After I completed a couple of sets, I was talking to one of the trainers about how my strength has improved. He said that he definitely noticed a difference and thought that it was now time for me to move away from the assisted machine.
I kinda laughed in his face when he told me that. He was like, 'Come on. It's time to try something new. Challenge your muscles.'
I'm all for challenging my muscles. He said he would assist me by holding my feet and having me push off against his hands.
I didn't really understand what he meant. I jumped up and grabbed on to the bar. I crossed my feet together and then bent my legs. He held my ankles and told me to pull up with my arms and push off against his hands with my ankles.
I tried. It was terrible. I barely moved a millimeter! I started laughing saying that was the best I could do.
He didn't buy it. He told me that my legs were too lax.
I tried again. I did slightly better this time, but I still wasn't sure exactly what I was doing.
We talked about the movement some more. He explained which areas of my body I would be using. He explained how the muscles were working together. He told me I was bending my legs too much, kinda to the point where my heels were almost touching my butt. He told me to keep them firmer and straight.
It made more sense to me then -- so I went ahead and gave it another go.
This time, my legs were firm. I kept my posture straight. I pulled up ... and what do you know, I actually started moving. I was pulling up and I was actually moving!
I kept going. I looked in the mirror and saw that I was quite close to the top of the bar and my arms were bent (instead of pretty much completely straight like during my first attempt).
The image startled me so much that I exclaimed 'Holy Shit!!!' really, really loudly in the middle of the gym. My exclamation caught both me, H, and everyone else in the weight room off guard, and then I started laughing.
Unfortunately that made me lose my concentration, but boy was I happy that I gave that a go. H said he's work with me whenever I wanted to try and really challenge my muscles and work on building up enough strength to do both chin ups and pull ups (which is perfect as it falls in line with the challenge I'm doing with Marc and his gang) :)
It was a good day.