Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In which I join a gym

If you can’t make a new blog entry on Leap Day, maybe you shouldn’t be blogging.

This entry is about fitness, specifically, mine. After a year of gluttony, and a winter of heavy beers and Chipotle burritos disguised as “snacks”, and a particularly embarrassing round of bite the bag, in which I could not make it through even one round, the voice in me head (and increasingly, my foot), finally got loud enough, and I joined a gym.

Anytime Fitness opened a gym near our house a couple of years ago. Their two primary marketing points seem to be that they are open 24/7 and that they are less expensive than other gyms. Indeed, the Lifetime Fitness located across the street is probably quite lovely, but at $120 per month for me to join (at last check), a Powerball win would be required for me to sign up. And while I have never had any intention of working out at 2 am, Anytime’s base price of $40 per month (again, just for me) is completely reasonable. And if I can get there 12 times per month, my health plan will kick in $20. For a net charge of $20, what did I have to lose (other than 35 pounds)?

When you join a gym you get a free “fitness assessment”, which is great because I wasn’t sure if I was fit or not. Much to my surprise, I found out I am not fit. While these little sessions inevitably turn into sales pitches from the personal trainer to sign up (and PAY) for more personal training sessions, it was a useful place to start. Most of us who have not spent a lot of time in the gym don’t know what to do when we get there, so we spend 20-30 on the elliptical machine, hoping that will be enough. The truth is that we all know that isn’t enough, but we’re a little scared of the free weights because we don’t know what to do. My personal trainer was nice enough to show me what to do, and overall I’m off to a good start. Progress reports will continue in this blog as soon as progress is made.

The funniest moment of the personal training session came when the trainer was going to show me some bicep/tricep exercises that are done under this large contraption/torture device that you can hook up lots of things to - I’m sure you’ve seen one at your gym before. While she was explaining something to me, a nice young man came up and asked if he could finish his set. We said of course, and he proceeded to do his last 5 pull ups. He did his pull ups after wrapping a chain around his waist that had two 25 pound plate weights on it. I guess this is standard procedure if normal pull ups just don’t get you off anymore. Honestly, the chain was a bit much.

In the modified words of my friend Tryg, “good times, less grilled cheese.”

1 comment:

Lady H said...

I just about threw up after running with the little man in arms down one city block today. Indeed, not super fit. I have been rediscovering the actual fitness classes at our gym. It has been hilarious and fun and I sweat a ton. Way more than when I'm in charge.