Sunday, January 3, 2016

Workout I #5: Testing out a new gym (Workout 64)

We were at a different gym on Saturday and I was able to put
together a good workout. :D 
Patrick and I have been talking about changing gyms -- I'm starting to approach the limits on what the Planet Fitness has for me and I've been consistently running into "I can't do that" issues because of the equipment they don't have (stability balls, step boxes, kettlebells, medicine balls, valslides, TRX strap systems). Patrick has been running into more specifically etiquette issues -- people sitting on the machines playing with their phones while not working out, so no one else can use it. It's been driving him nuts.

Saturday, we decided to stop at one of the two other gyms in town for a tour and, if possible, a guest pass for a free session. The gym we went to, Sport Fit, is a local chain (though not much of a chain, there are only two) and has a definite homey charm. It's been there since the 80s and gives every sign of having grown over time to take up the whole building in a sort of organic way. (For example, there's an upper floor but the two ends of it don't connect, so you have to go downstairs and back up to get from the locker rooms to the cardio rooms.) The Sport Fit's main draw are the raquetball courts, which means (according to the guy we spoke to) that the weight rooms are not as crowded. 

That would be awesome. 

After our tour and talk with the guy, we asked for (and were granted) two free passes for a week's use of the gym. We had our gym bags with us, so he invited us to use the gym that day. (I don't think we've activated our free passes yet, but I'm not sure.) 

If we do join this gym, we'll each get two free sessions with a trainer to work out a plan and make sure we're doing things right. I'm excited about that -- though excited about it particularly for Patrick, because he's got a bad back and a bad shoulder and a bad hip. 

It's always weird working out in a new space -- just having to find things and figure out what's available takes extra time. I also need to figure out where I can do my exercising without being in anyone's way but still being near what I need. It made for a slow workout, but a good one. The Sport Fit had everything I needed and I think I can do a really good workout there. Looking to the future they have all the things I've been wishing for at Planet Fitness and I'm excited to be able to add exercises using those to my future workouts. Patrick did a cardio day, so he didn't really test the full offerings of the gym. 

(We'll go back and give it a more challenging test on Monday.) 

The new space necessitated a bit of reworking of things, but it worked out just fine. And on the whole I felt really strong and really capable. Which was totally awesome. 

Saturday's workout was: 
  • Plank with Reduced Base of Support - 3 x 50 seconds - I did the first and last sets with one arm raised and the middle set with one leg raised. Holding a leg up is, oddly, easier than holding up an arm. At the Planet Fitness, I use the timer on the circuit area to time these (and everything else that gets timed). Sport Fit doesn't have a timer like that, so I had to use a timer on my phone. That worked out just fine. 
  • Coordination Rows (Single-Leg, Single-Arm, Cable Rows) - 3 x 10 - I am positive I had the machine set for the same 20 lbs I've been doing at Planet Fitness, but it felt MUCH lighter. I checked and checked as I was working out because it felt so different. I did feel a little wobbly as I was working out, maybe because the weight wasn't what I was expecting. Maybe because I was a little off kilter because of the new gym (and the lack of lunch, though we did have a snack). I don't know. Anyway, I was a tad bit wobbly but otherwise these were very very easy. 
  • Dumbbell Jump Squats - 3 x 8 - I found a great spot for these and did great with them. I don't think I want to raise the weight next time, because the landing can be kind of tough on my shoulders, but I may go up to 10 reps per set. These were great, though, just strong and capable. 
  • Alternating sets of: 
    • Offset Lunges - 3 x 8 - I used a 25lb weight, which was an increase from 20lbs the time before. I'm reluctant to push the weight up too fast because I don't want to hurt my quad again. That said, I was able to do these with the 25lb weight moving fast, which is my usual first line of increasing intensity. I might tentatively try 30lbs next time. Or I'll stick with this (as next time is my last go with this Phase). 
    • Assisted Chinups and Scapular Retraction -  3 x 8 for both - I did my best again to set the weight to the same place I had it last time, and once again it felt really light. I was even able to do three full sets of the Scapular Retractions, which was cool. This was another one where I felt really strong and capable. Loved it. I wandered around for a bit looking for the Assisted Chinup machine and was trying to think about what I'd do if they didn't have one, but then I found it right in the middle of the weight machine room completely visible. That was cool. 
  • Alternating sets of:
    • Diagonal Raises - 3 x 8 - I normally do these after the Back Extensions, but there was someone on the Back Extension apparatus when I got there, so I did these first while she was doing her set. It worked out fine. I was going to go up to a 12.5 lb weight for these, but there weren't any available, At least not that I could find. (Sport Fit has a much more organic feel, a much more homey and lived-in feel, but it's not quite as *organized* as Planet Fitness usually is. This is not really a bad thing,) If we do join that gym, I might be able to find some to 12.5lb weights to use for this. I just went with a 10lb again, which was fine.
    • Back Extensions - 3 x 8 - I had planned to go up from a 25lb weight plate to holding a pair of 15lb dumbbells. I didn't want to go to the more distant rack of dumbbells at this new place to get a pair of 15lbs, because I didn't want to take more time than necessary using the apparatus, so I just went with a 25lb plate again. I'll go up to 30 lbs next time. 
  • Cardio - Once again, I didn't do any Intervals of Insanity. It was well into the afternoon, we were starved, we had more errands to run, and Patrick had stopped *way* before I did (because once he got on the elliptical machine he just went, and I was walking around and getting oriented). I did do 10 minutes on the treadmill and burned (according to the machine) 157 calories before I started working out. 
We'll go back to the Sport Fit for our next workout tomorrow. We'll be there during prime time (after work on a weekday), which is also the busy time for Planet Fitness, so we'll be able to see how crowded it really is (or isn't) when we're used to running into crowding issues at Planet Fitness. And I think Patrick is planning on lifting, rather than just going on the elliptical, so he can give the place a real test as well. 

We'll use up our free pass for Sport Fit, then we'll go to the other gym in town (L.A. Fitness) and do a  tour there and see if they'll give us a free trial. Our impression right now is that L.A. Fitness would either have to be *awesome* or have to be *cheap* to beat Sport Fit -- we really liked the comfortable, homey environment and have a very strong preference for local businesses. :D

Next workout is scheduled for Monday. We'll be back at Sport Fit. Goal for the Workout: Get more comfortable at Sport Fit and rock the workout. :D 

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