Thursday 23 May 2013

Gym Guilty Pleasures

No, this isn't me.
I don't often blog about going to the gym, although I have done this 2-3 times weekly since I was about 14 or so. (Interesting fact: girls can do this more safely than boys as our bones stop growing earlier. I reached my full height about 13.)

I don't blog much about it because what appeals to me about it - the simplicity - doesn't generally make for a good blogpost. I like the gym because I spend much of my life employing the grey matter between my ears. The gym appeals because it doesn't require this in the same way. Let's face it, it works as follows:

1. Pick heavy thing up.
2. Put heavy thing down.
3. Repeat until step (1) is no longer an option.
4. Eat.
5. Sleep.
6. Repeat.

Actually, brainpower is involved, but in a different way. It's closer to meditation than brainwork; when I do my exercises, I mentally picture the muscles I'm using and try to focus on using only them, not any others. It helps if you picture them as being in bright colours, like those big wallcharts of people with their skin off that used to freak you out aged 12 in biology class at school.

This usually works, but not always, and sometimes you get distracted by annoyances and guilty pleasures. Namely:

Gym Annoyance 1
People who don't throw their bottle caps in the bin, but instead leave them lurking in the bottle holders on the treadmill. If you can run 2 miles, you can walk 5 metres and throw your damn bottle cap in the bin.

Gym Guilty Pleasure 1
Noticing that someone has left the machine that you are about to use on the correct weight setting for you, and you don't have to fiddle about with it.

Gym Annoyance 2
People who sit around for ages on the bench or seat for the equipment you want to use, staring at the football, then, when you ask, say "yes, sorry, I'm still using it". No you're not! You're watching Everton lose to Man U!

Gym Guilty Pleasure 2
When the someone in Guilty Pleasure 1 was male. 

Gym Annoyance 3
People who don't put their weights away. Seriously. I should not have to lift 200+kg of weights of the squat rack machine so that I can do my exercises (which use about 60kg, max). This annoys both myself and one of the senior instructors at the gym to the extent of spitting. His solution is to make tannoy announcements about banning people from the gym if they can be identified on CCTV doing this. Mine, I fear, will be that one day I'll snap and hand out some gymnasium justice with a 10kg dumbbell.

Gym Guilty Pleasure 3
Watching the unfeasibly muscular lads in Annoyance 2 going on the treadmill and blowing up* after ten minutes, because they spend so much time building muscle they do no cardiovascular work at all, and thus cannot run for shit. 

I can't run that well either, although I can do 3km without stopping and am pushing for the 4km. And I can put my damn weights away.

* not literally, thank God - the brains would take FOREVER to wash out of the bottle holders.

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