News from Alexandre Despatie after his return to the gym
January 4, 2023 - By Karine Larose, M.Sc.
Are you hesitating about getting back into a workout routine? Need some motivation? I invite you to listen to this interview with Alexandre Despatie. Since having retired as a professional athlete in 2013, he hasn’t been able to get back to training on a regular basis. This time, with his new role as ambassador for Nautilus Plus, will he be successful?
I caught up with him to check in and see how training has been going since he picked it up in fall of this year. We recorded the entire interview at SF Studios, and it is with pleasure that we share the complete version (French only) in video format with you!
Listen to the Exclusive interview with Alexandre Despatie
In this interview, we talked about his initial fears about starting to work out, what motivated him to choose Nautilus Plus, and what he finds most challenging about maintaining his workout routine. Here is a summary of this exclusive interview with Alexandre Despatie.
Karine Larose: Having an ambassador, this is a first for Nautilus Plus. “We wanted to give this role to someone who was serious about getting back in shape. Why did you agree to be an ambassador for Nautilus Plus?
Alexandre Despatie: “This partnership with Nautilus Plus came at the right time in my life. After retiring from high performance sports, I took a long break… too long in fact! It took a good year and a half before I started training again. And since then, it has been very difficult to get back into a more consistent rhythm.
At 37 years old, Alexandre realizes that there is no wrong time to start and that you must seize the opportunities.
Alexandre Despatie: “I’ve been training for a few months now and I feel so good! I’ve rediscovered this desire to move, not because it’s written in my schedule, but because I’m eager to move.
Attendance pays off!
Since he started training at Nautilus Plus centers, Alexandre has been training three to four times a week.
KL: “A few weeks ago, I called you to congratulate you on your diligence. And you answered me in a surprised voice: “Well, I like it! Alexandre, why are you surprised that you like it?”
You must understand that as an athlete, Alexandre trained out of passion, but also out of obligation. It was his job. The approach at that time was quite different. Today, he doesn’t set “elite performance” goals like he used to.
AD: “(…) now I have personal goals. And one of them is to be consistent. (…) I don’t put pressure on myself to reach specific goals. I’ve been training for weeks and it’s evolving, it’s changing. I see that my body is evolving and my energy (too). But above all, I feel like going for it. The feeling of well-being felt after completing a training session consumes him. “It’s a feeling I haven’t experienced in a long time. And I love it! The answer is sincere and honest. It’s true… I like it. For example, yesterday a workout was not planned but I decided to go anyway. I don’t regret it at all, on the contrary! I felt great for the rest of the day. (…) You will almost always regret NOT going to work out. But when you do go, I’ve rarely, if ever, heard someone say, “I shouldn’t have gone to work out today”! Working out can only make you feel good.”
Being well accompanied
KL: We know how motivating it is to have professionals with university degrees coaching our members for various reasons. I asked Alexandre how he felt about having Antoine, his kinesiologist, coaching him in his ongoing workouts.
Having been followed by coaches throughout his career and having received feedback repeatedly, he understands the importance of this connection with a coach. In addition, some coaches in the past still saw him as an “Olympian” and pushed him beyond what he wanted. But today, he’s not an athlete anymore, he says. What he likes now is that his coach understands where he is today and where he wants to be tomorrow.
AD: “Today, I like the follow-up, but I don’t feel the pressure like I did as an athlete. My coach understands that. I feel like we are working together, and we are enjoying ourselves in the process.”
A membership that rewards your efforts
KL: Nautilus Plus is the only fitness center to offer the Boomerang membership, which rewards its members financially for each visit. These rebates accumulate and can be used to pay for their next year’s membership or to purchase products and services. “How would you describe the impact of being financially rewarded for each workout?
AD: “I love that concept. And it’s not like, they give you a $100 rebate all at once, because this month you came x number of times. (…) At first, I thought one dollar fifty ($1.50) is not much… but then I understood! But it’s long term and it adds up. When you train for a week, two weeks, a month, then two months, and suddenly you look at your account and you realize that you worked out quit a few times. And that’s when you realize “The more I go, the more I get back, the more it’s going to pay off in the end! I love that concept! It’s another incentive. You can reinvest in yourself, in your process of getting in better shape to achieve your goals.
What does Alexandre Despatie find most difficult?
KL: In closing, we know that training is not always easy. “Alexandre, what do you find the most difficult?
AD: “It’s the fact of understanding and especially accepting that it takes time before you see and feel the changes. But changes that are made the right way, in the right process, take time (…) You can’t say to yourself “Man, I’ve been training for 3 weeks, and nothing has changed”, that’s normal! You’re not supposed to lose 12 pounds in three weeks and suddenly you’ve got washboard abs and can run a marathon. (…) I still want everything, right now, in terms of results. That’s not how it works. I have to accept it and keep going (…) It’s hard at first, but once you get through that barrier, it’s worth it.”
Alexandre was generous with his time and his feedback. I thank him for his honesty. I’m sure that many of us recognize ourselves in his words. Even though we are not all ex-athletes, we realize that the process of getting back into shape poses similar challenges. Yet, the benefits are many and it is only by remaining diligent that we can take full advantage of them. You must be patient, take small steps and be persistent. Although they are not necessarily visible, many changes take place when you integrate regular physical exercise into your life. Since it’s not always easy, you might as well give yourself the best conditions and the necessary support to optimize your chances of success.
So, when do you (re)start taking care of yourself through regular exercise?
News from Alexandre Despatie after his return to the gym is a post from Nautilus Plus. The Nautilus Plus blog aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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