Early on in the PCP, we would do our jump ropes inside our apartment, but eventually our downstairs neighbor got sick of it and made us stop. He also ended up giving us a couple of 2-week passes to 24 hour fitness. We didn't think we'd ever use the passes, but Patrick gave us an assignment last week to visit a gym, so we finally used the passes tonight. We went down to a small 24-hour fitness in Piedmont called "FitLite." From the outside, all we could see were women on exercise bikes. We were expecting to have a cushy, easy work-out, and maybe mess around with some of the equipment. The place ended up exceeding our expectations, and we got a surprisingly good work-out.
Right when we entered the gym, a middle-aged woman with tattoos and piercings, greeted us. Her name was Jade. She explained that all the machines were part of an exercise circuit, and that she would be taking us through each machine. The work-out was thirty minutes long, beginning with 10 minutes of cardio followed by one minute of constant reps on each machine. A bell chimed on the intercom every minute to signal the switch to the next machine. That bell was the only thing that interrupted the constant stream of techno music. The machines alternated between resistance, abs, and cardio. There were also a couple mat exercises. We had to do the plank at one of the stations! We were a bit wary about that, because we went through our ab workout today, but we got through it fine.
There were a bunch of college aged people there, mostly women, and they were all in good shape. There were also a few older, out of shape people. There was one old woman in trousers who pedaled her bike in slow motion while falling asleep and listening to her walkman. She kept nodding off, barely conscious. There was one woman who was morbidly obese. But the general population was in good shape.
Anyway, we got a surprising burn; Adrian started sweating right away. We both reached failure on some of the exercises. Adrian reached failure on at least half of the machines, because Jade set the weight really high whenever it was his turn. After the work-out, there was also a stretching circuit, and we went through a series of about 20 different stretches, which we would hold for ten seconds on each side. All in all, it was a satisfying work-out, and a surprising gym experience.
It's easier to push yourself to failure when you're around lots of other people. You don't want to wimp out. However, we don't plan on buying memberships because we still prefer working out at home. We've got everything we need! Each other.