Friday, September 2, 2011

100 Trips to the Gym

How do you get the most value out of your gym membership? Go!

DSCI0411This past weekend I made my 100th trip to the gym.  As of that date, each trip to the gym cost me $2.99, and it’s only going down from there.

I purchased my two-year gym membership from Costco last Thanksgiving season, and the day after Christmas, headed to the gym with Mr. Trizzle to start on the adventurous path of the Stripped 5x5.

There’s lots of things I love about going to the gym.  It feels good; it’s fun; people don’t bother you because they’re too busy looking at themselves in the mirror (unlike on BART); and most of all, I can really see results.  I’ve dropped a size in clothing, but that’s not so exciting, it just means needing to buy new clothes.  And I can’t brag about weight loss because I’ve gained nearly 10 lbs.  But boy have I gotten stronger!

When I first began going to the gym eight months ago, I could barely bench press 30lbs and couldn’t deadlift enough to move an airline-weight-approved suitcase.  Now, I can bench press half my own weight and nearly deadlift Mr. Trizzle’s weight.   Mr. Trizzle’s doing even crazier things, nearly bench-pressing my weight, deadlifting two of me.  That’s fun to see, watching the numbers go up, watching the plates on the ends of the barbells get bigger, get more numerous.   But the really really great part is when I see the difference in everyday activities.

I can move through the BART trains without struggling with all my might to open the doors between the cars.  Sometimes, I can even open them one-handed now.  When I move heavy bankers boxes of files off of closet shelves or boxes of cds down from my storage unit, I can control the box and bring it down in one smooth movement, inside of momentarily hoisting and then sort of guiding its fall to the ground.  I can move the bookshelves, mattresses and tables in my apartment by picking them up instead of dragging them across the floor, which I bet my downstairs neighbors appreciate.  And the speed of my ball when I bowl has gone up to 16/17 mph.  That’s nice for making some fun strikes.

In fact, there’s really only one kinda downside to the gym.  Ok, two, and both are so worth the benefits.  One, I’m hungry all the time, even more than before, and not just oh-I-want-something-to-munch-on kind of hungry; I-need-protein-now kind of hungry.  That can be a bit tough sometimes, so I carry Cliff bars with me everywhere.  Two, my shoulders and arms are starting to not fit in my clothes.  I busted all the sleeve hem stitches out of a dress one week at bowling, and there’s another dress I love in which I can no longer raise my arms above my head.  But that’s easily dealt with; I love me some sweaters. Nice, stretchy sweaters.

I’m so glad Mr. Trizzle helped me get a visitors pass to his gym way back in November.  It was enough for me to get my own membership, and I love it.  The Stripped 5x5 has been a great starting workout, and I’m looking forward moving up to the next program.  And to watching my cost per gym visit continue to drop.

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