Monday, August 27, 2007

Survived First Day at the Gym

After waiting for months after signing up for my gym membership, the California Fitness gym opened at Sunway Pyramid this past weekend. I went to the soft launch on Saturday to check out the facilities. Had a walkthrough around the area with one of the PTs to get orientated with the exercise areas and the available equipment. The other reason that I went there on Saturday was to pickup my gym membership card. I had not planned to start working out on Saturday so I left the launch at around 4 pm with plans to comeback the following morning.

I reached the gym at about 10am the following day. After checking in at reception, I went to the PT station where I was told that I was suppose to get a call from my assigned PT before starting my training with him. Since they have not assigned one for me yet, I was on my own for the day to try out the equipment. After stowing my gear in the locker room, I started first at the stretching area since I guess that was the best thing to do since I have never been to a gym before.

The stretching area on the second floor had a few machines with fairly clear instructions for unsupervised newbies like me to figure out how to use them. The stretching exercises include those for the lower back, shoulders, hamstring and gluteus among others. After going through the stretching routine, I decided to so 20 minutes on the stationary bikes and another 20 minutes brisk walking on the treadmill. I would have jogged instead of walking if I better hand and feet coordination but I had to make do with walking 5 km/h instead.

After the cardio workout, I decided to go down to the first floor there the exercise machines were to try to figure out how to use them. I decided to skip the free weights exercise area, which was on the same floor, since I don’t have anyone to supervise me there. I guess once I’m better conditioned for them and found someone to be a spotter for me there then I will try out the free weight area. The exercise machines were laid out in a logical flow on the floor. Machines that worked the same muscle groups were group together so you can go through a circuit without having to travel far from one machine to another.

The machines were clearly marked for which muscle group it works on and the instructions on how to use them were fairly simple to follow for most. Some needed to be figured out for a bit before it made sense but those machines were exception to the rule. Since I was on my own, I decided to go through what I thought would make sense by working out the whole body. I limited myself to mid number of repetition and intensity just so I don’t overdo it the first time out. Once I start working with a PT, I hope to be able to know how to use the machines properly and up the intensity for both reps and load.

After spending almost 2 hours on the exercise floor, I decided that I had done enough for the day and went back up to the second floor to finish off the day with another round of cardio. 20 minutes on the stationary bike and another 20 minutes of the treadmill before I finish off with a circuit on the stretching machine. By the time I was done, I had spent almost 3 hours working out on my first day which was a bit excessive but totally me. I found out that I could easily lose track of time at the gym if I don’t watch out for it. That would be something to look out for during future visits.

Spent some time winding down in the dry room sauna which was quite nice as the crowd was a bit thin and I mostly had the whole sauna for myself. There was also a steam room next to the sauna but it was closed for cleaning when I thought that I wanted to try it after the sauna. Both sauna and steam room was located in the shower areas where they had quite a number of shower cubicles fully stocked with body gel, shampoo and conditioners leaving me only needing to bring my own facial cleanser. I’ve always had reservation about public showers but thankfully this was not the case today.

Toweled off and got dressed to leave the gym at about 4pm. Had a very late lunch since I was totally famished since the only thing I had before going to the gym was only bananas and yogurt for breakfast. Had a nap to recover after it before waking up for an early dinner. I’m still a bit sore for the workout as I write this entry out but I’m still feeling pumped up after it. This was a realization of a plan put in place months ago and I for one am excited to start this new milestone in my life.

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