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Location: Hamilton Square, New Jersey, United States

Tax guy, host & producer of the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, former co-host of the Wall Street Journal E-Report

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Bloated like a Butterball, stunk like a...


...nevermind, you get the picture.

So, anyway, after my competition-fueled weight loss adventure last year, the stomach's been winning the recent battles over will power and I'm almost back to the point where I started. Although I'm usually one of those people who keep paying for a gym even though they never go simply because they want the option to always *be* there in case they *do* get the urge, I actually let my membership lapse at the local YMCA back in February.

At the recommendation of my wife, I decide to try out the local "Cuts Fitness" gym, a men-only place that pushes high intensity circuit training much like the en vogue and alternate gender-based "Curves". A major plus to this is that I hate crowds. I figure that a good percentage of guys go to gyms with the primary (or at least secondary) motive of seeing hot girls exercise. Therefore, I figure, seeing dudes work out should be a major turn off to most, thereby making "Cuts" a relative ghost town. I weigh the options...including the possibility of a heavy turn out of "Johnny Cakes"...and "ghost town" wins out. Plus, she's got a coupon for a free month at *her* gym if I sign up (yes!).

So I show up there on Saturday to check the joint out. It has the typical resistance-based equipment you see at most gyms, but without all the electronic bells and whistles. This is because, instead of setting yourself for elaborate 30+ minutes workouts at each machine, you do about 30 *seconds* at each before moving on to the next station. Therefore, no fancy electronics required. So I go through the normal regiment of machines and I'm suddenly faced with a piece of equipment that has the potential to emasculate me in a matter of seconds...the heavy bag.

Where do I start here? First of all, you only see heavy bags in real gyms. They're meant for boxers. I'm not a boxer, I'm an "IT professional". The only heavy bag I have regular exposure to is the obese secretary down the hall from me, and even she dishes out more punishment than she takes. The presence of a heavy bag means that I have to dance around for 30 seconds...in front of a bunch of guys...and pretend that I know what the hell I'm doing. The good news, the trainer says, is that there's an alternate exercise I can partake in instead...the jump rope. So, basically, my alternative to dancing around aimlessly punching a bag, is to fake coordination by jumping around wildly and falling into other people and/or the exercise equipment around me. Pass. I'll try the bag.

So I do the bag and look like an ass for 30 seconds. The disconnect officially set in. I went through the last half of the circuit hardly even listening or caring what the guy had to say. At the end of the circuit was, appropriately enough, the speed bag, which put the final nail in the coffin. Normally this would have been another mortifying experience but, in an ironic twist, I had just seen "Million Dollar Baby" last month in which they had shown Hillary Swank how to use a speed bag. The half-ass training kept me respectable but the damage was already done.

Now the search continues for another gym. Although expensive, I'm still leaning towards going back to the YMCA. Among a wide variety of options, they have an indoor jogging track and the cardio work is what I really need to work on.

1 Comments:

Blogger Darren said...

It's good that you're at least putting in the effort. Some of us (okay, me) are too lazy to even try. :)

5/30/2006 1:18 PM  

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