My apology to Planet Fitness

Dear Planet Fitness,

I owe you an apology.

I made assumptions about you based on what some haters have said online.

I’ve been on the road for a couple weeks and a colleague of mine has a Planet Fitness Black Card membership and took me as his guest to your Marlborough, MA location 3 or 4 times over the past couple weeks.

My pre-conceived ideas about you were wrong.

You are a real gym.

I saw people in there trying their hardest to get in shape. You are a full gym with everything needed for anyone to get in shape. And you provide it at a very affordable price.

Sure, you don’t have the free weights that a hard-core power lifting gym would have, but that’s the point. You are trying to get the average person in the door and take their fitness seriously. A completely different mindset and different monster altogether.

I get it. I’ve seen both sides.

I was able to fly 75lb. dumbbells last week and your Smith machines, although not squat racks with barbells, are definitely good enough to get the job done. Your dumbbells went even higher in weight but I did not look to see how high because those were beyond me.

As a recovering Gold’s Gym member, I was quite surprised to find such a well-equipped gym.

It is not your fault that the current U.S. dietary guidelines are based on faulty science.

We feed grains to livestock to fatten them up and the removal of healthy fats from our foods has caused producers to replace that fat with sugar to make foods taste good. All that added sugar has led to an alarming rise in diabetes and insulin resistance. We might disagree on the snacks you serve at your gym, but every one of your members has the responsibility to do their own research and decide what to put in their mouths.

That’s on them, not you.

I encourage your members to look into a Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF) or No Sugars, No Grains (NSNG) lifestyle. I believe they would get greatly improved results from their investment.

But in the meantime I don’t blame you for widespread confusion about what healthy eating looks like.

Most of what the “health authorities” have been telling us is wrong and most people have no idea what to believe.

Your members are trying hard and putting in the work and you provide them a bona fide gym at a fair price.

I applaud you and I apologize for unfairly judging you.

If my local Planet Fitness was not on the most inconvenience, opposite side of my own town I would join tomorrow.

So I’ll wait for a deal on your Black Card membership so I have a gym to call home when I travel.

Kindest regards,
Dave The Kayaker

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PS – I went ahead and joined.

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Fitness-minded Hotel

During an overnight trip this week I was fortunate enough to stay at an Even Hotel, which is part of the IHG Hotels chain (think: Holiday Inn.)  When I travel to this particular town I try to stay in this particular hotel because they are oriented toward fitness and have an excellent  fitness center so I can keep up with my exercise schedule.

This week the hotel managed to blow me away.

When I checked in I discovered they upgraded me to a suite and when I walked into the room not only did it have a small exercise area right in the room, as is usual, but there was also an exercise bike/spinner in the room right next to the desk.

I was able to return some phone calls while spinning 12.5 miles over an hour right there in the room and then headed down to the fitness center for my usual workout.

This is a hotel brand that gets it.

In a time when many hotels are just now trying to upgrade their fitness facilities and add more than just a cardio machine or two, Even Hotels is way ahead of the curve.

It was a wonderful surprise!

 

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Photos I took during my recent stay at an Even Hotel

New piece of gym equipment

I knew it was coming for weeks, but today it finally showed up.

My neighborhood fitness center finally installed a Smith machine so now I have a reasonable way to work heavier squats into my workouts once again.

squatrackThe new Smith Machine

I had been putting off joining a commercial gym since my local Gold’s Gym closed at the end of September and now it looks like I can save myself the monthly fee as the biggest reason I went to Gold’s was for the squat racks and dumbbells that go over 50lbs.

I had explored other gyms and was heavily leaning toward joining Snap Fitness but after I sent them an inquiry through their website link and not getting a response after 10 weeks, (I hate poor customer service and I only imagined if they were that bad before somebody joined it would only get worse after joining) I held off to see what my planned local gym expansion would bring me.

Tonight I had the answer.

The Smith machine has a low pulley in it for seated rows which is an added bonus as I had been using a different piece of equipment that had a 100lb. upper limit which was a bummer.

So now that I have ~85% of everything I need I see no reason to join a commercial gym.

And I can start incorporating squats and legs into just about every workout again.

My legs will hate me for a while but then they will love me.

12-14-17-bodyTonight’s workout was a bit more balanced


Time to start sneaking additional plates into the gym for “donation.”  😉

 

A good training day

I finally made it back out on the water today during a well-earned day off.

I managed to paddle 10 miles in the Thunderbolt-X kayak and took it easy so I only averaged 5.7mph.  It was a cold, breezy day so I had to wear a full wet suit which definitely constrains the natural paddling motion.

Nonetheless, it was an extremely enjoyable paddle and the water was clear as crystal.  I also spotted a flock of turkeys on shore which was a bonus.

12-8-17_kayakTaking the Thunderbolt-X out for a spin with full wet suit


Then after attacking an item or two on the “honey do” list, I dropped off my son and his friend for basketball practice this evening and hit the gym while they were at practice.  It wasn’t my typical #MFN (massive Friday night) workout, but I managed some good volume in a somewhat crowded gym for a Friday night.  Usually I can have the place to myself on a Friday night but not tonight.

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I focused on bent over rows and flies and worked in some squats.

It was a good training day.

Oh, and I’ve gotten myself into dietary ketosis and I hope to stay here for a good, long while.

And in the interest of transparency, here is my starting point for this current “cut,” according to the Skulp Aim.

 

 

Compared to Jan., 2016.  They obviously re-scaled the index since then as it now appears as though Muscle Quality is on a scale from 1-100.  It’s a shame I don’t have a direct comparison.

I hate gym shopping

Now that Gold’s Gym Charlottesville announced it is closing at the end of the month, I find myself in the unenviable position of gym shopping.

I hate everything about it.  The pricing schemes, the one-time fees, the cancellation policies, finding the right gym with the right equipment.  Yuck!

So this morning after placing an order for some staples at Muscle & Strength’s Labor Day Sale which has some BOGO’s and a free gym bag loaded with goodies, I headed to Gold’s to get in my workout.

Chatting with some of the other members at Gold’s made me feel like we were at a wake, discussing the passing of a friend.

The Gold’s Gym announcement came on Friday and we are just now dealing with reality and finding new gyms.  Most are going to Atlantic Coast Athletic Center (ACAC) to ride out the remainder of their memberships, but I don’t see that as a viable long-term option so I’m looking for my new, long-term home right away so on my way home I stopped at three gyms, only two of which were open.

I’ll let you know what I decide and hopefully some other Gold’s members will post on where they are going so we can try to keep some of the core people together.

I will miss the Gold’s Charlottesville experience.

Even though I mostly kept to myself at Gold’s and focused on my own training, I found so many of the regulars there inspirational and they pushed me harder just because I was around them.

At least I have until the end of the month to find a new gym home.

In other news, I completed the kayak ergometer for Vinnie Tortorich and hope to deliver it to him within the next few weeks so we can get started on his training.  This new design came out very nice.  So much so that I’m going to rebuild my own into this new design since it is shorter, better balanced, and smoother.