Saturday I slept in and then went to the gym. It was the first time in WEEKS–maybe over a month–that I’ve been to the gym on a Saturday. Every Saturday this summer has been dedicated to long bike rides training for the Portland Century, or mini vacations. It felt really good to be back to the norm.
I started out with a run on the treadmill. I was feeling really good and strong during my run until about half way through. My right calf muscle got a cramp in it or something. I slowed to a walk to see if I could work it out — to no avail. 🙁 That cut my run short and frustrated me. The last thing I want to deal with right now is an injury. I tried to run after a few minutes of walking and my leg was telling me that wasn’t going to happen.
I was definitely disappointed. I moved on to the weight lifting. I was basically starting over in that department as well. I had not lifted weights properly in weeks! I’ve definitely missed that! I started slow and with light weights. I feel like I’m basically starting from scratch after taking the summer off from lifting.
It felt sooo good to feel that burn in my muscles after such a long break! I used the plated machines first, taking it easy and working my chest and then my back.
I hate to admit this because I was such a reluctant weight lifter when I first started last year, but I’ve been noticing that the toning I’d achieved has kind of gone to flab this summer. Focusing on something like the Portland Century was just too big in my mind and everything else fell to the wayside. Swimming turned into a recovery activity. Cycling was my focus. My legs got super toned, my thigh muscles bigger, but my upper body? It needs work again.
I switched over to the free weights and did some squats, squat raises, bicep curls, shoulder presses and worked my triceps.
After I finished lifting weights for about 40 minutes I spent a good amount of time doing some ab work with a 10 pound medicine ball, lots and lots of stretching. I used the foam roller to try and work out the knot in my calf and then I called it a morning.
Calories Burned: 661
I have some decisions to make. My gym membership is up in a few days. I’m unhappy with my gym for a lot of reasons: it’s dirty, the machines I want to use are ALWAYS broken…they “upgraded” it last year but the upgrades didn’t make the gym a nice one. All the upgrade did was make it so they can double the price of membership. The only things I like about the gym: there’s a pool and it’s close by. Are those reason enough to resign for double the price I paid last time? I don’t know. I have to make a big decision by Wednesday.
- Do I suck it up and pay like $600 for two years membership?
- Do I go month-to-month so it’s more affordable for my budget right now?
- Do I quit my gym? That is a terrifying thought. What happens if I quit? Will I somehow lose my mojo and stop working out? Gain back all my weight?
- Do I quit the big gyms and just pay drop-in fees at nearby community pools?
- Do I quit my gym and test out other gyms in the area that are more affordable?
- Do I buy a bunch of the Groupon fitness deals for the local pilates, yoga, cross fit and boot camps to get me through?
- Do I just commute to work 3x a week to get in my fitness and drop in to a pool once in awhile?
A lot of questions. A lot of things to consider. I’ll be honest. It’s freaking me out. I do know a few things for sure:
- I can bike to work for fitness– UNTIL winter time when it’s too cold and/or pouring rain every day.
- I can go back to running during my lunch break.
- I have access to a track near my house, with stairs that I can run.
- I do have access to a small gym at work, plus yoga classes if I sign up for them.
- Michael has some free weights that I could do at home, even though that’s not ideal for me.
I have to admit: I kinda like having a gym membership. Somewhere to go for ME TIME. It’s ingrained in my routine now and I feel very uncomfortable changing my routine. I don’t know what to do.
I had a glass of chocolate milk for a recovery snack when I got home and found Michael chopping wood in the back yard (he burned over 1000 calories doing it!). It’s a project we’ve had to do for over a year but when Michael hurt his back this winter it took a back seat.
I helped out by moving the chopped wood to the deck. If you’ve ever thought chopping wood or moving and stacking a bunch of fire wood isn’t exercise, you’d be wrong. I was wrong! It was a nice little workout.
>We definitely have enough firewood for winter now. It feels fantastic to have one more project completed. See how many calories I burned just stacking firewood?
Not too bad for 39 minutes of work, right? House cleaned, closet organized, showered and cleaned up we headed out to grab lunch and to go grocery shopping. We stopped in at Pogy’s Subs for lunch.
I’ve never been there before. Michael and I split an italian sub sandwich with Italian meats–salami and something else. Lettuce, olives, mustard, peppercinis, mayo. Yum! It was a great sandwich! And much better than Subway (can you imagine I used to eat a footlong Subway sandwich all by myself?).
It was a good day. Now if only my calf would stop aching.
QUESTION: Any thoughts on my gym dilemma? What gym do you belong to? What are your likes/dislikes about it?
I’d vote for quitting your gym and then go gym-hopping. Most gyms in my area will give a free week for trying out the gym. I know that I’m 10 times more likely to work out (and love it) when I love my gym. I switched from my fabulous, but always too busy gym located at a private university (and manned by nice, but flaky college students) to my local YMCA. My local Y is in a time warp from the 1960’s, but I absolutely love all of the employees, they have all new equipment and I can always use the equipment. (and they have a pool if I ever decide to swim instead of just taking my son).
