To pick up from where we left off, I haven’t paid for a gym membership since Justin Timberlake was just another singer in another boy band. Why no gym for me? Because gyms for the masses don’t offer what I need for my interests, my abilities, and my definition of a hard core workout.
Without paying extra for the extras I want, I guess there’s plenty to do… plenty of mindless repetitions on the elliptical and step machines, for instance. Or rowing machines. Or Arc Trainers. Or, if the gym is really old – NordicTracks. Not my idea of fun.
I also don’t welcome the sights or the sounds: whether it’s that American Idol hopeful belting out the latest Lady Gaga on the treadmill next to mine (Honey, please…), the tiny four-inch square TV screens that line the treadmills, the huge dude grunting his way through benching 300 pounds (with bad form), or the sales staff who look like they’re bored to tears sitting in their offices each night. (Speaking of, why do gyms keep so many sales people onsite? Can’t they just outsource to a call center?)
Gyms also provide weight rooms that are crammed full of plenty of machines that work just one muscle at a time. These weight machines don’t produce functional results because they don’t demand that your body stabilizes a joint to move the muscle – they do that for you. They don’t take that joint through more than one plane of movement. Plus, they’re really boring. And, the etiquette in the weight room often leaves a lot to be desired. Don’t get me started on the guys who leave the 45-pound weight plates on the bars for me to put away.
Obviously, I’m not keen on the cardio equipment or the weights. How about the classes? Sure there are also plenty of those, but my experience is that I must suffer through dozens of them before I find a good one. Let’s be honest, even after I weed out the great from the average instructors, the classes in most gyms rarely evolve in ways that keep my fitness level challenged and improving. And the music matters, too. Many instructors use “fitness music,” which is just knock-off versions of real songs. Trust me, when it’s a Rihanna song and it’s not her singing it, I notice.
Maybe gyms work for the masses, but for me, the repetition, the scenery, and the monotony amount to one thing: Mass UNappeal.
Next up: a solution!