I don’t do it to feel good. I do it to look good.
And anyone who works out would be lying if they said that the same isn’t true for them.
Now, I’m not claiming to be some model type, I’m a solid size 10-12. Back in the day I was a 6-8 and I did no exercise. NOTHING. It was a simpler time, and it was all to do with a faster metabolism. It was a glorious time. I was young and lithe and had a gorgeous man…. Sob. I mean I’m totally fine now.. *washes tears off keyboard.*Anyway I digress, back to the matter at hand..
When I’m in the gym, sweating and gurning and turning the colour of beetroot, what’s going through my mind is how fit I’m going to look. How I need to burn off the chocolate that I consumed earlier, so it doesn’t stick to my ass.
When my feet are pounding the treadmill – and my bunion is yelling at me to stop – the pain just reminds me that I’m achieving something. No pain, no gain, as they say. (Although on a totally separate issue, I must get that foot looked at.)
The mirrors are a great motivator too, the bastards, ‘Look how heffing you are, you chunker’ they chide, from the sides. That could of course be my brother saying that too, but either way, the desired effect is there.
Funnily enough, the people around you don’t really impact what you are doing, which is great. Maybe we have matured as a society. I don’t really detect self-consciousness in my local gym. Everyone seems to be a pro. The only time I feel like a prat, is when I can’t use a machine. Even then people are usually helpful if you ask them.
If you take a glance around, sure there are slimmer girls, but they are about 18, and when I was 18 I didn’t need to go to the gym, so joke’s on them! Ha!
There are larger people too of course, but I just think, good for you! You go girl! Or man.
Really, aren’t we all just thinking about ourselves in the gym? I look around and people are so absorbed in what they are doing, it’s priceless. There are the burly men, who look like they have been blown up by a bicycle pump, pushing weights up, and grunting loudly whilst exhaling, concentrating so hard, they’re either gonna pop a vein, or accidently fart. I’m sure I witnessed this on one occasion. The man looked very ashamed of himself. That or he ONLY benched 125kg, sheesh.
Then there are the older women, who are in good nick – you can you almost hear their inner monologues, whilst determinedly thumping the cross trainers – ‘I’m gonna be in shape so you don’t swan off with that slutty trollop in the office, you bastard’ ..this is what I imagine they are saying anyway. Then the young stick girls on their phones – which by the way is massive pet peeve of mine – just leave your phone in the locker, or go home and text. I was surprised that a middle added guy joined our row of cross trainers clutching his iphone. He put the machine on resistance 3 for a start (should have known he didn’t mean business then) and then proceeded to e-mail for the whole 6 minutes he was on there. His workout was crap. Obviously.
Classes are good to keep it fresh too. And you get another mixed bag of people. I like classes because you have no choice in the matter. A good instructor will metaphorically ride your arse like there’s no tomorrow. And if you have put the effort in – you should be walking like John Wayne the next day.
The gym really is vanity, accepted by society. We could all go for a walk if we wanted, or go for a run, or a hike or a cycle, or climb. We can do all that for free. I just love our generation’s priority.
Early man would have laughed his arse off. We go to a room.. to exercise. I pondered this as I was using a bike at the gym the other day and it actually had simulated scenery of France on a screen, that travelled as you did. I found myself saying to my brother ‘ooh I saw some lovely views tonight.’
Well no, I saw some lovely computer graphics. Impressive, nonetheless, and I hate myself for saying this, but I loved my little tour de France!
SO – SOME TIPS FOR THE GYM. NOT THAT YOU PROBABLY NEED THEM –
Check with your work – You might get a staff discount. I do and it’s a hefty reduction.
Go on a Tues and a Thurs – People tend to workout Mon, weds and fri so it’s much quieter on the alternative days. You can break up the week by going for an actual run too.
Bring a bottle – The vending machines will charge £2 for a bottle of water, but if you have an empty plastic bottle, they have free water stations.
Have a gym buddy – I go with my brother. It’s good to have someone motivating you when your bum appears to be glued to the sofa.
Get a consultation – If you become a member, a good gym will offer you a free induction. Use this time to familiarise yourself with the machines so you don’t look like an idiot.
Use the mats – I never do – but I’ve heard they are good. Do planks and get Abs.
Play to your strengths – I like to SWEAT. So things like Yoga are a bit arty farty for me. I don’t want to be bendy like a pretzel – but maybe you do.
Do Classes – They are fun and interactive in a non-threating way. No-one will make you stand in the middle of the room. There’s a sense of community, and you’ll end up having a great workout.
*Disclaimer – I am by no means an expert! If you need professional help, always consult with the personal trainers in the gym.