Chaos Attraction

Weighty Matters

2006-04-02, 3:17 p.m.

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This entry will entirely deal with fitness. Except for the part where I say that officially I am keeping this apartment, whether or not I find another roommate. The relief I feel about this is amazing.

Anyway, if you're bored to death with talk about lifting weights and the gym, you have permission to skip today's entry. I won't be offended.

I've been annoyed at the gym of late. The way they are managing things sucks arse. Their stupid sign up system is a pain. You have to go wait in line for 5-10 minutes before class to sign up for it (and then more often than not, the employees are all "Uh, what class again?" God help you if you want to ask for a step class or cardio class.). Then you have to wait in line to get into the room, and show your ID card and/or receipt in order to be admitted into the class. Then halfway through the class, some other employee always comes by with a clipboard and very obviously looks through the window and counts how many people showed up. Call me crazy, but doesn't this system (a) get kinda redundant, and (b) make you feel kinda overly surveillanced? Like, can't they keep exact tabs on how many show up to class ONCE? Or let people sign up online, or swipe a card at the door to the class or something? Or just let Mr/Ms. Clipboard do the counting and leave the rest of us alone?

And the class schedule, which used to be great, is now not nearly as varied. My dance teacher quit (or if you ask him, "was fired") because they moved his class to being held at 10 p.m. Who goes in then? And when it comes to other classes being offered, half of the free ones they used to offer have been scrapped/moved to earlier/something so that they can offer paid classes. Yoga/Pilates stuff is now all for charge, and they added in some other stuff that's an extra charge as well. And these things are offered during the prime 6:30/7:45 time slots, at least one of them every night. And what are they offering for free in what's left? Step class after step class after step class. Whatever happened to dance fusion and aerobics and kickboxing being offered at night any more?

But even more irritating to me than that is that they used to offer weight classes 2-3 nights a week. Now they only offer a class involving weights after 5:15 p.m. (note: as an employee, I can get to the BUILDING at 5:15 precisely, but I can't get signed up and admitted to the class by 5:15, and they won't let you in late any more) one bloody night a week- and lucky me, that always turns out to be volunteering night.

So what this boils down to is, I only get to weightlifting classes during the breaks, when the scheduling is more screwy and *gasp* they might actually offer a weights class at night. And I nearly blew a fuse on Friday when the weights class I wanted to go to, well, nobody showed up to teach it. One of the step teachers did do about 10 minutes of weights at the end of her classes, but she's going off to Europe this quarter, so I won't even get that in any more.

And weightlifting is important, dammit. And so sue me, but I don't want to have to go lift dumbbells in the weight room with all of the jockboys in order not to lose what I've attained. Plus, I like being led through exercises and being told what to do, instead of farting off like I'd do under my own power.

I have been trying to look for some other way to handle things, but I have not had much success. I bought some 5 and 8 pound dumbbells for home and then went through fitness magazines to look for some kind of routine I could do. Alas, their routines are all based on having tons of equipment (I like the inflataball, but I don't want to store that sumbitch in my house, thanks). And looking for some kind of podcast that would lead me through things didn't work out either, nor did looking online for routines (same equipment issue). (Though this isn't bad. I just want more areas.)

This led me to buy a Kathy Smith workout VHS tape I found in the thrift store a few weekends ago that just did weightlifting. (Why spend the big bucks if I'm not sure if I'll like it?) I only got around to watching it through today and trying it out, mainly because I knew Ian wasn't going to be home and I felt kind of embarrassed doing this stuff in the living room somehow.

And to be honest, I think it works for me. With fast-forwarding and skipping most of the junk (this ain't the best designed tape in the world, by far) it comes out to be a 10-minute workout of arms only (skipping warmup and abs, 'cause I get plenty of that at the gym still), and it works all areas. I found it pretty helpful for figuring out exactly WHICH muscle it is that I'm worst at (detoids), because those were the only exercises I couldn't do all the way through with 8 pound weights. I should work on those more often.

It's worth about the $3 or whatever I paid for it- it's short, cheap, low-tech, and goes through a bit of everything. Course, I am going to have to make myself do this workout more often, even if my roommate is home to hear the disturbing heavy breathing going on.

Though I have to say that (a) watching workout videos on fast-forward is kind of amusing, and (b) Kathy and co. REALLY shouldn't wear such high-cut leotards, because they look really crotchalicious/camel-toe.

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