08 January, 2011

A New Twist

So I am going to continue to tear down the glossy veneer that has appeared to be the fitness center lifestyle. If you aren't interested in reading any further without knowing what your workout is for today that is not a problem. Today is an easy cardio day! You simply need to get in a minimum of 60 min. of light continuous cardiovascular movement. This roughly translates to about 140 as a target heart rate. understand that will vary some based on age, resting heart rate, and fitness level. That is just a guideline for those who would prefer it.

I do want to take a second today and just rant if you will indulge me. A gym is a bit of a different world all it's own, one where many people feel an immense sense of vulnerability. To make this world your work place is another story entirely! In the gym I deal with overcompensation and all out insecurity on a daily basis in a very straight forward way. One instance that I ran across shortly after begging the profession was the phenomenon of women dressing up to go to the gym. I should start by saying up to that point I had very limited exposure to corporate fitness. The gyms I had always worked out in were very serious in their nature and the only potential insecurities were settled quickly with either a pissing contest over who could out lift another or they simply came to blows. I was an athlete and that was the way we worked. workouts were just another part of the job. You can imagine my surprise when, on my first day at a suburban fitness outlet, I noticed all the women applying make up in there cars before entering to sweat it all off anyway. This was a meat market at it's prime and I was about to learn the ins and outs quickly. My first client, an attractive mid twenties female, insisted that she needed to lose another five pounds to feel her best. From a technical stand point, there was absolutely no need for the weight to come off. Her body fat was in perfect range and she was already a size 2. My boss at the time said that this would be the perfect long term client and that all I needed to do was get her to purchase a $1500 package of sessions and make any weight that could be taken off come off slow. I did as instructed assuming that this was complete lunacy and I would be shot down immediately. How wrong I was. When approached with the price her only reply was that it was cheaper than lipo and even if it took a year it would be worth it. We had our first session the same evening and things got weird. She showed up in full makeup and hopped on a treadmill to warm up. After about five minutes she hopped off and headed into the locker room, I assumed to take off her ridiculous face paint. Ten minutes later she re-appeared still in full costume. We moved straight into a chest press and after half of a set she stopped, stood up, and returned to the locker room. Ten more minutes elapse and we are halfway through her session when she finally returns. I asked if everything was alright and then returned to the workout. This repeated itself for the rest of the hour and we almost completed one full exercise. As we were stretching before she left I asked her what was going on, assuming that she was either sick or on drugs. She informed me that she had to go to the locker room and blow dry her hair between sets so that she didn't appear to be sweating, in case a potential suitor was watching as she was "working out". I literally almost quit right there. Who gives a damn who is watching as you improve yourself? Welcome to the gym biz. Keep that in mind the next time that you believe you can't work out. The irony of the story is that she ended up stalking three or four guys in the gym, none of which realized she existed, and continued to pay me to watch her walk on a treadmill. The rest she deemed too difficult! You've gotta love it!

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