Roy and I have been fairly inconsistent about exercise over the years. For him, its about time. When youre working 12+ hours a day, its sometimes difficult to retain the physical and mental energy needed to work out on a consistent basis. And for me, its about injury. While I did boot camps for about 2.5 years in Los Angeles, I sprained my ankle about once every six months, which was pretty frustrating.
When we got engaged, we decided that we want to look super hot for our wedding and decided to focus on healthy dieting rather than exercise for the above reasons. This entailed not eating out (and splitting entrees 60/40 the few times we did) and cutting carbs almost completely from our dinners. It worked like a charm, with both of us getting down to our freshman year weights in the six months or so before our wedding without too much struggle.
Now, were focusing more on fitness so that we can do things like hike Half Dome the next time were in Yosemite. This is what the Half Dome hike looks like:
Aside from strenuous hikes at national parks, were also thinking about knocking out something like Macchu Picchu or Mt. Kilimanjaro sometime next year. Obviously you have to be sort of fit to be able to do things like this. We joined 24 Hour Fitness about two months ago and have sort of turned into gym rats since. Three times a week we go and lift, following the Stronglifts 55 program, and have been seeing pretty steady, quick and significant improvements. I also go to a kickboxing or some other kind of strenuous cardio class about three times a week. Occasionally, if Im sore from lifting, I might hit up a yoga or pilates class to stretch but not on a regular basis; I find those classes sort of boring, and I tend to get impatient with any workout that doesnt leave me completely sweat-drenched by the end.
These days we feel and look better than ever! And weve grown to really look forward to going to the gym. As someone whose first exposure to exercise programming was through outdoor boot camps (where everyone trash talks the gym), I have to admit that I actually prefer 24 Hour Fitness. Ive had some pretty good boot camps in Los Angeles that whipped me into shape quickly, but theres also something to be said for the variety of things youre able to do at the gym. I also cant complain about the hot tub, steam room, sauna and smoothie bar at my local 24 Hour Fitness. Weve only used the hot tub and sauna once so far but that was a great day.
Ironically, boot camps like to use variety as one of their main selling points, but I find that boot camps fall into a repetitive rut really quickly, and I prefer my lifting schedule peppered with whichever of the 30+ weekly classes I feel like attending. I do admit that the caliber of athlete you find at boot camps tends to be higher, and things are more challenging. I dont think I could have gotten to a 6:27 mile on my own at the gym nearly as quickly. But I also might not have had to deal with three sprained ankles from strange jumps done in a slippery, muddy park.
One thing I cannot stand at gyms, however, are the cardio machines. I mean, why? Did you really just drive to a gym to walk in a stationary treadmill? The bikes are the worst, in my opinion Ive never actually seen a fit person on them. If youre going to the gym, you might as well make every minute count and on the cardio machines, youre pretty much wasting time.