Visiting Gem Fitness

Before the holidays, Eric and I met Cem Eren at Bret Contreras’s Glute Lab. We typically lift on Friday nights with Bret, Sohee, Kevin and a vast array of people who come in town. Eric and I had been following Cem on social media for some time. Eric trains in a similar fashion and immediately took to Cem’s insanely high amount of energy and passion. We told Cem we would love to see his gym and the rest was history.

Cem runs weight training classes that focus on lower body but is happy to modify anything you wish. I took three classes in 3 days of lower body which is not my typical regimen, but with all the equipment Cem has in his location, I decided to make an exception to “try before we buy” since we are on the hunt for 3- 4 additional pieces for the studio.

Cem had me focus on contracting at the top of each movement while being careful not to pull my hips through. He is very particular about finding exercises that you feel, and that target each best. Although it is a “class,” he operates much more similar to a large semi- private session. Sometimes, a client did the same superset I just completed, and other times I was the only one to use the superset. You rest when you’d like, and I made it through 4 supersets of 4 sets each. Rep ranges are typically 8- 20 although, with the weighted Bulgarian split squats ( the bar was 104 lbs), I could only do three each for four sets.

I put my first two training sessions on Instagram and Facebook if you’d like to see the particulars.

On Saturday, Eric and I both did a DEXA scan at Gem Fitness. A company set up shop outside of the gym, and we popped in before our 11 am class. Those interested in numbers, my results were as follows: 22.1 percent BF (I have slight vascularity and some abdominal definition at this BF percent), 103 pounds of lean mass, 138 pounds. I was weighed after fluids, two meals, and with clothes on and had been 134 in the morning on an empty stomach sans clothes. Good news is that I do not have any visceral fat present. Visceral fat is the fat located around your organs. My body fat is more so in my lower body but evenly distributed for the most part. My right arm had roughly one pound of lean mass greater than that of my left arm. The difference in lean mass is typical for those right-handed. My legs were 0.1 difference which was reassuring since my left knee was injured last year. My concern was that I was favoring my right leg too much when lifting.

I can’t wait to prep and see what my scan says before a competition. Of course, I wanted my body fat to be in the teens (heck, I’d want it to be in single digits) but I am excited to make changes and pursue my goals! I will be talking more about mindset regarding testing (including scale weight) on Facebook Live this week on our Team page.

Take away points from visiting and learning from another trainer:

  • We were able to open our minds to include different ideas and ways to sculpt physiques
  • We were re-energized seeing a new studio (and made our equipment wish list)
  • We had fun! What is the point in doing anything if you don’t have a good time doing it?
  • We got better as coaches

I don’t know where we would be without the help, guidance, and knowledge of other trainers and coaches- especially Bret (Contreras), Sohee (Lee), Cem (Eren), and Layne (Norton)- and the information from conferences like the NSCA. My advice to you if you’d like to coach- don’t stop learning.