- This dedicated gym rat may not to return to his health club, even after restrictions are eased.
- I’m very happily working out at home with the Total Gym, an all-in-one piece of fitness equipment that exercised the entire body: arms, legs, back and core.
- Not only do I feel as fit and strong. The Total Gym forces proper alignment, which increases results while reducing pain.
Starting the Day Off Right
I’ve always been an early riser. For about 20 years, I’d start almost every week day with a 6:00 am workout at my neighborhood gym. I preferred group fitness classes over self-directed, free form exercise that required me to think about what I was doing. As long as I got to class on time, the instructor told me what to do.
Honestly, as much as I liked exercising, I enjoyed the social aspect even more. There are not too many random drop-ins at 6:00 a.m. At that time of day, almost everyone is a regular. After a while, you recognize most of them by face, if not by name.
Shut Down by COVID
When “the club,” as we affectionately call it, shut down last March due to COVID, I wasn’t sure how I’d survive. For a long time, it seemed like my entire life revolved around the gym. (I’d joke that my day peaked at 8:00 a.m., and that It was all downhill after that.) In addition to working out, I made some of my best friends and met a business partner and attorney there.
I felt, for sure, that I’d be one of the first ones back when the restrictions lifted. Yet here we are, almost a year later, and I still have no intentions to go back.
Why? Well, I think there are three major one minor reason. Starting with the majors:
I love being outdoors. When I worked out at the gym, I finished exercising before breakfast and usually spent most of the rest of the day inside. Now I’m outside all the time – even through single digit temperatures and 3’ of snow. I ride my bike (weather permitting) or walk almost every day. Finally, after decades in Chicago, I know how to dress for winter. The face mask is key. Not only does it protect against the virus, it protects against 0° windchills.
I’m social. Though I’ve struggled with bouts of cabin fever, I’ve never felt isolated or alone. Thanks to zoom, I’ve seen more of my family this year than ever. And when it comes to work, I see beyond my associates’ faces to the furniture, wall art, kids and dogs in the background, which helps strengthen the personal connection.
I’m keeping fit. When the lockdown started, I rediscovered an old piece of home exercise equipment that had been collecting dust for nearly two decades. My partner purchased a Total Gym with the mistaken belief that he’d use it more than twice. We were just about to get rid of it, when I opened it up for the first time in years. (It folds in half to save space when not in use.)
I Love My Total Gym
Thanks to the Total Gym, my biceps are still firm, my abs are stronger, and I’m mostly pain free.
You may remember Chuck Norris promoting it as the all-in-one home fitness solution. For those of you who don’t know it, try to imagine an inclined rowing machine. The steeper the incline, the greater the resistance created by your own body weight. Better than pumping iron, it offers a total body workout by providing resistance on the both the up and down stroke. Not only will your workouts be more efficient, the Total Gym reduces the likelihood of injury by keeping you in proper body alignment.
There are many different versions of the same basic design ranging in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars. Depending on the version you select, you’ll be able to perform 60 – 80+ unique exercises. After watching several training videos on Youtube, I settled on about 20 exercises for core, arms and legs that I cycle through in my (almost) daily workout sessions. I’ve added a resistance ball and resistance bands for variety. After nearly a year at home, I’m just as fit and strong as when I went to the gym every day – WITHOUT lifting heavy weights – and usually pain free.
The minor reason for not going back to the gym is the cost savings. Why pay $65/month, when I can work out to my own music and videos and enjoy more time outside? Like everyone else, I’m ready for COVID to be past tense. But when life returns to the new normal – whenever or whatever that may be – I’ll keep hanging out with zoom and my Total Gym. I can’t imagine life without them now.