Enjoying the snow today?
I had to drive around in this stuff all morning when it was at it's worst. At least it looks pretty.
I just joined a gym a couple of days ago that focuses upon Functional Training. My membership will not begin until February so I won't be able to tell you my own experience with this just yet. But I have great expectations.
You are doing the right thing to step away from the machines. Functional Training is a method of training that improves our abilities to do everyday activities. Does this mean that it is easier than machines or strength training that isolates muscle groups? No way. In fact, when using this method of training you are using compound exercises that usually rely upon the coordination of the upper and lower body together at the same time. The benefit is better "communication" among the muscle groups. You also tend to work harder in a less amount of time. There is also a "sticky" at the top of the forum that further discusses the benefits of functional training vs machines.
The following is a link from a site that demonstrates this type of training.
Now, since it's really inconvenient to lug in a tractor tire into the gym with you every other day you may wish to consider looking into compound exercises that can be done with free weights or body weight exercises. As previously mentioned squats, and lunges are great. You may also wish to look into Olympic style lifts when meeting with your trainer. When performed correctly these lifts can strengthen upper, lower and core muscles. Ask the trainer for assistance with learning how to do a front squat push press.
Oh, and I don't think this woman would have any trouble telling a football player that her place is in the weight room either. Neither should you.
We all have bodies that deserve to be strengthened and maintained regardless of our occupations, sport or gender.
It also helps make it easier when we have to shovel all that snow out of our driveways on days like today.
(I still haven't done mine and I noticed that my neighbor from six doors down did the sidewalks on our entire side of the street.
Oh the guilt.