Day 16, Gym 10

I was looking to get into a kickboxing class, and found one in Flemington, NJ at MMA 10 at 6 PM.  I was really excited to try it at a real martial arts school.  Their website was fully functional when I signed up for the class that afternoon, and thought it was slightly odd I didn’t receive an email.  I got to the address a little before 6, and found that the school had closed.  At that same address, however, I did find a volleyball center with open courts on Fridays 8-10 PM.  I am excited for that because I played on a recreational (more like pick-up) in college, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  The universe conspires.

So, I thought it’s now a little after six and most classes start at 6 and run for an hour.  I had a business appointment at 8, so even if there was a 6:30 class available, it wouldn’t work.  I checked out the schedule I had for Health Quest, and saw there was a class called CXWORK that ran from 6:30 to 7.  Perfect!  I had no idea what the class was, but I thought I’d try it and give Health Quest a more rounded perspective.  The class was focused on core toning, while using your legs and some arms, too.  I got there a little early, and had the previous class instructor get me set up with the equipment needed.  She wasn’t teaching this class, but usually did.  She said, “focus on your form.  You could end up hurting yourself if you don’t.”  I agreed, and said thank you.

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The class itself was a honed, efficient workout that really did what it said it would do. The instructor was decent, but I wish she would have focused a little bit more on the newbies (myself and another woman) form.  My coordination is getting better, but it’s not my strong suit at this point.  I will say towards the end of the class, she was watching my form and giving some instruction as to how to improve it.  There was another student who about halfway helped me with my form, and I was thought why is she helping me and not the instructor?  At the end of the class, I find out that she also teaches the class.  So, that made me feel a bit better.

At the end, the instructor said, you did really well, especially since it was your first class.  This class is one of the most awkward you will take, and it takes some getting used to.  This made me feel a bit better.

Overall, still not super impressed by Health Quest.  I did enjoy the class, and it really is a tremendous workout, especially for 30 minutes.  The gym may not be my preference, but it’s hugely popular in the area.  I may take another class or two since I have a 5 day pass.

 

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Day 15, Gyms 14 and 15

I decided to go to the Health and Wellness Center in Clinton, NJ for a leg day since I’ve been doing a lot of arm exercises.  It is run by the local hospital the Hunterdon Medical Center, and it has two locations, one in Whitehouse Station and they opened one up in Clinton as a second location.  The Clinton one is closer to my house, so I went there.  I have been to the Whitehouse one years ago, and was even a member.  I remembered liking the gym, and the atmosphere.

The website said they were open until 5, and I got there a little later than I would have liked.  I got there at 4:25, and thought this will give me just enough time to complete my leg workout.  I was told when I got there that the exercise area closes at 4:45, and I said on the website it says 5.  She explained, we close the exercise area 15 minutes before closing.  Now, I can understand this from an employee point of view.  They want to leave, go home, and don’t want to waste time waiting for members to get off the floor, shower, and change.  However, I wish they had stated that on their website.  We both are at fault a bit.

I first noticed that everything seemed very clean, even though it was late in the day. The equipment wasin good working condition, clean, and well labeled.  I went over to the free weight section of the gym, and it’s relatively small.  It may be one of the smallest out of the traditional-style gyms I’ve been to.  The gym features more options in the cable, “Nautilus” style weight equipment found near the cardio equipment, and there it appeared you could get a circuit strength training.  There was a lot of cardio workout equipment, which is always a good thing and something to look for in a gym.

The configuration of the gym was interesting.  There was a decent amount of room in the free weight area to not feel crowded.  The rest of the equipment area seemed close together, almost too close.  When it gets crowded, I’m not sure how the well the room would flow with people moving in and around equipment.  As I stated, this is definitely the smaller of the two locations, with doctors offices on the second floor.  The Whitehouse one at least from what I remember was more spread out, had more equipment, and featured a full-sized pool.

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The second “gym” was the great outdoors in the form of a hike along the South Branch of the Raritan River in High Bridge.  The river was high, so none of my usual rock jumping was going to happen.  It was a short walk, but as anything in nature, I immediately felt a calming affect to my body.  So I got my cardio and legs in all in one day.

