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Old 01-20-11, 11:10 AM   #1
Velo Dog
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That "use my head and go to the gym" post got me thinking...I HATE gyms (a rant)

I like working out (well, I like the results; sometimes the actual sweating is tedious), but I've never enjoyed gyms. It started when i was a runner, back when my knees worked. Beautiful spring day, 70 degrees, light breeze, and it seemed like half the people I knew would go do an hour on the treadmill instead of running outdoors.
That was 30 years ago, and it's worse now. EVERYBODY'S got a gym membership. Except for cyclists, I hardly know anyone who exercises outdoors. We had a run of 65-degree days recently (30 warmer than average) and I asked a guy I work with, an occasional cyclist, if he wanted to go for a ride.
"No, got to go to the gym," he said. So he did 45 minutes on the Stairmaster. Boy, THERE'S a good time...
I hate the atmosphere, which around here is either macho-competitive or hyper-social (my wife laughs at women putting on makeup and doing their hair before they go in to work out). I hate the damn juice bar in the lobby; get a nice pomegranate/lime/acai berry smoothie for only $7.50. I hate it that three months after I canceled my trial membership, they're still billing my credit card, and whenI complain about it, they say, "Sorry--tell you what: We'll give you a month free."
I don't want a month free, and it's not free anyway because you already took the money out of my credit card.
"But we'll upgrade you to a Gold Membership, and you can use the sauna and get a free locker."
That's all. I just hate gyms.
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Old 01-20-11, 11:28 AM   #2
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With the exception of going in to sign my boys up for gym memberships during high school (the gym near their school gave students a great price and they could fulfill their PE credits with gym time), I haven't been in a gym since college. Much prefer the open road (or open trail) to get my exercise.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:30 PM   #3
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The place where I live in NWA has a small exercise room with treadmills, weight machine, and a semi-recumbent stationary bike. I'll go in there only during snow/ice conditions and only if I'm desperate.
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Old 01-20-11, 12:58 PM   #4
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I used to do work for a handyman when he had overflow. He gave me a job of re-roofing a shed. It was a beautiful July saturday morning, I mean it was one of those "perfect" days. Not too hot, not a cloud in the sky, perfect. So I get there in the morning, the handyman is there with the material, ie bundles of shingles that had to be unloaded, etc. The customer come out of the house with his gym bag, and comes over to say hello. We have a short chat, go over the job. Then he says, "I'll be at the gym for a while, so I'll be out of touch" and he leaves. The handyman looks at me shakes his head and says "AT THE GYM!?! On a day like today he goes to the gym. He could help us hump these shingles across the yard for FREE. Going to the gym.....". Good honest work muscles, will beat gym muscles any time.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:02 PM   #5
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A gym is a necessary evil here in Minnesota, unless you prefer the alternative of a trainer in your basement. So I go. But that doesn't mean I don't hate it. I do. Hate it. With extreme prejudice.

As I teach at the university, I go to the U Rec center, which in some ways is better than a commercial gym - it costs less and I am exempt from social scene occurring among the students. But still, stationary bicycles/elliptical machines/treadmills/etc. are among the most boring devices known to human kind.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:14 PM   #6
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I like going to the gym due to the competitive aspects of it. Yeah its a meat market, and yeah people go there to show off...etc, but sometimes you get on the treadmill next to the other runner and you just want to try and out do them.

That is my experience atleast.

It also helps for crappy days when the weather is much to handle. I'm originally a FL boy and I'm not digging the 30-50 range of temps for being outside.
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Old 01-20-11, 01:58 PM   #7
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When I was a serious runner 25 years ago I couldn't stand any sort of indoor exercise, particularly treadmills; I'd rather run outside in 0deg weather. I've joined a gym, but only for strength training which I definitely need. At least every 5 minutes you're hitting a different machine. The gym workouts will be in addition to cycling. When I travel on business I'll use an elliptical trainer out of necessity, but 20 minutes with CNN or Sports Center is about all I can tolerate.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:03 PM   #8
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That's why my wife & I put together a home gym. No treadmills, etc. A leverage machine, dumbbells, and a hyperextension bench. Now I can just walk across the hall & my dogs keep me company!
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Old 01-20-11, 02:14 PM   #9
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Velo Dog,
Do you remember the smell of a change room in High School? It was putrid. Take the locker at the gym for free, then go to a high school and purchase the raunchiest running shoes and damp unwashed t-shirt you can from a student. Preferrably one who has body odor at the best of times. Put them in your locker at the gym.

