Weekly Reflections

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Posted by Helene

After two days of fighting the computer gods, I have to change my original plan to write another article about “4 exercise moves dos and don'ts” like I had done a couple of weeks ago. Since I seem to be able to keep my internet connection for more than five minutes tonight, I have decided to reflect on some strange and sometimes absurd things I have encountered at the gym this past week.

1/ Put the cell phone down: Do not get on the cardio machines and start chatting away, this is your “me” time. Chances are that if you can chat with your friends while pedaling away that you are not getting a meaningful workout. The latest gossip can wait until you are done giving your workout 100% of yourself. If her boyfriend just left her in tears, take the time to be with her not on the bike. Unless you are “on call” or left the babies with an inexperienced caretaker, leave your phone in the locker room. The people around you probably don’t really care that Sue wore red stripe pants with a blue argyle sweater…and remember we are always louder than we think.

2/ Do wear the appropriate shoes:
A lady came to take my plyometrics/weight lifting class yesterday but had forgotten her workout shoes. She told me she would pass on the plyo but meant to lift weights barefoot. Hello…! I was sorry to inform her I could not let her do that for fear she might drop a dumbbell on her feet…I was actually surprised I had to explain why she could not take the class.
Do not sneak on the elliptical or bike in your flip-flops hoping that the gym personnel does not notice. You only hurt yourself, your joints, spine not to mention your shins. Call it a day and come back tomorrow, or better yet, put a pair of spare shoes in your car at all times.

3/ Respect the class: If you take a group aerobics class, do not spend most of the time chatting with the person next to you. It is distracting to the people next to you. It is annoying for the instructor because we know you are getting nothing out of it and disturbing the flow of things. If you can’t wait to chat with Jane, do it after class over a nice and healthy refreshment.
If you don’t like the class, please do not decide to make your own and start your own moves while one is going on. Step aside, get on a cardio machine or check out another one at a later day. It has not happen to me yet, but I don’t think I would have kept my cool when it happened to my friend Michelle in her kickboxing class.

4/ Disinfect: The bottles of disinfectant and towels placed around the gym are not there to enhance the décor. There are hundreds of people using the same equipment everyday and even of gym employees do disinfect the machines a few times a day, it does not justify you leaving a sweaty weight bench for the next person or sweat drenched handles on the bike. No disinfectant or towel in sight, bring at least a towel to wipe off your hard earned sweat and efforts.
Do not go to the gym if you have a fever, cough or sneeze a lot. There is no scientific proof that you will “sweat your cold out by exercising” but complete backup that you will give your germs to gym employees and trainers. Remember when you used to take your kids to daycare and they would catch all the germs floating in the air at the time? Same with the gym: pay it forward by staying home, you won’t slow down your progress that much by taking some time off….in the long run your body and fellow gym goers will thank you.

You are probably wondering where sweet Helen has gone after reading this…Well, I live at the gym: 6 days a week, anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a day, which make me care about…everybody in every circumstances. By doing the things mentioned above, people fail to see the bigger picture:
1/ By not giving yourself a tough workout and being on the phone instead, it is going to take you twice as long to reach your goal. You might even stop coming to the gym altogether because you “went everyday and did cardio for 40 minutes every time and never saw results”. Then, a few months later, you rejoin and it’s not 20 pounds you need to lose but 35…not cool. Buckle up!

2/ Keep wearing the wrong shoes and your joints and spine will be so out of commissioned that you will have to stop coming, maybe get some physical therapy or surgery ( I have seen it happen) thus defeating the purpose.

3/ It is most ok to exercise and socialize: I sometimes “buddy up” on the treadmill with a friend and we talk some while walking, but I leave these instances to my “easy” days. A group class is not one of those times. You would get more out of your workout by focusing on it and more out of your friendship by giving Jane your undivided attention when the class is over.

