Monday, February 05, 2007

Planet Fitness

I joined Planet Fitness (a health club) yesterday, and went for the first time this morning. I spent 30 minutes on the new trainer (not sure what it's called, it's a cross between an elliptical and a stairclimber). Combine that with the free weights I did on my upper body yesterday, and I am one sore puppy.

My husband and I have, individually and together, belonged to a wide variety of health clubs over the years. Most recently, I did Curves for a while. They always failed, usually due to a combination of schedule and money.

So why do we think this will be different?

Enrollment fee was typical, $39 each, but it's only $10 a month with no commitment and no penalty for canceling the membership. So it's a lot easier to justify paying $10 a month than $40 if you have a spell where you don't go.

It's two minutes from our house. Jim's last club was fifteen minutes away. Curves was two minutes, but had other problems, including cost and...

Curves did not open early enough to go in the morning and closed at 7:00 p.m. Now my schedule is flexible enough that I'll go slightly later in the morning and the evening hours matter less for me. But Jim can go after work or while the kids are getting ready for bed, which still gives him family time (so he doesn't feel guilty for leaving to work out) and isn't so late that he doesn't feel like going. PF is open 24 hours during the week. The weekend hours are less ideal but we can still get there during the day, easily. Also, it is on the way to Number One's school, so every day that I have to take her to school, there is NO EXCUSE for not stopping to work out. I'm already dressed for it, and the drive does not affect the rest of my schedule.

Curves is often criticized because their equipment is resistance-based. PF has a corner with a 30-minute or 60-minute workout but the equipment that you spend 30 seconds on is weight-based, which provides longer-term, more noticeable results. Plus, they have free weights, a wide variety of weight machines, and a ton of cardio machines (treadmills, bikes, recumbent bikes (I think that's the term), ellipticals, and that new one). They also have 12 TVs on different stations AND you can plug your headphones in to listen to the TV instead of having them all blaring or not hearing them at all. My husband's last club required you to buy special headphones.

They will do a one-on-one session with a trainer to create your personal workout, and they have small-group sessions to learn the machines. All of this is at no additional cost.

PF's driving philosophy is "no stress exercise." They don't cater to bodybuilders and I didn't see any. It's in a residential area and the attitude and equipment they provide are supposed to make everyone of all fitness levels feel welcome. I admit to being a little skeptical of this. I'm very overweight and very out of shape and you don't have to be a hot, muscled, macho guy for me to feel uncomfortable working out in front of you. However, the people in there are regular people. This morning it was very low-key, everyone doing their own thing, and I felt fine.

So. Day one was a success. I managed to drop 1.5 pounds while I was there today. :) Let's see how long I can make this last.


Victoria said...

Good for you!
I plan to join you there eventually!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Excellent! I was hoping! :)

Karmela said...

Take it nice and easy, okay? I see a lot of people burn out and stop working out altogether because they started off too strong. Remember to warmp up properly and have a nice, leisurely stretch afterwards to prevent injury.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Yes, Ms. Aerobics Instructor! :)

Seriously, I'm not belittling the advice. I'm careful. I've been walking 15 minutes every day around my neighborhood, and I'm careful not to overdo it (though my heart rate gets pretty high).

Now, my idiot husband needs the advice! He's Mr. Former Football All-State and he thinks he can just jump right back into it despite his extra weight and several sedentary years.

The elliptical nearly killed him. I went upstairs to check on him when Prison Break was over to make sure he hadn't had a heart attack.

Yes, I waited until Prison Break was over. Michael and Sarah were KISSING!