Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Today I went into the city to see my sister. We decided to hit her gym since I'd been talking about how I wanted to try the elliptical machine and the stationary bikes.

With this upcoming 1215 step climb followed by the 42 mile 5 boro bike tour I know I need to get my little gams into better shape than they are now.

I figured that I'd check her gym out and if it was decent I'd take them up on their 30 day $30 dollar promo and mix up Boot Camp with the machines.

Once we arrived, I realized that I have not step foot in a gym in about 18 years. (Remember that I've only been back on track and working out for about a year and a half now)

The gym is on 3 floors, each floor has a different set of equipment.
 Main floor has all the cardio equipment. Elliptical, treadmills, stair climbers and a machine that looks like a very small escalator that you walk up stairs on.

Second floor is all weight machines and free weights. I was delighted to see a rack of kettlebells but upon closer inspection I was disappointed. The weights started at 30 pounds and went up to 60. That's all they had. The bells looked unused and lonely. I promised them I would come back to visit in a little bit.

I went upstairs one more flight to find the stationary bikes.  I sat down and instantly remembered why I hated gyms and the equipment within.

For all the tea in China I could NOT figure out how to get this stupid bike to track my workout. I pedaled hard for about 15 mins but was frustrated that I couldn't tell how far I went, how fast I was going or how many calories I'd burned.

I hopped off and decided to make good on my promise to the Kettlebells.

I'm guessing they don't get many girls using the bells (or for that matter many guys) because two trainers stood there watching me as I did swings, high pulls, squats and lifts and trunk twists with the 30 pound bell.

I don't mind them watching but if you are going to stare, say something or at least SMILE!
There was a mirror there and so I was able to really keep an eye on my form during the swings. It was nice to have.

My arms were screaming so I went downstairs to the cardio equipment and hit the treadmill with my sister and then my stupid shin splints acted up so she and I went to hit the elliptical. It was my first time on the machine and I really liked it.

As I'm typing this I can feel the muscles in my thighs aching ever so slightly.

What  I really hate about the gym is the equipment and how stupid it makes me feel. How can I, a woman who is relatively comfortable with technology NOT be able to figure out how to use a lifecycle bike?!

I swear I sat there punching buttons while peddling my little heart out getting more and more frustrated that I couldn't see any of the info about my workout. For me, there is NO point in using these damn machines if I can't SEE the results in front of me.

When I went down to use the treadmill with my sister, I had her thankfully to show me how to use it but when I use this sort of equipment I always have a sneaking suspicion that I'm not doing it right or not using the machine in the proper manner which leaves me feeling tense and stupid and defeated.

The elliptical, while fun to work on, I had the same issue. NO real clue what the hell I was doing. Did I work the arms too? Was I going fast enough? Should I go faster? Slower? Increase the incline? The resistance? What WAS the difference between the elliptical and that other machine in the corner? How come my sister didn't like that machine but liked the elliptical? What was that other machine all about? (Can you tell my ADD also comes into play in the gym?)

I think all today did was reinforce why I love (and how much I love) Hoboken Boot Camps. If I miss class, David (despite saying he won't chase clients) will text or call me to be sure I'm okay. He will tailor exercises to aches and pains and will force me to push myself when I'm feeling lazy.

I LOVE the 9am class. I love the group of folks, love the vibe, and most of all love that I have David there to show me the proper way to do everything and to help keep pushing me forward or helping me dig deeper to do one more, one more, one more. It really helps having someone stand with you that believes in you.

That will never be found in a gym for me.

Having said that,  I think I will go and do the 30 day deal so I can work with the bike (with some instruction!) and the elliptical which I really liked. Score bonus points if my local gym has that stair machine.

I will just have to be sure to find someone who works there who can help me set the machines up and make sure I'm not doing the sissy version of the workouts.

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