I officially joined the gym on May 22nd with a family membership for Mom, Kid #1, Kid #2, and myself. We intended to go join within a couple days of me getting back from vacation, by the 17th at the latest. Situations conspired against us to keep us away during staff hours so while we could have went later in the evening, we could only join during a specific set of hours. I finally made it a week later than I had wanted. I also learned something that made me feel foolish. During our trial week, I thought the number 0, 5, 10, and 15 on the weight machines were for resistance. Nope, that is extra weight. I feel kind of dumb but at least I know now. *shrug*
We each have a different workout style.
- Mom uses the treadmill for 30 minutes at the beginning of each workout religiously. Then she gets on a weight machine of her preference. She will do the same machine over and over again until someone tells her she is hogging the machine or reminds her to switch. I mean, like, 70-80 reps at a time. She still doesn’t understand sets vs reps and she refuses to count anything. The concept of adding more weight and doing fewer reps is alien to her and I think she was a bit insulted when I suggested it. She hops from machine to machine without really considering muscle groups, just that it works an area that she doesn’t like on her body. She does a cool down only because I said it was probably a good idea to do something slow at the end.
- Kid #1 is by far the most physically fit of all of us. She does color guard and track, has always been naturally thin, and enjoys running for fun. Crazy, I know. She also really only wants to work out if there is someone there to show off to. I have to keep an eye on her, otherwise she will hop from machine to machine after only 2 or 3 reps to make sure she can keep someone specific in her line of sight. If there are no males there for her to try to get his attention, she does a lot better with using a machine as intended… unless her sister is there too. She does not like the machines at all. She prefers the free weights and that is fine with me. One less person to wait on for a machine I want. She considers stretching to be a waste of time. That weirds me out… how does a high school athlete not understand that stretching is important? I guess that explains all the shin splints, over-extensions, and pulled muscles she has suffered in the past 3 years of sports.
- Kid #2 is one of those people that wants to say she goes to the gym but doesn’t actually intend to do anything while there. Her entire time at the gym is spent yelling her sister’s name to show her that she is doing something, yelling for Mom to come look at something, to try to recreate gym or YouTube fails that she’s seen coming out of gyms, or to ask me or Mom what were doing and then show us she can do better. Ignoring her works wonders, something her sister has yet to learn. Mom and I have to constantly tell her to get off a machine if she is just sitting on it, or worse, using it inappropriately. She has yet to get a real workout. She plans on joining the tennis team this coming school year so I hope she will start taking this seriously soon.
- I know enough about exercising to count sets/reps, if only to record it for later use. I keep track of the machines I use, the reps and weight, etc. so that I can try to do better the next time. If I can’t do more weight then I try to do 1 more rep. I try to stretch before starting out and almost always opt for the treadmill to start as it is familiar. I usually decide what muscle groups I’m going to work before I go and stick to those machines and stretch in between. My cool down is always the treadmill or a bike, usually at a nice slow pace. My heart rate is usually already low by the point I get to cool down so it is more just to get in the habit of having a cool down period. I’m not an exercise expert but I hope I’m starting out right.
Week #1: Events conspired to keep us away our first week as members. We made it 2 days this week, the 23rd and the 26th. I was super disappointed in myself. However, I kinda sorta have a good reason. The guy that runs the sculpting class convinced us to participate. Mom wasn’t thrilled by any measure. Kid #1 just went with it because why not. Kid #2 stayed home because she hurt herself at tennis practice… 4 days earlier. lol This sculpting class was intense. I wanted to quit frequently but I made it through to the end. I tried hard and didn’t give up.
The next day, I woke up and was fine other than feeling like I got kicked by a horse in the tailbone. Freaking floor work on a thin mat. -.- I was surprised that was the only soreness. About 3pm though, I knew I was in for a world of hurt. The morning after that, I could barely move. The front of my legs and my core were so sore. It hurt to even breathe!
We went back on Friday, all 4 of us, but I did not work out. I justified it as I can’t breathe therefore it isn’t safe to workout. Plus, we scrapped 40 pound boxes of zinc parts for 4 hours, lifting up and over my head repeatedly the whole time, at work that day. I was exhausted. Needless to say, I got my workout in that day. However, I lied to myself and justified it and I felt horrible afterwards. Lesson learned.
I got my base time on the treadmill for 1 mile: 21 minutes 45 seconds. Don’t laugh. I am seriously out of shape. Even in middle and high school, my mile time was horribly high but it was better than that.
Week #2: The kids flat out refused to go to the gym this week. I’m not complaining as they are frustrating when the two of them are both there together. But, I want this to be a family thing. This week wasn’t any better for attendance. Mom and I went twice. The first day, I pushed myself and got that mile time down to 19 minutes and 47 seconds. I moved my mph up from 2.0-2.5 to 3.0-3.5 and jogged for 1 minute at 3.8mph. That was a huge gain in just 2 attempts.
The 2nd day, I got it down to 19 minutes and 10 seconds. I actually jogged for 3 whole minutes (alternating each minute with a slower 3.2-3.4mph) at 3.8mph. I’m not a runner, I’m a smoker. Running and smoking are not compatible habits. For me to jog for 3 minutes over the course of 6 minutes is awesome. At least for me.
Week #3: We are just starting week 3 and we are already off to a good start. I convinced everyone to go on Sunday! I did not do a mile run today as the treadmills are struggling. We are down to 2 working treadmills out of 4. A 3rd works sometimes. Mom likes the treadmill and another lady was using the other working one so I opted for the recumbent bike instead. I set it to go on an actual biking program called “rolling hills.” I wanted to see what it did at the end of the timer. But my shoelaces came untied around minute 17 and I damn near ripped my foot off after it wrapped around the peddle. Ugh. I restarted it (it shut off in the time it took to get my shoelace unwrapped) and finished my last 13 minutes without the program.
The girls were really working my nerves as they were goofing off constantly. Kid #2 fell off the treadmill at one point because she was trying to walk backwards on it, tore her leg up pretty good. They both screwed around on the treadmill at one point just hammering buttons, pushing the incline and speed up and down repeatedly. Kid #1 thought using the treadmill bars for hanging dips was an awesome idea at some point and she slipped and overextended her elbow. Geniuses, they are not.
Near the end, I decided to try pushing myself a bit more on the treadmill if nothing else to keep the girls off of it. I broke out of my comfort zone by starting out at 4.0 for 1 minute, kicked it up to 4.5 and then 5.0 for 1 minute each. I ran for 3 minutes consecutively! Woooo. I dropped it down to 3.0 and subtracted .5 every minute after that until I finished 10 minutes. 5.0 wasn’t a fun mph, but 1.0 wasn’t fun either. I couldn’t bear to take it any lower. Now that I know I can handle 4.0-5.0 for short amounts of time, I’m shooting for another big gain in my mile time this week.
Ultimately, Mom and I want to go 3 days a week but it is hard to set an actual schedule because of school stuff, doctor appointments, my work schedule, family stuff, etc. I’d love to go Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday to take advantage of the sculpting class on Tuesday, the cardio class on Thursday, and a nearly empty gym on Saturday mornings. We both agree that more likely we will end up going Sundays, a random day during the week, and Saturday since the weekends are so much more relaxed schedule-wise. If we can manage it, I’m pushing for Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. 4 days are better than 3 days, right?