The ‘show’ is free…..

Virtually every coach agrees that Cross-Training is in any recreational athletes best interest and one of my New Year’s Goals (as opposed to resolutions…c’mon, you remember New Year’s Resolutions. You know, from 120 days ago??) as I  was saying – was to spend more time in the gym. Now to my mind that’s time in the gym actually working out, not visiting, texting, chatting, talking on phone and all this on the gym floor and almost always while they are occupying a machine or rack. Is this a gym or a Starbucks? Please, I just want to try to get a little stronger, more flexible and prevent injury – and maybe get buff and wear a Speed-O to the beach (just wanted to see if you were paying attention).

I’ll save what goes on in the locker room for another time (ye gods!); though I do have a theory as to why so many men get ready at the gym and we’ll re-visit that at that other time….

I go to a large, full service gym and no, it’s not the YMCA though the same basic type of people frequent both. I also understand that it is in the gym’s best interest to retain members rather than suspend the thoughtless, inconsiderate, brain dead members. Therefore the staff doesn’t encourage members to exercise courtesy so the members won’t be offended when someone reminds them they are pigs or inconsiderate boobs.

Most of these ‘members’ don’t like to be corrected when the form they are using is sooo out of whack that they are either minutes from traction or they’ll have to do 2,000 reps to even alert the area they thought they were working on. I am a certified Personal Trainer and it’s alternately amusing/horrifying/amusing to watch. However it’s rude to stare and bad form to laugh out loud so I try to keep focused on what I came to do – even if it is like a train wreck sometimes and you. just. can’t. not. look. Granted it’s usually Mr Know-it-all who wants to ‘correct’ and not someone (like a trainer) who actually knows what to do (and not to do).

Today alone I saw the Hipster Fashionista guy running (jogging a la ‘Rocky’) on the treadmill with his hoodie on and yes, the hood was up – Hipster or Gangsta?  There’s always those who have to drop or slam their barbells or dumbells on the ground then strut just a bit to make sure people are looking. I love the ‘grunters’ those that strain and grunt so loud you expect them to pop an eyeball – doesn’t have to be an Ah-nold wannabe. I saw (heard) PeeWee Herman do it twice today. There’s the ‘strutters’ who never saw a mirror they didn’t love, the homesteaders who apparently rent certain pieces of equipment by the half-day. Then they look at you like you have 2 heads when you ask if you can ‘work in’ (since they been on that piece since Tuesday). There was a guy at the YMCA who used to bring a newspaper to read while he ‘worked out’ (read: sat on the equipment). People wanted to ‘multi-task’ him upside the head.

How about those who are incapable of re-racking weights, picking up towels, foam rollers, and the worst – those that sweat like it’s high noon in Death Valley and it never occurred to them to wipe off the machine they just slid off of, gurk!

I can’t even imagine (whether they are doing things correctly or not) what it’s like to be a female in the gym.

There again, where else can I get entertainment, a pool, a shower, and a workout in for 1 monthly fee?

Seriously, weights are a good ‘arrow’ to add to the runners quiver – even if it’s body weight. Remember, running itself is weight lifting. Low weights/high reps – except after Italian night at our house; then it’s high weights and no reps. If there’s a muscular imbalance the repetitiousness of running will bring it out sooner or later (can you say injury?). Runner’s knee, IT Band, calf strain and more – check it out and try to add some form of weight bearing exercise to your arsenal; especially if you’re injury prone. Find a workout (and maybe partner) you enjoy and even think about a Personal Trainer to design a program to start you on, then you can take it from there – get it refreshed/tweaked every 4 – 6 weeks for variety, to keep it fun, and to continually challenge your structure….just leave the cell phone in your gym bag, please!

Group training for Marathon and Half Marathon kicks off the week of June 8th. Prices are the same as last year where we had more than 100 runners conquer their race of choice. We’ll start out targeting the Whistlestop Half Marathon (new, in Irondale) and the Big 3 of marathons (Marine Corp, Chicago, NYC) – though we can modify the program for your chosen event. We’ll have group runs available most mornings (early!) and evenings as well as Saturday long runs – all in a group setting. If you have a specific goal, then your schedule can be modified to help you achieve that goal. Feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

Lastly, this is the 15th Anniversary of Couch to 10K and we’ll kick it off Saturday August 29th – there’ll be a 5K along the way and the target will be the Vulcan Run. As always Birmingham Track Club members are free and to the general public it’s $49. With this being an anniversary we’ll have lots of added bells and whistles to hopefully make your efforts more fun, rewarding and exciting – IF you’re ready, mark the date. If you know of someone, plant the seed and we’ll look forward to an incredible Fall!

As always feel free to e-mail me with any questions….