Friday, April 4, 2014

Why (No) Weight?

Diary of an Aspiring Loser: What Can You Do in an Hour? got me thinking tody and I went and read some articles on strength training.
(you know how I love me some Jillian Michaels)

After reading these articles and blog posts, my thoughts are running along these lines:

Seriously, I am shooting myself in the foot, not doing any weight training. 
I need an achievable goal.
Once a week?  Wednesdays or Thursdays once the running programs are over?  Only 4 weeks left, and the Hubs is off work on those days, so he can take care of the pups...

 ...

Maybe I should shoot for twice a week?  Add in a Saturday/Sunday, possibly even post-run?
Why haven't I been doing this all along? 

Yeah, really.  Why don't I go to the gym?

I decided to take some time to analyze this question and see if I can come up with some productive solutions that will allow me to a) get over the hump and actually GO to the gym; and b) really set a realistic, achievable goal for the short term.  Weight lifting was once a really integral and enjoyable part of my exercise routine.  It should be again.  I want it to be part of my routine, but I haven't really integrated it into my program during the past ... well, the past year, really.

So why not?

PROBLEM EXCUSE #1:  It seems like a hassle. 

1)  I have to go home, change clothes, deal with the dogs complete frenzy, then leave them, plus once I'm home, I really don't want to leave.  I'd rather take the dogs for a walk or have one of the boys walk Louie while I run with Coty.

Fix1:  DON'T GO HOME.  Pack the bag with spare shoes (you're not supposed to be going to the gym in your good running shoes anyway, and you have like 5 old pairs just waiting for a chance to do some good), and like 5 days worth of exercise clothes.  Gym clothes aren't the same as running clothes anyway.  Maybe you need to invest in a couple more bras and a set of socks.  We're not talking about a major commitment of money here.  Re-pack the bag every other Sunday.  Keep the bag in the car. 

Fix2:  GO HOME!  We have a weight bench and a set of dumbbells at home.  Hell, they're all set up, even!  Do it at home.  Teach the dogs to leave you alone while you work (it can be done).  And Do.  Your.  Thing.  The problem with this solution is, I've already proven this isn't something I'll do regularly.  I can't be counted on to implement this particular Fix.  I would do well to keep it in mind for occasional use, though.

2)  I end up with work clothes / shoes in the gym bag and gym clothes in the house and sooner or later I'm at the gym with no shoes or something.

Fix:  pack the fucking bag every other Sunday.  Make a checklist.  (Um, duh, you love checklists!)  Pack a stash of plastic grocery bags to put work clothes in, and then when you come home from the gym, you don't need to remove the whole bag, just grab the dirty clothes bag and take THAT in.


PROBLEM EXCUSE #2:  I'd like to try some new things.

I do enjoy weight lifting.  I do.  Really I do.  But I got bored and new exercises on my app required upgrading to the $4.00 version of the app instead of the free one.

Fix1:  Get a new app.  Remove the app you were using and start using a NEW one.  You'll get new suggested exercises and it will mix things up.

Fix2:  Switch gyms.  Go to a more comprehensive facility that offers some classes and other options that aren't available at the cut-rate, bare-bones facility you're currently using.  You enjoyed it at first, but if it's no longer serving your needs, it's time to bail.  Buying the upgraded app would be cheaper, but upgrading your facility may have a bigger payoff.

PROBLEM EXCUSE #3:  The goddam parking lot is always full.

I'm not just talking about having to park a ways from the doors (though during the -17 degree days we had in January and February... oh, let's just assume that's never going to happen again).  I'm talking about no space ANYWHERE in the parking lot and having to either drive home or park at the gas station a block away and walk to the gym from there. 

When I joined, the gym was brand new, and a lot of people simply didn't know it was there yet.  It's been over 2 years, and the damn college students have found the place and realized how cheap it is, and they've gone and ruined it for me.

Fix1:  Just get up earlier!  Start going at the ass-crack of dawn.  Okay, just kidding.  I know you're not going to do that.  This mental exercise is intended to result in realistic solutions, not fantasies about what may work if you were, I don't know, a completely different person.

Fix2:  Switching gyms is an option here.  Or going at lunch time - when you're in town, that is - or going a little later in the evenings... but then I run into the question of having to go home and then head to the gym, or work out after dinner, which has never been a concept I could get on board with.

Fix3:  GO HOME - see above.

So the response for this excuse is:  OPTION A:  Sack up, honey, and deal with the crowd.  or OPTION B:  find a new gym and hope you don't run into the same problem in another two years.  But really, would that be so bad?  or OPTION C:  Workout at home using the weight bench and dumbbells you already have.

PROBLEM EXCUSE #4:  I run with the dog, and the dog is not welcome at the gym.  And ...  WTF are you getting at here, Chris? 

Here's the thing:  It would be nice to run to the gym, (get that cardio in and get all warmed up), do my weight training and stretching, then run home.  But I can't do that with Coty, and then there's Louie to consider, going all freaking nutso when he sees running shoes... he's like a 75-lb heat-seeking missile with teeth.  It's insane.  Everybody gets all worked up and excited, and then I leave them there... staring at each other and all keyed up.  That's how you lose a shoe in my house. You can't get them worked up like that and then just walk out leaving them alone and to their own devices.  Someone ends up eating one of my shoes or pooping in the house - or pooping in one of my shoes - under those conditions.

Knowing how anxious both my dogs are, this borders on just a mean thing to do.

Fix:  See Fix1 for Excuse #1 - Don't Go Home.  Run to the gym from WORK, workout, and run back to the office and drive your silly ass home if you want to do that.  Your gym is less than a mile from the office, and less than a mile from your house.  Come to think of it, why the hell aren't you running to work in the first place?   Oh right, because I'm an accountant and I have to look like one.  Let's not get all crazy wih this.  FOCUS!

Solution and Goal:
So here's what I'm going to do: 
  1. Start small - goal of actually going inside the gym once a week, starting next week (this weekend?)
  2. I will pack a bag with several days' worth of workout outfits, and more than one pair of former running shoes, and keep it in the car with some Dirty-Clothes Bags.  That may just be the key t making this happen, at least to start with.  And I will create a checklist for what goes in the bag and stick it in the side pocket where it's available.
  3. I will find a new (FREE) app to help me track what to do and how to do it, for strength training.
  4. Investigate other local gyms.  The new job offers some discounts with national chains, and we have a few national chains here where I might be able to take advantage of the corporate rate.  And a new gym might have a free personal training session that would help me find new weight training work to do... At any rate, I'm going to look into it, consider the options, and decide whether the additional cost will be worth it for maybe having some group fitness classes available, different equipment, maybe a pool??  Maybe I'll change gyms, maybe not, but I'll give it serious consideration.
So there's the result.  One gym visit per week, with a bag already in the car, download a new app for my phone, and check out another gym.  I can do that.  I'm heading out now, to walk my crazy dogs before one of them infiltrates the Shoe Closet.

1 comment:

  1. Just do it! I like to do a short speed work out n the treadmill and then weight lift. Sometimes once a week sometimes twice, but honestly it took a while doing it to budge my weight. I was getting mighty flabby with out it! I hope you can find some activities you love :)

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