Two weeks at the new gym

Source: clipartpanda

Adults are like kids. When we go to a new place, we look around and mimic what we see. It makes us look cool. We’re one of the pack.

I’ve been working at adapting new behaviors at my new gym. Some successful, some not so much.

The equipment requires adjustments so people of all sizes and levels can use it. Sometimes I sit on a piece for a few minutes and can’t figure it out. I just move on to the next. Then I watch someone else as they tweak it up. Each day I learn something new. First thing I learned was to make sure the weight level is always at the lowest. It’s either that or have 911 on speed dial.

There is the “swagger.” I didn’t have it at first. Then I realized that you get that after you exercise and can barely walk. It’s not so much of a swagger as a cry to your legs to work properly. In a straight line. With both feet pointed in the same direction. I got that down pat fast.

Some people walk around with towels draped on their shoulders. I rarely sweat but some guys are soaked as soon as they sit on a piece of equipment. They need a beach towel to sop that mess up. I wonder if I should bring my “cat” towel to swing around. Nothing says “pumped up bitch” like a cat towel.

I have to lie to one machine. You can punch in a “program.” It asks your weight and age. When I put my age in it goes blank. Obviously no one in my particular decade should be on that machine so I lie to it. It is a bicycle type thing. Nothing unique or dangerous. I never thought I’d have to lie about my age to a piece of equipment.

The grunt – guys do this more than the women. One of the adjustments is the weight tension. I am at the lowest end. These guys are at the upper end. I would grunt too.

There is an attitude to adopt…like you know what you are doing. I spent my life trying to look like I know what I’m doing so I should be good at it.

After two weeks it’s going well. It’s not a place to make friends but then again, I go before coffee so I’m not all that nice anyway.

75 thoughts on “Two weeks at the new gym

  1. Pingback: News from the gym | Views and Mews by Coffee Kat

  2. Oh, I do so hate gyms. When the machines aren’t out to get you, then the noisy [smelly] people are! I’m going to enjoy living vicariously through you as you learn the ways of the gym. Of course, maybe gyms are better now than the last time I had a membership about 10 years ago.

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  3. Just what I needed first thing this morning – a HUGE smile. You have spot on observations here. The swagger – ha. And I used to think it was because those big guys thought they were hot sh**. I applaud you for lying to the machine. No one, or machine, should ask a woman her age or weight anyway…

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  4. Don’t they have a trainer to teach you to use the equipment and start you on a beginning routine? I couldn’t go anywhere that just throws you out on your own to figure things out. Unless it is free. If it was free I might figure things out myself.

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    • There were five of us from our old gym that went at once. One of the staff showed us the equipment and suggested the number of reps. The machines are new to us and there are a lot so everything didn’t stick. The staff thought we were experienced because we came from another gym (little did she know…). I have been working to understand the different pieces and will ask for someone to help with the more confusing (to me) machines next week. I understand basics and rotate between upper and lower machines. As of now, I can’t do the gold standard of 3 sets of 10 on each piece. At least not without having an ambulance on standby.


    • I have to make myself go at this point. The old gym had the attraction of seeing people I knew even if they were just gym friends. The equipment was in a circle so you could do some level of chatting. I am at a serious gym now. Even though I see the same people at my time slot, we haven’t gotten to the acknowledgment state except for the guy at the desk and probably never will. That leaves exercising and we all know how boring that is. Sometimes I wonder if the boredom is why people fuss with all sorts of electronic gadgets to check their heartrate and stuff. It gives them something to focus on and perhaps creates personal challenges. As for me, I can’t get excited out beating yesterday’s performance (unless we are talking coffee here…).

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  5. All sounds very familiar.. Love the cat treadmill! I’m walking more now too…but like you, the gym is my lazy/cold weather option. I’ve just bought a greetings card showing a woman wearily reclining on a sofa and the caption ‘Whenever I feel the need to exercise, I lie down until it goes away’. Sensible girl.

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    • Still working on getting a routine. It takes times. I should probably get a trainer for a session or two. And I never last more than a half hour. I use the age card for that. (Love that age card! It gets me out of whatever I don’t want to do!)


  6. Hmmm, I wonder if my first comment went into your spam folder… anyway, I’m glad you like your new gym and are getting into the routine (I think all gyms have a distinct personality). So funny about that machine not recognizing your age – maybe it just couldn’t believe that you weren’t much younger. How many years did you have to shave off before it believed you?

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  7. Funny post, I’m crackin’ up! When I used to belong to a gym, I’d wildly wave the attendant over and explain for all to hear that i forgot (again) how to adjust a machine and would he or she please show me (again) what to do. I figured the way 10 other people were surreptitiously looking over the attendant’s shoulder and taking notes that I was providing a community service. Glad to help.

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    • I need you at my gym! Today I sat on one and couldn’t get it to budge. I moved to the one next to it. An old guy sat down on it and as I watched you had to twist the thingie instead of pull to get it to adjust. Bingo! Good for next time. He should be my exercise buddy!


  8. Loving it, Kate. You’ve captured what I feel sometimes, going to the gym. I’ve just moved to a cold weather state, so I am going through the same getting-to-know-you dance with my gym here. I need to have an exercise place to go when the snow and ice arrive. Thanks for the encouragement!

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    • Not sure I offered a lot of encouragement but it does get better. I didn’t want to go back after day 1 but now it’s much better. Each day I try to learn a new machine. I only spend a half hour there. I figure that’s enough for me.


  9. LOL. I had a gym membership for a brief while (actually I paid for it for a long while, just used it for a brief while). It was a “no judgement” gym, all types welcome. There were a couple of times I forgot to check the settings on the machine before I yanked on the handle. Now I just go for walks.

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  10. I loathe the male grunting. I can lift more weight than many of them (especially for legs), but you don’t hear me grunting like a pig truffle-hunting. When I can hear them through my headphones, it’s too damned loud.

    But I loathe the guys who lounge on equipment between sets even more than the grunters.

    I’m judgmental like that.

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  11. Hahahaha! You are so “real” Kate. And that’s what makes your blog posts so funny and fascinating. I have all those reactions – the same feelings – the same urge to look like I know what I’m doing. Eventually we will fit right in and won’t even have to lie to machines.

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