Thursday, 2 June 2011

Getting the most out of a gym membership

I just use my muscles as a conversation piece, like someone walking a cheetah down 42nd Street. 
 -Arnold Schwarzenegger 

This photograph, taken on “Speedo Day”, shows the theme celebrated nationally, by 3 people (there were 6 in total), in Magaluf, once. And they were British.

Effort. The reason people give up the gym in February, after the inevitable flurry of new-year gym uptake, is that going to the gym IS- by its very nature- a lot of hard work. For some of us, it’s fun as well- but still hard. Otherwise, it’s pointless.

Being a gym member and only doing weights every session, however, is like going to New York for the weekend and going up the Empire State Building three days in a row. Yeah, it’s a good experience, but it’s only a fraction of what you could have done. If you’re paying for something, you might as well see what there is on offer. Right?

That is why I’ve set myself a little month-long task. Throughout June, I’m going to hit as many gym classes as I can. I’m going to try things I’ve never thought of doing before, like boxercise. I’m going swimming for the first time since last summer. I expect I’ll be the only man doing Zumba. I have the feeling the same will go for quite a few classes that are traditionally “for women”.

Getting my money’s worth is one reason for trying this. Smashing weights every day will make you stronger. I’ve proven that to myself. That’s why I’ve stuck with the weights and not ventured out to many classes. Using the weights, however, is also a solo experience. Few people go to the gym with their mates, and those that do spend more time spotting and less time putting in the actual graft. That’s certainly why I go on my own. On the flip side, if you’re spending that long in the gym… why not make a few friends there? Won't that be a lot easier to do in classes than when you’re sat in the chest press machine? The circuit class groups members into pods of four. In boxercise you’re paired up, holding the pads for the person punching then swapping over after the timer goes. And of course, the instructors usually have a bit of banter while they’re getting you to put in your all. Having an instructor egging me on will probably push me out of a comfort zone and improve my cardio, hopefully, which has been pretty static for the last year or so.

I’m going to put the weights on hold for the month. I’ll hammer the classes. Then at the start of July, I’ll see whether I’m stronger when I go back to weights. As for the classes, I’ll see how I fare over the next month. Whatever I like I’ll stick with. Bring the pain.


Gordon Bennet said...

I started membership at David Lloyd recently and have already gotten a bit bored of my workout and not having met anybody new. I've been thinking about looking into some of the classes.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it. What better way to meet women than in a room where you are outnumbered by women wearing SPANDEX!

CageFightingBlogger said...

That's certainly why I'm doing it!