Today, I have come to Muscle and Fitenss in Townsville to meet Joel, the mastermind behind Adventurethon. In fact, it was his infectious enthusiasm for the event that got me to upgrade from simply volunteering to help out, to taking part in the Enduro race, being filmed for two TV shows and expanding into writing about Australian adventures in general!
In short, I blame him for much of my recent suffering. I think this would please him…
Like me, Joel has taken some time off to rest and recover after the Magnet Island event. Unlike me, however, he did not take part in the event. He had the infinitely more exhausting task of planning, setting up, running and tidying up the entire thing! Along with teams of volunteers, he does this for every one of the ever-expanding number of Adventurethon events across the territory.
Now we are both back in town, we have arranged to meet up and head to the gym. This is how people like us bond – through iron. Joel, however, used to be a bodybuilder – and it shows!
As it turns out, there is also slightly more to this gym session than I realised; Sophie (who filmed me limping my way through Adventurethon) will be filming parts of our workout for a show she is making about natural bodybuilding. There was a time when this prospect would have been intimidating, but I have lost track of the number of bizarre things I have agreed to do over the last 24 months.
The gym itself is collossall – as are many of its occupants! Not normally a fan of ‘mainstream’ gyms, I fall in love with this one almost immediately. Perhaps it is because it is the middle of the working day, but the place is wonderfully clean, spacious and practically deserted. I realise I will regret not taking more pictures.
For the sake of the camera, we keep our session basic yet intense. After some leg presses to warm up, we try out the Robster Le Monster 100-rep leg extension set. This is Joel’s first time trying this and, despite slapping on thrice the weight of my set, he dutifully works his way through to the end. I feel for the guy; that is no way to treat your legs, especially not at the start of a session! The man is a machine!
After some heavier matrix-sets of leg extentions, we move to a superset of hack squats and jumping squats, which we turn into a type of pullup using some hanging bars. This is a killer, but a combination I will definitely use again for developing quad endurance. IT BURNS!
For upper body footage, we choose a fantastic incline press machine (the handles come together beautifully towards the top of the movement) which we superset with pulldowns. For extra footage, I agree to do some dumbbell curls (the cheesy classic) and some simple barbbell shoulder presses.
For the sake of the camera, I am wearing a Muscle and Fitness vest top that I have borrowed from the counter. I am slowly coming to the realisation that I will have to pay for it. No man should work this hard in clothes he intends to return.
After an enjoyable session, we head out for coffee by the sea and discussions about endurance events and training. That evening, Alli takes me to Cape Paleranda, where we go for a walk and get eaten by insects.
As tonight is my last night in Townsville for a while, we get takeaway curry and drink wine into the night. The hospitality of the house has been a delight – I am sad to be leaving.
VIDEO TO COME!