In the interests of healthy living and a general need to remove excess body fat, I joined the gym in work. It’s a fantastic resource filled with the latest bits of equipment, housed in a recent build addition to the campus and, more importantly, it was purpose built from the beginning to be a gym, rather than converted as an afterthought.
Last week I went for the induction. It’s a health and safety requirement. After the induction, I realised why. My whistle stop tour included 7 machines that all looked the same but which had subtle differences. Each had a seat but some faced forwards, some faced back and two were sideways on. There were levers and handles and keys and buttons and displays and lights and heart rate monitors, most of which emitted a beep of some sort. The only thing I felt confident about being able to operate was the door to get in.
Last night, I had my first proper session. The instructor was very helpful and offered to create a personalised programme based on my requirements (body fat loss and preparation for the trek). In the mean time, he unleashed me onto the machines. I decided to start off slowly and build my confidence. He suggested using the step machine and I finally figured out how to make it work. I managed 1000 steps/330m ascent/15 minutes (I haven’t decided how to measure my performance yet). Then I went on to the exercise bike. How hard can an exercise be?
I couldn’t even adjust the seat. I tried all the levers I could find and then looked for ones I couldn’t see. I pulled, pushed and twisted. Then I did it again. I was conscious of all the gym professionals and how they’d pick me out as a gym virgin straight away. Eventually, the instructor saw my plight and helped me out. The secret is to jump on the seat while pulling the lever and hope the spring isn’t strong enough to launch me across the room. I managed 15 minutes/3 miles on the bike.
But, despite misgivings about gyms in the past, I enjoyed the experience and I can see myself going back on a regular basis.