Julie Gleeson, a certified personal trainer at the YMCA of Central Maryland in Towson, believes in building strong muscles and combating fat. “Strong muscles burn calories more efficiently than fat. The more muscle mass a person has, the less fat and the quicker that person can metabolize calories taken in,” she says.
In a personal training session with Leslie Bradley, 47, she demonstrates the proper way to perform various exercises and avoid injury. “Many injuries are caused by using the wrong technique,” says Gleeson.
“Another thing people do is to do a lot of reps and use improper form. It is better to use proper form and do fewer reps than to do the exercise wrong,” says Gleeson.
Bradley was a dancer years ago and joined the YMCA about one month ago. She says her fitness routine includes running after her 7-year-old, but she has one goal in mind.
“I just want to feel comfortable in a bathing suit,” says Bradley.
Like many other people, Bradley sees things that no one else sees about her body that she says need work. She is long and lean and her years of dancing are apparent.
Julie Gleeson is the person to help her accomplish her goal. She works her clients hard, but with caution. With every move she urges, “If you feel pain, stop.” She does not mean that if you are feeling wimpy you can stop, that will never happen. Muscle fatigue is good she says and she will push past that discomfort.
Many people have not exercised in years and their muscles are not up to the task, but persistence will get you there.
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Ernestine Shepherd has been into fitness and bodybuilding since she was 56 years old.
At 73, she has no plans to quit. She is taking this God given determination and helping other women and some men to achieve their dreams of fitness.
You’ve got to get up pretty early in the morning to keep up with Shepherd. She is up at 3 a.m. everyday. Before her first run of the day she has a breakfast of two boiled egg whites, a bagel and 16 ounces of water.
She goes to Druid Hill Park and runs from 5:30 until 8 – 9 a.m. After running for hours, she drinks liquid egg whites and eats two more boiled egg whites. From there she heads to the gym to instruct her fitness classes from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. She takes time for lunch which is usually some sort of protein and carbohydrates and of course water. “Later on I eat roasted chicken, and that’s Subway chicken because I’m lazy, I don’t cook…a baked potato and spinach, later tuna fish and more egg whites…and vegetables,” said Shepherd.
Shepherd is very patient with the participants of her class. “First of all you have to start off slowly, you can’t jump in gung-ho. What you have to do is find what you like to do and when you find what you like to do make it fun…when you see the slightest change that will motivate you and make you keep going, she says.
Diet and exercise is really paying off for Shepherd. She has beautiful, clear skin, lovely silver-grey hair and her body is toned to perfection. Women have said they do not want to use weights and bulk up. Shepherd shows that with moderation anything can be achieved.
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