Day 14, Gym 13

I travelled to upstate New York for an Arbonne training, and an incentive power hour.  It was pretty incredible.  Regardless of the training, I woke up early yesterday and hit the  small gym at the Hotel Hyatt in Balston Spa, NY.  There were some free weights, and four pieces of cardio equipment (2 treadmills, 1 recumbent bike, and one elliptical).  Since the elliptical was taken, I hopped on the stationary bike for about 15 minutes.  The hotel also had a pool, which is a very nice accommodation to have for a relatively small hotel.  The fitness room was open 24/7, and the pool from 6 AM to 10 PM.  As far as hotel exercise rooms go, it got the job done for me.  If you were there for a week, one might get bored.

Update on my TRX class from the other day.  A friend of mine told me that sometimes it takes a up to two or three to be sore.  Well, she was right.  It wasn’t the day after that I was sore, it was two days.  My legs, shoulders, upper back, and abs were a bit sore.  Nothing extraordinary, but I suppose I should have used my Phytosport line the day after, as well.  It’s a good sign.  It feels really good, both mind and body, to be getting back in shape again.  This time, just like when I did the clean eating challenge, it will become a lifestyle, not just a temporary phase.

Day 11, Gym 10

I headed to the Flemington, NJ area.  I went to one of the most well-known and popular gyms in the area, HealthQuest.  After my pleasant experience with LA Fitness last week, I was determined to have no preconceived notion about the place.  The lovely woman at the front desk let me do a workout, despite membership not being there which is usually a requirement.  She was quite nice and informative, so I asked about classes.  She got a schedule, and started to go through them with me because they were lacking a description sheet.  However, after this interaction, I had my first disappointing experience at a gym that I had worked out in.  I will touch on why, but first the positives of my past 11 days.

I have noticed a few things about my body progress so far.   My little pudge is just about gone, and my abs are somewhere in between slightly squishy and firm.  This may not sound like an improvement, but when I started 11 days ago there was just stomach flab.  Most of my small pants still fit, but I could feel the little distended pudge and didn’t like how it had crept up on me again.  My cardio fitness is slowly improving, along with muscle tone and endurance.  I weighed myself at 138 pounds, and was quite pleased with the number.  I, unfortunately, didn’t weigh myself when I started because it just wasn’t on my radar.  It may have been around 143.  I think I am most excited about the cardio fitness, and I’ll explain my progress in the next paragraph.

I started off with some light cardio at the rowing machine, which I wrote about in Day 6, Gym 4.  There I did about 12 minutes and almost 2000 meters, which is approximately 165 meters per minute (mpm).  Today I did 18 minutes and over 3,000 meters, approximately 172 mpm.  I wasn’t as tired, winded, and actually increased my rowing speed towards the end.  I am inspired to see tangible results so quickly.

I did my TRX routine, which is going to be a gym requirement.  I then went to the free weight area, since I hadn’t done that in a few days and wanted to work on my arms and core.  This was my first true disappointment in a gym.  The free weight area machines I have used have been mostly by a company called Hammer Strength.  They have either all or mostly been labelled at what muscle groups are targeted on the machine, how the machine works, etc at the other gyms I have been to.  At HealthQuest, this was lacking on a good number of the machines.  Some were labelled with print that said what they were, some of them were partially worn off, and I’d say about one-third to a little less than half were not labelled at all.  More than half did not have a diagram of the muscles that the machine targeted, and while I could guess at most of them, I find this is unacceptable for a gym of this size and cost.  It is not the gyms responsibility to be equipment police in regards to people, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t try to make it as user-friendly as possible.

On my way out the door, I asked for the membership price for a single membership.  I was astonished at the astronomical price of $93 per month.  This does include all the classes,  but not children’s programs or some speciality programs.  This is according to the little brochure I was given.  She almost looked apologetic when she gave it to me.  I have not taken a class yet, and would like to take one before passing on a final judgement. This is an incredibly popular gym, and I would like to think there’s a reason for it.