How the gym didn’t work for me…and then it did
I previously said I didn’t like the gym. I think it was because I got stung by a certain gym chain in the UK* that had such a tight grip on my membership that even when I was relocating out of the country, they insisted that I stayed by power of the evil ‘contract notice’. Anyway, enough of the bad memories.
So since I kickstarted my new clean and lean regime, I was merrily going to twice-weekly Pilates and running outside, doing my tricep dips and standing push-ups even in -15c temperatures. Would you believe it? I love running in the great outdoors: invigorating, fresh air, undulating paths and being at one with nature. Love it, love it, love it.
I then got to a point of reaching that dreaded plateau, when you think you’re doing so well then get stuck at stalemate and have to work out how to mix it up a bit. That’s when I decided to go back to the gym. It wasn’t a decision made lightly mind you, because I wasn’t looking forward to being in a room with grunting, sweaty muscle men and having to wait for equipment all the time. I also realised that if it wasn’t easy to get to I probably wouldn’t go and would rather either go to the pub or laze around at home watching tv instead. You know what I mean, we’ve all been there.
However, I forget that I’m now living in a country (Sweden) where – especially in the summer – the great outdoors and sport is very important, so I decided to join my local SATS gym chain which is very conveniently located 2 minutes from my apartment. It was too convenient for me not to join perhaps and to get over my bad memories of gyms of distant past.
Note: I just want to add that I don’t work for this gym or know anyone who works there or getting paid to write this but I just love it! A variety of machines, loads of rowers, treadmills, cross trainers, group training room, cycling room, yoga room, weights room, sauna, showers, lots of lockers, a clothing shop, drinks machines, a free crèche plus best of all, a free online training log for every member…oh plus the membership is cheap for a city gym (please take note, London gyms and your extortionate prices) and not crazy busy either. Just brilliant.
Embracing my inner geek
I’m very much into my online account; this is where my inner geek kicks in. It has a training plan, a log of all your workouts (every time you touch in with your membership card at the reception it updates your online log) so admin light too. There’s an app for on-the-go training updates, there’s a meal plan with recipes, there are online videos to show you how to do stuff properly, there’s online booking and cancellation of classes…my goodness, I have been away from the gym world for too long, it’s gone all techie and convenient!
I’m currently on an eight week programme where I’ve set myself a goal weight and what I want to achieve e.g. it asks you if you are striving for fitness, weight loss, muscle-building etc, so logging on and following the plan online is very useful and keeps me motivated. I’m doing more strength work, lots of free weights mixed with machines and working a lot harder with my core by using weighted balls and reaching my personal record plank time of 3 minutes 20 seconds! I’ve found that strengthening up has made me a better runner and pacing up those hills a lot easier with more strength in my legs and a stable core. I’m hoping to join some classes soon but the cross training one looked unbelievably scary and people were a bit broken coming out…so it must be good 🙂
*Naming no names but it starts with F and ends with T 😉