I am one of those people who are absolutely routine driven. I get very unsettled if, for some reason, I have to change the way I do things – especially if it’s without any notice. It’s possible I am on a scale somewhere as it really is that bad.
My exercise routine has been:
- Tuesday: 22km run (I have added a small extra loop to my runs)
- Thursday: 2h cardio at that gym (1h summit trainer, 30 min recumbent bike, 30 min stepper)
- Saturday: 22km run
- Sunday: 2h cardio at that gym (1h summit trainer, 30 min recumbent bike, 30 min stepper)
- On all these days, I do a pre-exercise routine of about 20mins consisting of a squats and other strength work
I know, I am clearly not a glowing example of a varied schedule. But it is another glowing example of me getting stuck in doing something that I found worked for me (even if it means I will stop with any possible gains because my body gets so used to it..).
But then…. (ominous music here…)
My gym decided it was time for a massive refurb. Most people are happy about this but I knew straight away that it would be bad news. And sure enough, one Sunday I ran to the gym, ready to bust a gut on the machines…only to find that they were gone. Well, there were ellipticals, treadmills, bikes… But my summit trainers and the steppers were GONE!
I marched to the reception and pretty much had a shit-fit (technical term for a tantrum). I was told they had had to reshuffle the equipment temporarily as part of the gym was closed to put in new floor and that things would be back to normal in a week. I never got a satisfactory explanation as to why they would have eliminated an entire group of machines when they could have at least kept one. Huffing and fuming like only teenaged girls learn how to, I made my way to an elliptical and put in an hour. Now, I am sorry but an elliptical in my books is one of the most useless things ever entered a gym. The only thing I hate more is the treadmill (useless to the power of “n”). What I tend to do is try and hone in on the hardest equipment at the gym – well, the hardest cardio equipment focusing on legs – and make it my bitch.
So anyway, I decided to stay away from the gym for the week and ended up doing 22km runs instead (overall it ended up being 6 in 2 weeks). And I have to say, the weather has been perfect for running – quite nippy, a bit drizzly and just overall very autumnal. So it’s been lovely.
Sunday it was finally time to return to the gym and see what the situation was with the equipment… Holy mother of.. There were about 30 treadmills, some bikes and ellipticals.. When my blood pressure was starting to get to dangerous levels I spotted one stepper hidden behind a pillar and two step mills. NO SUMMIT TRAINER. What the hell!? Where has the variety gone here? I did an hour on the stepper and 25 mins on the step mill. I have to admit I was sweating like a pig and the step mill was pretty hard. However, I am a bit of a freak and for some reason I have trouble with stairs.. Ehem… My brain and legs seem to stop communicating and I often just step wrong. I always have to hold on to the railing, especially going down stairs. So this machine is like my worst nightmare..
This Thursday I was back and (still huffing) made my way to the stepper. Only for it to not work.. I stepped on it and pressed the quick start but to no avail. Then I realised that it wasn’t plugged in and got the reception to get someone to figure it out. A guy comes over and tries various things to no avail. Another guy comes in, no joy. I bore them both with my rant about the equipment. When I am at the reception writing an irate note to the management (yes, I am that girl) the duty manager comes over and announces the stepper is working perfectly. Apparently it is self powered and you just need to step on it for a while and then press the “start” button.. Oh the shame. Anyway, I was very grateful and hopped on to get going with my workout. 20 minutes in (and I am already dripping in sweat) and the duty manager comes to see me. Clearly I have made ripples with my bitching and he has come to “smooth things over”. The story is that I am not the only one who has complained about the lack of variety and they are waiting for more steppers and some sort of weird oscillating elliptical? Don’t ask me… Anyway, he made me feel a bit less annoyed, clearly good at his job.
Long story short – I ended up googling various gym equipment and it turns out the sadistic step mill is actually a beast of a workout. Used correctly, it seems to beat even my beloved summit trainer… I just need to learn how to do stairs without falling off the bloody thing… Unfortunately it seems it is quite popular at the gym so whether I will get away being able to do an hour on it remains to be seen. There are only two of them. Luckily I workout during the off-peak hours.
Thank god running is so easy, you just put your kit on and off you go. I will take cursing at stupid slow pedestrians and cars not stopping at zebra crossing any day over all this faffing…