I realised the other day (well, it wasn’t a sudden realisation, this had developed over a couple of weeks or more) that if I’m going to get serious about getting fit, then I should probably join a gym.
This is not to say that you cannot get fit at home! You absolutely can, and many people do. I was, on a running/cycling program that seemed to be working.
The thing is…the thing is…I kind of enjoyed strength training. And when I say kind of, I mean really enjoyed it. Although again, that’s not strictly speaking accurate. I guess what I enjoyed was getting better at it…I enjoyed seeing muscles develop (which took close to two months when I was first seeing a PT!) and I like the idea of being strong and being able to lift heavy things. Which is all kind of strange, because I never thought I was into that. I remember saying, 5 or more years ago now, at the first gym I joined that, ‘I don’t like weights, I have no interest in doing weights or anything like that.’
I think the reason behind that is that I didn’t have a full appreciation for what strength training can do. In my very inexperienced mind, strength training meant getting totally ripped to incredible proportions. It meant chugging protein shakes and chomping down protein bars and pumping iron to the Rocky soundtrack.
Even my muscles have muscles!
What I didn’t realise is that strength training can help you build lean, strong muscles without making you look like a condom full of walnuts. The benefits of building muscle? Well, honestly…there are pages and pages on it available online, and who knows what’s scientifically accurate and what isn’t.
All I can say for sure is that building muscle in my arms and my legs definitely seems to be building tone and tightening up those areas. I know I’m not losing overall muscle mass through my weight loss (which is also good). Not to mention the fact that strength training also involves some energy expenditure…so that’s more calories out. And I will one day be able to lift very heavy things.
You can't see, but I'm actually holding him up with my pinky
For this I very much wanted the facilities of a gym (barbells and weight machines) so I could press, push and lift to my heart’s content. It was with this in mind that I headed to my uni’s gym (which is now only 10 minutes from home!), sucked it up and paid for the year’s membership.
It ends up being cheaper per week than other gyms I’ve joined. The difference is that you have to pay it all in one go (ahhhhhhh!) and that’s your only option. Thank goodness I’ve taken about 20 years to do this degree and got a student membership or I probably wouldn’t have gone for it
So here I am, somewhat poorer than I was a couple of days ago, but with a year’s worth of gym membership ahead of me and sore muscles from my first training session.
Blimey, I hope I use it.