Shop around. And, I’m sure your old gym will dangle new deals to get you back in just in case you want to go back there.
I wish there was a YMCA near my place. I probably will shop around for awhile.
You certainly don’t need a gym to stay fit. You could take the membership fee and buy some free weights to have at home, like the bowflex changeable dumbbells (very space saving).
I dropped my gym membership for now and I am using my home weights like I used to. I might join another gym, but there is no hurry. My gym was more expensive and I was getting really irritated with the other gym members and the stupid loud heavy metal music. I don’t want to pay $275 a year for that.
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I like having a place to go to. It’s part of the ritual. I like the idea of dropping the gym membership but I question my commitment to exercise without having one.
$600 for two years seems pretty good to me, but I HATE being locked in to anything. If you’re not happy with it anyway, I think you should shop around.
That said, you have to know what works for you, and if this gym works for you then go with it. Personally, I know that if I have to get in the car and drive to the gym I’ll never work out, so having a treadmill and weights at home is what works for me.
The $600 for two years is a Costco deal but I’m not sure I qualify for it that since I’m already a member. So might have to take a break from the gym anyways in order to qualify for that deal.
Make an appointment with the people who are in a position of ownership/manaement at your gym. Take your before photos and your magazine article with you and let them know how you like working out at their facility, how you do not wish to change, but that you need to make some changes. Offer to help them in promoting the value of their gym with your physical recovery. You could be valuable to their business by your attendance. Barter.
You are worth it.
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I had not thought of going about it at that angle. That’s a great idea!
Great idea! More likely to work if it’s not a huge company, but definitely worth a try.
I certainly understand your anxiety over the gym dilemma. I know you’re not going to stop working out and backslide so this may be a good time to do some gym shopping. The Groupon thing may be too inconsistent but free trials and drop-ins may be the way to go. I’m starting back only because my membership is free through work, otherwise I’d stick with videos and yoga classes. Have fun checking out all the options.
It’s causing major anxiety on my part. I like structure and routine and the “norm.” 🙁
Oh I am one who would so be obsessing and stressing over a decision like this! I found a great deal with my local community center. Very reasonably priced and you can sign up for how long you want or even pay as you go, which is a great no-risk way to try it out. But I have not been in ages, working out instead at home and with my mom at her gym with our trainer.
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I used to go to the community center by my old apartment. It was close by, convenient and cheap. I loved that place. But now that I live further away it’s not convenient to go there. 🙁
I recently decided that to save money I’m going to use the two on-campus gyms instead of going to my nearby 24-Hour Fitness. It’s a HARD decision, though! Even though my gym is ALSO dirty, with old equipment, and crowded…I have a nostalgic connection to it. It’s part of my routine. I’ve been going there for coming up on two years. I think I’m going to give myself another month of membership, while I work out the kinks of working out on campus. I know it’s going to take a little while to adjust to something new.
Yes, Liz, you make a good point about the connection. It’s familiar and easy so that makes it even harder to give up.
It sounds like you don’t have many reasons to stay at your current gym. I don’t belong to a gym anymore. I think it would be awesome to read your posts about your workouts at different settings (track, groupon classes, etc). The post you did at the warehouse with the trainer was really cool and also enjoyed your track workouts as well.
Looking forward to reading about your decision!
I’m glad you like the variety of my workouts. Gym hopping and doing new things would definitely be a positive in my life–interesting writing for my blog and also a way to “jazz up” the same ol’ workout routine….
i would recommend going through Costco for a 24-hour fitness membership. they offer a 2 year prepaid membership for all sport locations for $300. it is the best deal that I have ever found and it gives you flexibility in choosing which location works the best for you.. just a thought.
That’s what I did 2 years ago now it’s expired. The gym was “upgraded” so now that deal is $600 for 2 years. I don’t qualify since I’m already a member but if I quit the gym for a few months I might be able to be considered a new member and get the deal.
i had it before as well and once it lapsed, I just took in my new paperwork from Costco. they didn’t hassle me at all. my roommate also did it a second time without any issues. I was only a month past the end of my contract when I rejoined. good luck.
That’s good to know! I will definitely give that a try!
I hope you find a solution to your gym problem. I am more likely to workout when I have a place to go that I like, so I understand your desire to find a new place.
Michael chopping wood in flip flops!! That caught my eye – it’s like lifting free weights in flip flops. Hope his feet survived the wood chopping!
Oh he does everything in flip-flops! Year round. Don’t even ask. 😉
I will definitely keep everyone updated on the gym situation. I think a lot of people can relate to this…high costs of gyms are often a deterrent for people trying to get healthy.