Does your gym suck?
I’m ten years into this long journey of a new and healthier person that has changed my life and made me firefighter fit. I feel that through my trials and tribulations along the way I feel that I’ve earned the ability to be able to say what’s on my mind because I’ve got some real life experience to back it up. I’ve learned a lot and made good and bad choices along the way, it’s been quite the trip to get where I am today.
In this post I want to talk about why where you work out could suck. Maybe where I work out sucks? The truth of the matter is that YOU need to find the right “fit” for you and how you operate because what I do might not necessarily work for you and likewise what you do might not work for me. Every gym and every trainer is going to tell you that they are the best “because ____”. When people ask me what I do I tell them this, “here is what I do, where I work out, and why it works for me.”
What works for me…
I work out at two locations, because its what I found that works for me. Now keep in mind to my followers from outside the area that don’t know Knox County is in Central Ohio and a farming community where the gym opportunities are different than an urban area. I’ve caught some shit and raised some eyebrows when the topic of fitness and my choice of where to work out are discussed.
I work out at the Mount Vernon YMCA and Fitness Dynamics, both in the same town. Let me tell you a little about both of them. While the “Y” can be similar to many across the Nation, I won’t bore you with the details. I am a heavy user on the variety of cardio equipment and weights at the YMCA. We aren’t blessed with perfect weather in Ohio and it gives me the ability to take care of that portion with not too many limitations. There is a decent numbers of machines usually with no wait. The weights and the motions that I do utilize in same cases mimic fire ground related tasks, in other cases I stick to working with more traditional muscle groups and weights. I’ve been using it for years and its worked well. I even tried a few classes, but just didn’t fit with that portion.
In comes Fitness Dynamics that I added to my fitness regimen back at the beginning of 2014. I ran into a classmate April who teaches at the studio that followed what kind of events and what I do. She suggested that I try it out and explained some of the classes to me and how they might help. In January I walked into a studio filled with women and tried to put my thoughts of what this could be like in the back of my mind. I’ve tried high intensity interval training (HIIT), I’ve tried a variety of cardio classes with less or more weights, lots of butts/guts songs, and yes even found a liking for yoga. Most importantly I feel valued, opinion matters, and over the course of the year I have seen drastic increases in my cardio endurance that I attribute to the new routines I have added several times a week.
How drastic were my results, I can answer that with two letters repeatedly…PR. Last year my times were maintaining a certain range, but over the course of this year I have watched as not only my mile times, but 5k times, and even stair climb times dropped. Not seconds, but minutes of difference! My SCBA bottle times for a working fire or stair climb have allowed me to make that tank last longer under even the most intense workout.
A personal choice…
Whether you realize it or not finding a studio, gym, or a place to work out is a very personal choice and I’ve found that there is no one size fits all. I attribute it to being similar to finding a dentist or physician. It is CRUICIAL to find the right place that you can have a personal relationship with. I can’t count how many times over the last 14 years of doing Fire/EMS that I have heard a patient or victim say that they haven’t been to their doctor in awhile because they don’t like going there. You know what, if you don’t like going, why aren’t you changing things up and looking for better? Are you seeing results that work for what you do? There are a lot of things that go into play beyond the price and a name. What equipment, where they are located, hours of operation, what they have to offer, and also just as important to me the people.
When I started this new me back in 2004 I walked into the Mount Vernon YMCA not knowing really what I was in store for. I’ve been to small gyms, community gyms, chain fitness centers, a long variety of classes, and trainers before I really figured it out. Sure you can just go join a gym, but are you using your time to its fullest? Are you getting everything that you can out of it? Do you enjoy being there and feel like you are a part of something? Does your opinion matter? If you question any of these, maybe its time to evaluate things and make sure you really fit. Find what works for you and you will know the difference in the results that you see.
Check back soon for another article more specifically on aerobics and yoga in training for my events.