I know I might be a little crazy, but I love working out. It has a way of lifting my mood like nothing else can. That's why, when I got the opportunity to train with Gunnar Peterson, as part of the Gatorade G Series Fit launch, I was all over it. At the event, I learned how these new G series drinks help you hydrate before, during, and post-workout, and I was going to need all three for what Gunnar was planning!
When you enter Gunnar's gym, you can't help but notice signed photos, jerseys, and other memorabilia of world-famous athletes and models. He's trained Tom Brady and Pete Sampras, and I even ended up working out with Reggie Bush! No big deal, right? Who are they compared to a pro softball player? Exactly.
My first question for Gunnar was how he manages to work with such a broad spectrum of different people. His answer was simple: "I keep it fun and mix it up." And that's exactly what we did.
First he had me warm up on a treadmill that took away 30 percent of my body weight, so there was much less impact on my joints. The best part? I could bump up my speed to 11.0 (in treadmill lingo, this is really fast), and still have it feel like a jog.
After that he had me hold onto a cable and "re-enact" catching ground balls and line drives laterally. The weight of the cable pulled me, so I had to really activate my core and engage my legs to stay balanced with the movement.
Then we had some fun on the slide board. I slid back and forth while Gunnar threw all sorts of balls at me. I had to catch them without completely eating it! I was so focused on catching the different balls that I didn't even feel the huge burn in my abductors and adductors until we were done. And this was just the warmup!
The craziest move of the day came at the end, and I'm pretty sure this is one that should not be tried at home. I got in a plank position on the end of a treadmill, with my hands on the treadmill and my feet on the floor. As the treadmill moved, I would walk my hands forward. OK, something different for some good core and shoulder stability work.
Got it. But then Gunnar decided to put little hacky-sack balls on the treadmill. I was supposed to pick them up with one hand (yes, leaving only one hand to balance myself on this moving treadmill!) and place them delicately to the side. Wow. We all have nightmares of wiping out on a treadmill because it's going too fast while running, but I'd never been scared of face-planting onto a treadmill because my arms gave out!
I'm not going to lie: I had problems picking up my son and functioning like a normal person for a few days, but I loved those moves. Gunnar taught me how to be more creative and fun with my workouts -- without losing any of the challenge.