4/ If you are sick, remember to treat your body good and stay away for a couple of days. Your body needs to hydrate, work through the sickness and heal. By constantly working out on a cold or a bug, you are taking away its ability to heal fast. Every workout is more difficult for you, you might lose your drive ad when you have recovered you find out that your training is out sick because you passed on whatever you had (as well as all others sick at the time) to her/him and it is now going to take even longer for both of you to get back on track to make you reach your goal.

I care….I am passionate about my job, so saying “no, not acceptable” is also part of it.

Are you interested in contributing to The Daily Tiffin? Drop us an email: blogmeeta@gmail.com. We look forward to hearing your ideas.

This Post was written by Helen from Tartelette


HEHE! I loved the post. I can add one more to this. Ladies, who come to the gym fully styled as if they were off on a night out. Make up, perfect hair - fixed with hairspray, jewelry and the latest gym gear!! I look like such a drag in comparison in my Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts and gym pants, no make-up etc. LOL!

I see a lot of the men coming in and training in flip flops too. Unfortunately our trainers do not always stay on top of things and send these people off of the training area.

I have two pair of sneakers: 1 for my aerobic classes, especially made for the impact for such classes and a pair of normal Gel-FX Asics for the basic training with weights and on the cardio machines. As Tom is a runner and runs a lot of marathon he pays very close attention to all our shoes we wear for different activities. The right shoes are soooo important as it helps prevent many injuries and problems that can occur.

And the best way I avoid getting chatted up at the gym? My iPod helps me - unsocial some say but I socialize after my workouts.

Helene, thanks for pointing some of these great things. They are so often taken for granted.

Meeta K. Wolff said...
June 23, 2007 at 9:44:00 AM GMT+2  

Thanks Meeta. I had forgotte about the dressed up ladies, thank goodness they are only hurting themselves!

Helene said...
June 23, 2007 at 3:45:00 PM GMT+2  

Another excellent article, sweetie!

I shall keep each and every pointer in mind if I ever join a gym - for sure =)

And I promise not to wear high heels to an aerobics class. hee!


Lis said...
June 23, 2007 at 3:49:00 PM GMT+2  

If you could find me a gym which isn't full of ladies who are dressed to the nines (near here of course), I promise that I will go regularly. Great tips.

June 23, 2007 at 7:19:00 PM GMT+2  

You mean no stillettos on the elliptical machine!!!!! I thought working out like Mariah Carey was the ONLY way to do it! LOL - sorry I couldn't resist. Great post - it reminded me of the MTV Cribs episode when Mariah Carey was seen working the stairmaster in stilletos and I almost gagged on my cheetos! I am so with Meeta on the gym attire comment. Ladies there is no need a black sports bra with a bright brink bra layered over it and finished with a fishnet top (if you are wearing all this - the 80's have an ABP out on you and they want their clothes back!) -- Preeti

Anonymous said...
June 27, 2007 at 4:49:00 PM GMT+2  

Lovely post! I agree so much on those tips.

I have some to add of my own:
- Perfume. I don't mind the smell of sweat - hey, we're all human - but sweat mingled with perfume or bad deodorant is a surefire way to get me retching and gasping for breath. Luckily this hasn't occured in the gym I go to right now yet...
- Hogging the machines. It's just not nice, especially if you're just stretching and talking in between series of repetitions and taking your sweet time.

What's your stance on repetitions and how much weight to put on machines? Or is that material for the next installment?

What's y

June 27, 2007 at 8:47:00 PM GMT+2  

great writeup! I was once very annoyed by the man who was sweating out on the treadmill, with his sweat all over... and then just walked away without wiping/disinfecting...

Hele, would you write about proper shoes for workouts - Reading Meeta's comment makes me wonder if my pair of cross trainers aren't good enough.

Kay said...
July 1, 2007 at 6:24:00 PM GMT+2  

I also meant to say, Thanks for the article. :)

Kay said...
July 1, 2007 at 6:25:00 PM GMT+2  

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