2 weeks, 3 weeks tops and they'll be asking you to move out. I promise.
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Old 01-20-11, 02:21 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by velo dog View Post
i like working out (well, i like the results; sometimes the actual sweating is tedious), but i've never enjoyed gyms. It started when i was a runner, back when my knees worked. Beautiful spring day, 70 degrees, light breeze, and it seemed like half the people i knew would go do an hour on the treadmill instead of running outdoors.
That was 30 years ago, and it's worse now. Everybody's got a gym membership. Except for cyclists, i hardly know anyone who exercises outdoors. We had a run of 65-degree days recently (30 warmer than average) and i asked a guy i work with, an occasional cyclist, if he wanted to go for a ride.
"no, got to go to the gym," he said. So he did 45 minutes on the stairmaster. Boy, there's a good time...
I hate the atmosphere, which around here is either macho-competitive or hyper-social (my wife laughs at women putting on makeup and doing their hair before they go in to work out). I hate the damn juice bar in the lobby; get a nice pomegranate/lime/acai berry smoothie for only $7.50. I hate it that three months after i canceled my trial membership, they're still billing my credit card, and wheni complain about it, they say, "sorry--tell you what: We'll give you a month free."
i don't want a month free, and it's not free anyway because you already took the money out of my credit card.
"but we'll upgrade you to a gold membership, and you can use the sauna and get a free locker."
that's all. I just hate gyms.
yes! +1
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Old 01-20-11, 02:35 PM   #11
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I don't hate gyms because I've never belonged to one, and in fact I don't think I've ever been in one. When I lived in St. Louis I couldn't have afforded it anyway, plus we had a winter mountain bike racing series and cold weather road rides.

Now that I live in SoCal, the weather is good to excellent most of the time, so no worries. And, while strength training may actually help me, eventually, . . . the total cost/benefit ratio of the gym thng doesn't impress me.

Thanks for your rant Velo Dog; very entertaining!

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Old 01-20-11, 03:11 PM   #12
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If you have a purpose- or the necessity- then Gyms fulfill a purpose.

I used to do a hard ride in June each year and it took full fitness to complete. I used to ride all year round but not to the ultimate or competitively. I had fitnesss but after the ride I used to start "Cooling" down on the training and only got in the odd Offroad Metric or 100 miler on the road.---- Yes the June ride was hard in comparison.

Then around November the weather starts to pull in a bit and rides only came about at weekends. Then you realise it is January and only 4 months to get fit- so down the gym as you cannot rely on having evening rides often enough to get the fitness in. So start gently at a low level and get the cardio vascular working and start to get the body mobile again in the weights room twice a week and by the end of April you are beginning to feel the benefit of all that "Extra" exercise coupled with the weekend rides that are getting harder and longer. But only 6 weeks to get that final fitness in so the evening rides are back with a vengeance. Finally about 4 weeks before the event and I found myself leading the youngsters up the hills on the 30 mile offroad rides and you peel off after that distance to get in an extra 30miles on the road to cool down.

Then the event and time to slacken off a bit in the training--Till January and you just wish you had got out for those 30 mile rides in the week as you now have to go to that bl**dy gym again to get fit.

Yes--I still hate the gym.
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Old 01-20-11, 04:12 PM   #13
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I hate gyms too and over the last several decades have amassed a lot of equipment for the home. Everything from several weight sets, a squat cage, a multi purpose work out machine to a $900 rowing machine. I'd rather bike/jog in the rain than run/walk or bike indoors, though we have a stationary bike for the wife. I've got a Roman chair/hyper-ext. bench on order.

We spend time in two homes since we have as yet not been able to sell our Florida house. So I joined a gym at the other place when they had a $100/year special. That allows me to do about four exercises where I need equipment. It's a pain, but it's temporary I hope.

It's not a chain, but a local Gyme. Open 24 hours 7 days/week.

Some folks are more motivated to work out in a gym environment or they don't have the space/$s for the gear. Gyms serve a very valuable purpose.

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Old 01-20-11, 06:08 PM   #14
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Even more than I dislike working out indoors, I absolutely despise the high pressure sales techniques and long term obligations that many gyms push on people. I looked into a couple of local gyms and couldn't bring myself to do it. But last year my company installed a fitness center. I can go in before or after work and use the weight machines, free weights, elliptical machines, stationary bikes (upright and recumbent) or treadmills. This time of year there just isn't time to ride after work and the weather is often too cold or too wet for me to want to ride. I don't really like working out indoors, but weekend rides aren't enough to keep the fitness up and the weight down. So it has to be either the fitness center or the trainer between the rare rides.
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Old 01-20-11, 06:23 PM   #15
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I was leaving work on my bicycle and was asked by a co-worker who lived near me how long it took to ride home. "About 45 minutes."

"Huh! It takes me less than 20 minutes to drive home."

I asked him what he did once he got home. "Oh, grab my bag and go to the gym to get some exercise."
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Old 01-20-11, 06:47 PM   #16
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There are gyms and there are gyms, if you take my meanin'. This time of year, when I leave for work in the morning it is dark and it is still dark when I return. Biking is out of the question. So is cycling. My bicycles aren't coming out in the snow, for they are asleep.

