Sunday, August 15, 2010

My tips on going to the gym...

Hi again to everyone--especially those that are new who have joined me.  Thank you!

I'm having a great time, now that I can work out.  I like going to the gym, I love my new pilates teacher, and I've even been swimming laps.  It is all very cool, and very new to me.  And I'm learning there are a lot of things I don't know about going to the gym.  I've been going with a friend of mine, we'll call her Goldilocks, who is VERY athletic and actually knows what she's doing.  I recommend finding yourself someone like her to go with.  If for nothing else, then to help you get off the &^$ floor when you're done stretching.

Now she had warned me that the gym has it's own culture, and that there are lots of unwritten rules to follow like putting back the things you use, wiping down the machines when you're finished, and not talking to other people who are working out at the same time.  According to Goldi, people are there to work out, not socialize.  She is so naive.   For example, I have made me a new gym friend, I'm sure of it. 
Goldi:  "You made a friend?"
Babe:  "Yeah.  He was filling his water bottle at the same time I was filling mine and so I told him that we were racing, and that I won."
Goldi:  "You know that people aren't supposed to talk to each other at the gym--you need to respect that person's private circle."
Babe:  "I think you're wrong.  My friend and I (after racing to fill our water bottles) both went to the hot tub.  I got out first and said to him, 'OK, I'm leaving you in charge.'  It was hilarious, and we laughed together."
Goldi:  [sigh]  "Honey, that was polite laughter.  The 'if-I-laugh-maybe-the-crazy-lady-will-leave' laugh does not constitute a friendship."
Babe:  "Sure it does.  He and I are tight now--being gym buddies and all"
Goldi:  "Really.  So what is the name of your new friend?"
Babe:  "Uh...Baldy."
Goldi:  [snort of derision]  "And his last name?"
Babe:  "Uh, yeah...he doesn't have a last name.  Like Madonna.  Or Cher.  Only his bathing suit was completely devoid of sequins, which is weird for someone with just one name."

It's worth mentioning that at this point in the conversation, Goldi just gave up, which means I win.

Now just in case you are also new to the "workout scene," let me share some additional tips that I've learned so far:
1.  Never, EVER take off your shower shoes at the gym.  Seriously.
2.  You can always spot the serious weightlifters by the gallon jug of water they carry around with them and drink from.  What is that about?  They can't pour their water into a normal-sized bottle like everyone else?  My workout buddy, Goldilocks, says that they just really like lifting heavy things, and that they can accomplish that with every sip.
3.  Try and get a spot on a machine that overlooks the personal training area.  Then you can watch the Marquis de Sade personal trainer make their client do ridiculous-looking training activities to humiliate them in front of the entire gym.  It makes for a more interesting view when you can watch a 5'2" petite woman make a gorilla of a man walk on all fours, with his feet on slippery disks, and do frog-kicks.  I don't know if that gave him a good workout, but I know that it made my workout more interesting.
4.  Take your iPod with you, and get a good workout mix (let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions, or would like the list I'm using right now).  Using ear buds will help drown out the two women on the ellipticals next to you who are carrying on a full conversation, texting, and managing to make comments on every other woman that walks by.  Without even breaking a sweat.
5.  Do not wear your old baggy clothes (like I've been doing).  Apparently my shorts are so big that when I get on the floor to stretch they gap and show my undies (also too big) to anyone who cares to look.

How about you guys?  Any tips you'd like to share?  Please leave them in the comments!


  1. I am So glad you are going to the gym, and you LIKE it! Yay!!!
    I love your tips, I have never been to a gym... and don't really plan on it :) (besides, I would probably be in trouble the first day by telling the women who make comments about every other woman, to shut their mouths LOL)
    I would guess that maybe the talking thing is for people who are exercising? I could see not wanting to be bothered while I'm working out... but the drinking fountain, the hot tub, I wouldn't worry about it lol. Just like any other place, there are people that like to talk, and people that don't! Maybe your friend Baldy will end up being one who does? :)
    So glad you are having fun!!!

  2. Meh - I wear my baggy clothes to the gym because I don't really care.

    But I would say that in general people don't want to talk or socialize...having said that, I also make jokes too, so whatever. :)

    I'm envious of the swimming. I think I'd like to do that...I remember it feeling very freeing and pain free. Both good things in my book.