Today is Groundhog Day, one of my favorite “holidays”. I have to thank Bill Murray for my love of Groundhog Day, though. If it weren’t for the cult classic, I would never think twice about a holiday where we put all our faith in weather predictions on a large rodent.
So, every Groundhog Day, I am reminded of a practice I’d like to try, and every year about 2-3 weeks later, I forget those practices until the next year. I always try to live like I’m going to have to relive this day over and over. If you had to relive the day, would you not want to make it the best day ever?
But for some reason, throughout the day today, I was channeling Puxatony Phil’s cousin the Honey Badger, because I had a true lazy reaction to the idea of living each day over and over. I kept thinking if I had the day to live over, then I could goof off and make it up later.
That’s not the spirit of EarthFit, so I shook myself out of my laziness and went for a workout.
I got a trial membership to a local, small gym called the Edge. So “edgy”. It’s a fine little gym. Not for me and Chris, but it has some good points. For starters, they have some fun equipment to work with. Yesterday and today, Chris and I did sled pushes for our warm-up exercises before going downstairs to lift some weights. It’s amazing how quickly your heart rate goes up when you are out of shape and out of practice. It’s one of the principles of training called Reversibility, which states that a decrease in strength and aerobic capacity occurs after just 2 weeks without regular exercise. My husband and I were feeling it!But trying to kill ourselves was actually a lot of fun. It got our heart rate up, and I’ll admit my legs were a little shaky going down the stairs to work our legs.
First up for tonight was Back Squats. We used the Smith Machine, because it’s a lot more basic and stable for my beginner style squats. My squats weren’t great before our hiatus, I wasn’t looking forward to how horrible it’d be after a couple of months. Sure enough, after my second set, my knees starting giving out on me, so I unloaded all the weights and finished my sets with just the bar. I worry so much about my knees that I forget all the other aspects of doing a squat- chest up, feet properly aligned, knees going over 1st two toes, knees go down to 90 degree angle, KEEP YOUR CHEST UP, don’t lean forward, watch your knees. It gets complicated for me, especially when I add the weight. I’d like to do squats without a box to sit down and get up from, but it really does help with my form, and that’s something I really need to work on right now. I need to stop worrying about Chris getting enough of a challenge when it comes to squats, and work on what I can do, and use my program of operant conditioning to gradually progress back to full PR maxing out squats.
After our quads, we worked our hamstrings with the Edge’s Leg Curl machine. The Edge uses Hoist fitness, which I had never heard of, but let me tell you, they are an interesting machine! Both arm exercises and leg exercises move the entire body in a slight tilt when exerting yourself. So on your concentric contraction, the machine tilts ever so slightly, giving you a better, more natural feel to the movement. I was mildly impressed with the machine. I even tried the Leg Extension after, and it did the same thing.
We finished our first Leg Day of the year with Calf Raises on a calf machine. You know, our calves are fairly strong muscles, but with the weight added, and maybe with our exhausted state, those calf raises got hard QUICK!
Overall, The Edge isn’t a horrible gym. It had a decent price with some good equipment. But I have a certain standard of environmental practices that I’d like to see. Experience Momentum in Seattle holds the #1 spot for environmental practices of any gym I’ve ever been to. It’s not fair to compare The Edge to Experience Momentum, but that is the standard to beat. EM is a 1% for the planet company, which means 1% of ALL their profits go towards conservation and environmental causes. They also organize trail management and repair parties, and they have many small features that show they are dedicated to making small changes for the greater good- recycling, not offering paper cups or water bottles, nutrition workshops and seminars that discuss sustainable eating habits rather than just healthy eating habits. It’s a hard gym to beat.
Needless to say, the Edge fell short on their practices. They didn’t have anything blatantly horrible, but nothing outstanding to show efforts being made for conservation, either. I know most gyms aren’t thinking about the environment the way I do, but it’s something I’m definitely looking for when I join a gym.
Tomorrow is my last day to try out the Edge. I may simply try out a class and call it a week well played. It was nice to try it out. At least I didn’t let Honey Badger take over Groundhog Day for me. Keep up my momentum for now. 2 days in a row, tomorrow will be 3, and I’ll be on my way to making our workouts habitual again!