Lessons Learned At The Gym

Mom and I finished our free week trial at the gym closest to our house. I learned a lot this past week and thought I would share. 🙂

  1. I am incredibly out of shape. TBH, I’ve never really been in shape but I used to be able to walk/jog miles at a time. 1 minute of a light jog exhausted me and made me break a sweat. Yikes.
  2. I am incredibly weak. I managed to lift 50 pounds on only 1 machine all week. I was able to use many machines at 30 pounds but there were a few where I couldn’t move them at 30 and had to drop down to 0 weight. Grrrr. This bothers me more than the jogging part. Years ago, I worked for a vet and I was regularly picking up large dogs to put them on exam tables with no problem. Now, I’d have a hard time picking up a light-bodied medium size dog. 😦
  3. Initially, I thought this gym had about a dozen different types of machines with many repeats. I was wrong.
    • On the left side of the gym, my focus area for now, there are 4 treadmills, 4 ellipticals, 1 upright bike, 1 recumbent bike, and 14 different weight resistance machines (3 core, 5 leg, and 6 arm machines). They also have 1 decline bench and 1 incline bench (yes, I’m making names up again… these feel right though) for different types of sit ups. I won’t be graduating to those 2 benches any time soon.
    • On the right side of the gym, they have a few more machines that I will also not be graduating to yet, 7 I believe. Their assisted pull up bar is over there. I want to try it but I’m terrified. And on that side of the room, they also have a huge wall of dumbells, kettlebells, etc.
    • In total, this gym has 27 different machines and benches.
  4. I have a lot more support at home and work than I thought I had.
    • Mom is on board with us working out 100%. She is encouraging, positive, and motivated. She is also in favor of the kids going so long as they behave while there. We are there to work out, not play games or seek attention.
    • Everyone at my work place has also been super supportive.
      • Our company President goes to the gym, usually 3-4 days a week, and has a powerful love of the elliptical. o_0 He says he is doing 4.3 miles in a little over 40 minutes currently and is on track to be at 5 miles in 40 minutes by the end of the summer. He spent time explaining how I was standing wrong which led to my back hurting really bad the next day.
      • Our sales VP is huge into biking. He goes to a cycle class 5 days a week! We spent an hour the other day discussing going to the gym, rotations, group fitness classes, and then he explained the difference between the upright (or standing) bike vs. the recumbent bike. He suggested I keep a “workout journal” to track what I do every gym day.
      • Our company Business Manager has gone out of her way to tell me how proud she is of me for taking this step with a gym, how amazing I’m looking (happier, more energetic, and slimmer) after making small changes in the last year, etc.
  5. After spending time with the GM on Saturday, I got all of my financial questions answered!
    • She said the sign up fee will be $24.95. The other manager told me $8.95 (a special rate he’d hold for me). So I guess it just depends on which one signs me up when I get back from vacation. lol I’m not going be mad over $16 when I am enjoying this so much.
    • I have to buy a key card for an additional $20 in order to get the 24/7 access. I will be the only one on the account that has the key card so everyone has to go when I want to go. *snerk*
    • My first month will be prorated to account for it being the middle of the month and corporate preferring to have all billing for all members fall on the 1st of the month. Alright by me!
    • This is a month-to-month membership. So long as I cancel by the 15th (for any reason), my membership will expire on the last day of the month. If I cancel after the 15th, it will expire at the end of the following month and I will be billed for that last month. No year long contract! Yay!
  6. People at the gym are friendlier than I expected. They are willing to demonstrate machines, reach stuff that is out of my reach for me, explain how to fix the chronic errors on the treadmills, etc.
  7. Many of the members don’t follow great hygiene protocol. Many of them don’t wipe down machines when they are done and they don’t have a problem jumping on a machine when someone else finishes before the other person manages to clean the machine first. Ew.
  8. Many people don’t really follow the rules or it is hit and miss as to which rules they follow.
    • Signs are posted everywhere about not opening doors for people. We went 4 days and only once did a manager let us in. Every other day, random members happily opened the doors. Rut roh.
    • A sign says to use head phones. I never once heard music. Actually, I never heard a cell phone go off that wasn’t Mom’s. We talked about it. lol However, on our 2nd day, a girl spent 30 minutes on an elliptical using her hands free device to talk to someone on her phone. She wasn’t loud at first but eventually she started talking really loud. Another member, probably someone she knew, told her she was too loud and she quieted down without an argument. That was nice.
    • Everyone seems to be really good about throwing away their trash. Surprising.
    • A group of older ladies decided to hover around the recumbent bike for almost an hour one day. No one was using the bike but one of the ladies was sitting on it. They stood around and talked the entire time. That was irritating because I had planned to use the recumbent bike that day. Which is how I ended up on the upright bike and suffered a bruise on my butt cheeks. Grrr.
  9. I am much more motivated to work out having someone else with me. I spent a lot of time worrying about Mom while at the gym this week. I am afraid that her lack of knowledge about strength training may lead to an injury that she really doesn’t need. So I hovered over her for the first couple days, constantly watching her speed/weight/sets/reps. I had to make myself not do that. I’m a worrier. Despite that, her presence made me want to be there and to work hard. That was certainly a surprise. As Mom becomes more independent in the gym, we will split up more, and I will hopefully not worry about her as much.
  10. I understand now why so many fitness websites say to go to a gym close to home. I could go to Planet Fitness and probably have a larger variety of machines or similar and would pay a lot less per month for it. It is on my way home from work. But with Mom going with me, I’d have to either convince her to meet me there or drive all the way home and drive most of the way back toward work each gym day. That is unlikely to happen often. This gym is about 8 minutes away from our house and we had no issue with getting there each day.

Bonus lesson: Girls with large breasts need to wear heavy duty sports bras while working out. This wasn’t an issue for me until I jogged. Now the tops of my breasts are tender from bouncing and getting pulled. Not fun. While out getting stuff done Saturday, I picked up 3 new sports bras that are rated for “high impact” so I hope they help. They don’t feel like they will but we’ll see.

It might not be the day I get back from vacation, but I will be signing up for a family membership by the 16th or 17th. Mom is sad that we can’t go this week. lol Who would have thought Mom would have said that a year ago? Certainly not me. And I would never have dreamed that I would agree with her. 😀

❤ Dee

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