouts at Align always start with a warm-up, which, for me, is usually on the recumbent bike, typically about 10 minutes, but sometimes longer. It just depends what Matthew says. After that, the real fun begins when Matthew Lister assigns whatever I’ll be doing for the next hour or so.

By “fun” I mean he’ll prescribe a workout that will leave me exhausted and sweaty for the duration of that session, and sore for the next few days. Because I work out four days a week, I’m sore somewhere on my body, even on the days I’ve not worked out, because often the workout soreness is delayed a day or two.

But it hurts so good, because this is a soreness that comes from gaining strength and building muscle, something I’ve never done before.

So the other day I came into Align, and Matthew was busy talking with a new client, so I hopped on the bike and started my warm-up. I went 10 minutes. He was still deep in conversation, so not wanting to interrupt, I went another eight minutes before I finally caught his eye and I asked how long he wanted me to go.

“Go 10 minutes,” he said.

“I’ve already gone almost 20,” I said.

“OK, go to 30,” he said.

And that pretty much sums up Matthew’s philosophy; a mindset I’ve grown to embrace. I shared this go-30 story on Facebook the other day and another Align client said that’s how he earned the nickname of “Two More Matthew” – which I’d not heard before.

I had to laugh, because it’s so true. He pushes us to one level, but when he can see we can do more, he expects us to advance even further. That phrase about going outside one’s comfort zone applies every time I work out at Align. I continually — willingly – move beyond what’s uncomfortable.

Take that recumbent bike I mentioned. When I first started at Align in December, he had me peddling at level 8, keeping the rpms around 65.  Now I’m at level 12, and Matthew wants the rpms to be around 80.

Guess what? I’m doing it. And that’s been the key to success with this program: Whenever I get to a place where I can do something, I don’t get too bonded with that level, because I know Matthew will move the bar, increase the work-out weights, and demand more of me. Because he knows I can do it.

doni 30 pounds 7 19 2016

This has had another effect. It has changed how I am when I’m away from Align. For the past month or so, if it’s not in the triple digits outside (because you know I’m a heat weenie), I park as far as I can in a parking lot so I get extra exercise from the longer walk. I look for reasons to carry thing that are heavy, because I know I can.

There’s a saying, something about if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.

That’s why lately I’m stepping up my workouts to twice a day, if I can swing it with my schedule. And despite the fact that sometimes I feel as if all I do is workout, sweat, shower, workout, sweat, shower, the results are worth it.

Matthew is fond of saying that extraordinary results come from extraordinary efforts, and that’s true whether it’s a job, or a relationship, or yes, a workout.

Matthew R. Lister. Photo by Diane Hill.

Matthew R. Lister. Photo by Diane Hill.

Speaking of Matthew, I get questions about him, or for him, all the time. I mentioned that to him yesterday, and he’s agreed to try something new for my next column: a Q&A with Matthew, but this time, all the questions will be yours.

To submit a question, just write it in the comments section before Monday, and we’ll post as many questions as possible with his replies in next week’s Thursday column. Or, if you’re feeling bashful, you may email me your questions at donig.anewscafe@gmail.com, and I’ll forward them to Matthew.

Just think of it as having your own personal trainer to answer all your questions; without having to pay for his time, or do a 2-minute plank first.

Go for it. Ask him anything. I look forward to your questions, and can’t wait to hear his answers.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded what’s now known as anewscafe.com in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain is an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She lives in Redding, California.

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