Tuesday, April 24, 2018

In The Zone

I belong to a gym that has a couple of dozen locations in the metropolitan area. A little over a week ago I was shocked to find signs on the front door of the one I go to saying it would be closing in June. (Word on the street is that the strip mall the gym is located in is doing a big renovation and that section of the building is being torn down.) 

Hubby Tony and I have been going to that location for about ten years. It's convenient to our house, has a nice selection of cardio equipment, resistance training equipment, and free weights, and offers group classes in the mornings and evenings. Some other branches of the gym have extras like smoothie bars, massage studios, and tanning beds. Mine doesn't, and while I might take advantage of the extras I don't need them.

My membership will be transferred to the next closest location, which would take twice as long to get to. I may very well decide to stay with  this chain, but during the next six weeks I'm going to be looking around for a new exercise home.

Today I had the opportunity to attend a class at a heart-rate based studio. It was intense, but fun. At this studio you wear a heart rate monitor to track how efficient your workout is.  The workouts are HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) based, which means bring your heart rate up, then let it fall back before you tax it again.

I had to show up at the studio a half hour early.  After going over my exercise goals and physical issues with the front desk person I signed a waiver, then I received a heart rate monitor to strap on directly on my skin underneath the bottom elastic of my sports bra. 

Since this was my first time the instructor gave me a quick tour of the class room before everyone else came in.  There were sections for treadmills, rowing machines, and weight room exercises. I got a quick lesson and pointers about the use of each and learned how to find my name on the large screens in the exercise room that would show my heart rate and exertion levels.  After all that the instructor asked if I had any questions.  I confessed I felt pretty overwhelmed, but the instructor said I would do great.

I went back out to the lobby to wait with the other people who had arrived for the class.  There were approximately 30 fit-looking women, most substantially younger than me.  I wondered how well I would manage compared to them.  It turns out I was too busy huffing, puffing, and sweating to notice.

 During the class we rotated through each of the areas. The rowers and exercisers moved back and forth between those stations as directed, and the treadmill users stayed with those until it was time to move to the other machines.  The instructor did a great job of calling out instructions and keeping people on track.  He checked in with me several times to see how I was doing, and gave me a couple of pointers to make my workout more efficient.

At the end of the hour we had a quick stretching session, and then the trainer explained my results to me.  The front desk person gave me information about joining, but wasn't hard pressure when I said I'd have to think about it. 

The class was a great workout, but I can already tell that I'm going to have some very sore muscles tomorrow.

Five years ago today: Unknown Familiar


  1. Change is difficult hope you find what’s best for you.

  2. Yes, it's so hard to give up the routine. I wonder if sore muscles will ever go away.

    1. I've heard that sore muscles are a sign your body is getting stronger, so I guess they're a useful annoyance.

  3. Although you've been happy with your gym for quite some time, maybe it's a good thing that you'll spend some time seeing what other options are out there.