My gym, on the other hand, lets me go online and read BF while on a exercise bike (wish they'd ditch those saddles though) or treadmill. I can push weight machines for upper body, leg, or core strength. I can attend a delightful 75 minutes of yoga, or a more demanding 60 minutes of Pilades.

If it wasn't for exercise I'd get no exercise at all.
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Old 01-20-11, 08:14 PM   #17
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Oh, I hate gyms. Hate ‘em hate ‘em hate ‘em. It’s the whole meat market/social thing and the stench of no maintenance and broken machines and grunting meat heads and people taking up lanes in the pool while not actually swimming and jacuzzi’s that are 140 degrees with 75% chlorine to kill all the VD that might be there and you’re wondering about the hair floating on the surface and the fact that while there is 1000 sf of locker room, no matter what, there’s always a naked dude hanging out right next to you while you’re putting your shoes on and you’re thinking to yourself “Hey Johnny, close the junk drawer, will you?”

<whew>

[/rant]

OK, all that said, I find it amusing that in good weather areas, there are people in the gym doing cardio. A couple of years ago, I was in Hawai’I and I went for a run…ran right past a gym. The entire ocean-facing window was lined with folks running on treadmills. I waved as I went by.
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Old 01-20-11, 08:57 PM   #18
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. . . the total cost/benefit ratio of the gym thng doesn't impress me.

Rick / OCRR
Golds Gym in our town is pretty reasonable: $33/mo. I may not keep it up forever, but at 65 my muscle mass is headed downhill fast.
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Old 01-20-11, 09:50 PM   #19
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A hundred years ago, nobody went to a gym. They had it right.
I'm not interested in wasting my time doing physical work that doesn't transport me to work or to the store.

Paul
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Old 01-20-11, 10:16 PM   #20
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Oh, I hate gyms. Hate ‘em hate ‘em hate ‘em. It’s the whole meat market/social thing and the stench of no maintenance and broken machines and grunting meat heads and people taking up lanes in the pool while not actually swimming and jacuzzi’s that are 140 degrees with 75% chlorine to kill all the VD that might be there and you’re wondering about the hair floating on the surface and the fact that while there is 1000 sf of locker room, no matter what, there’s always a naked dude hanging out right next to you while you’re putting your shoes on and you’re thinking to yourself “Hey Johnny, close the junk drawer, will you?”

<whew>

[/rant]

OK, all that said, I find it amusing that in good weather areas, there are people in the gym doing cardio. A couple of years ago, I was in Hawai’I and I went for a run…ran right past a gym. The entire ocean-facing window was lined with folks running on treadmills. I waved as I went by.
"...close the junk drawer"


I teach spin classes and lead a walking group at my gym. A lot of people go to the gym for the social aspect of group classes, and others want someone who will tell them what to do and push them harder than they would work out on their own. Personally, I do a much harder weight workout when I have a trainer picking the exercises for me.

And some people have a hard time working out at home. Going to the gym gives them a routine to stick to and they won't get distracted by things at home.
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Old 01-20-11, 10:31 PM   #21
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I don't endorse the company, they're probably crooked also.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:42 AM   #22
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I dislike them!!

I still go for strength training. I can ride most of the year in Houston; so, I rarely go to the gym for aerobic exercise only.

I have a fairly inexpensive monthly fee. I was a member when they opened. I am disappointed that they haven't upgraded any equipment since they opened.

There are a lot of weird people that tie up the weight machines. They often sit on a machine and do multiple sets with very light weights and long rest periods.
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Old 01-21-11, 06:51 AM   #23
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When they invent a machine that mimicks snow shoveling then maybe..........Our YMCA is great for moms with small kids. Mom or Dad can work out and kids can play or swim and still be close.
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Old 01-21-11, 07:40 AM   #24
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When they invent a machine that mimicks snow shoveling then maybe..........Our YMCA is great for moms with small kids. Mom or Dad can work out and kids can play or swim and still be close.
^^ Just came in from shoveling my double width driveway, while all the neighborhood men were out with their snowblowers. I love everything about shoveling snow!
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Old 01-21-11, 07:49 AM   #25
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There seems to be a north south divide here. I don't go to the gym at all in the summer -- I'm riding every day anyway, and it's a much more enjoyable workout. But in the winter I have to do something, or I go stir crazy. OK, I can skate or ski some of the time, but that's only a couple of times a week at best. So I need spin classes to keep my biking muscles alive, and weights work to keep the rest of the muscles alive. And I'm with CBad. I need a class to give me the motivation, and to ensure that I keep going for more than 10 minutes or so.

What I really hate is gyms in January, when the New Years Resolutioners come out and crowd the locker room something rotten. By February things are somewhat less evil, and March is usually just fine.
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