Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Discount Gym

So for he last two years or so I have been a member of a "no-frills" discount gym. The pros are easy: 24-7 access, I pay a smidgen more ($20USD per month) to be able to use any of the chain's gyms in the United States, the place has all the essentials for anyone looking to maintain fitness or just get started and is within walking distance from my house. Additionally, my membership is essentially free if I go 12 times or more in a month on account of my health insurance.

I do occasionally miss the perks of a more full-service gym, or even a high school/community weight room. I belonged to a YMCA for a while and got to love swimming and sitting in a nearly intolerable steam room to do a little extra sweating. Also, childcare was available and the swimming areas had kids activities too. This came at a bit more expense and was less convenient to access as it was a further drive and the hours were limited.

Today I realized I was missing the freeweights. I'm sure the limited dumb-bell selection and any big bar lifts having to be done on a smith machine are for the purposes of limiting liability. There are a few exercises that are great total body experiences that I can't get in any proper measure though. Namely I'm thinking of cleans, snatches and other explosive power lifts. Being restrained to a smith machine for any weight over a 70 lb. dumb-bell also restricts the important development of "stability muscles.

As variety is the spice of life I may have to find some creative ways to get the extra work, else maybe a game of "musical gyms" will be in order shortly.

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