For two years, I have worked out and gotten into the best shape of my life exclusively at home. My Powerblocks are almost as important to me as my KitchenAid--and that's saying a lot.
I've been doing the Chalean Extreme program since the middle of 2010 and I have nothing but the highest recommendations for this program. Initially, I wanted to do the P90X program but I just couldn't swing the time commitment. Chalean Extreme is perfect in that it was a serious, all-over strength training program in a time-frame I could handle. And I'm so pleased with the results. Chalean completely converted me to the idea of "Go heavy or go home" and I never miss an opportunity to encourage women to start lifting weight--heavy weight. It's true: you won't bulk up and look like a man but you will become strong and get that tone that you desire. Not to mention all the fringe health benefits (like denser bones).
So after about 6 months of Chalean Extreme, I was looking to do something different. I picked up The New Rules of Lifting for Women (NROL4W) by Lou Schuler and it looked like something I could handle. I was a little discouraged because I wasn't sure if I could do the program at home (it's designed mainly as a program you do in the gym) but I thought I'd do my best. It took me a little while to get into the book . . . I don't know, it just wasn't straightforward in the way it was written so I had to figure out exactly *what* I was supposed to be doing each day. Well, I knew I wanted to start in 2011 so a few days before new year, I really sat down with it to figure things out.
I did the first workout at home last Monday and it was fine. I didn't feel like I just *couldn't* do it at home. I really felt the workout the next couple of days too. But the Sunday before I couldn't go out to run due to ice on the ground. Every day for the past couple of weeks, there's been ice to contend with. I thought maybe I could just put on my ice trax and keep it moving but honestly, that didn't sound smart. I could wait till later in the day when it thaws out a bit but I really try to keep my working out from interfering with family life, if you know what I mean. I like to be done before everyone is awake so it doesn't feel like I'm taking time from them. As it stands now, every other Sunday I go to a donation Bikram class at 2. Even though it's amazing, I can't shake the feeling of guilt at bouncing in the middle of the day.
Anyway . . . I need to run. Period. Point blank. And it wouldn't hurt and could only help to have all the equipment that's recommended in NROL4W so I could do it as is. (Squats especially have become difficult since currently I squat with 35# in each hand and it was getting to the point that the weights were just too heavy for me to hold.) Even if the treadmill didn't work out, I could definitely do NROL4W and being able to work on my squats with a bar would be awesome. (I checked out olympic bars and thought about buying one but honestly, I just don't have the space for it--my fitness corner is already well-cluttered.) So I joined the gym just for a month to see if I could get down.
I can get down. I was having my doubts though. This gym is my local gym. I walk about 10 minutes and I'm there. It's mostly a weight lifting gym--lots and lots of weights and weight machines. The culture there is such that there's really no one to ask for help so I have spent a lot time just figuring simple things out. (I suppose I could have paid for a training session but there's the money issue. I just . . . can't put out anymore.) Today, I was very frustrated trying to figure out what bar I was supposed to be using to squat. Such a simple thing but a source of serious confusion. I was ready to say that after the month is over, the gym membership is over. There's not much floor space so if I wanted to do floor work, I'd have to cram myself into a corner and really, the frustration was zapping my energy.
But then . . . I got on that treadmill. And started to run. And it felt so good. I had worried about how different it would be having always run on asphalt and then running on a treadmill but it was just fine. I thought I would hate running and not going anywhere. But I really, really, really enjoyed myself. They gym membership is well worth it for the treadmill alone and monthly membership (if I sign up for a year) amounts to about $18 a month. Not too bad.
And as an added perk, I finally got to listen to some of a podcast I had downloaded eons ago on the walk home.
I think I *like* leaving the house to work out--even in the dead of winter. I can focus better and not worry about disturbing anyone or being disturbed. I'm glad the gym is in walking distance too because I *know* I couldn't motivate myself to go if I had to drive there.