File this under the “I wish I had written it” category: Jason Gay from the Wall Street Journal’s “funny because it’s true” 27 rules for being successful for all the New Year gym warriors.
Now, I am still relatively new to the fitness world and I am probably guilty of breaking several of these rules. At any minute I could make the decision to stay in bed instead of working out on a Saturday morning, and the next thing I know I haven’t seen the inside of the gym in six months and my membership fee is now just a monthly donation to the Jewish Community Center.
But this article is great no matter where you fall on the gym spectrum. If you don’t have the time or inclination to read it, below are some of my favorites of his “rules.”
4. No one in the history of gyms has ever lost a pound while reading “The New Yorker” and slowly pedaling a recumbent bicycle. No one.
8. There’s also the Strange Guy Who is Always at the Gym. Just when you think he isn’t here today…there he is, lurking by the barbells.
11. Gyms have two types of members: Members who wipe down the machines after using them, and the worst people in the universe.
12. Nope, that’s not a “recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate.” That’s a chocolate bar.
14. You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that’s super tough!
19. If a gym class is going to be effective, it’s hard. If you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself, you’re at brunch.
27. There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.
I would like to add my own as well: Either join the Zumba class or walk on by. Peering into the class while a bunch of Jewish women between the ages of 30- to 75-years-old (it’s the JCC people!) are doing their best Shakira is creepy.
Onlookers aside, Zumba has been a great way for me to balance my personal training sessions and other resistance/weights-focused workouts with some fun cardio. I’m not a runner and more than 10 minutes on the elliptical machine has me bored to sweat tears.
As anyone who has done Zumba will tell you, don’t worry if you’re slow to pick up the choreography. Zumba is all about staying in motion. More often than not, I’m on the wrong foot, the wrong hip, or even the wrong song. But it doesn’t matter. I’m still moving. I’m sweaty at the end of it and I barely notice an hour has gone by.
But whatever it is you choose to do to get in shape, just remember rule No. 22 from the article: Fancy gyms can be seductive, but once you get past the modern couches and fresh flowers and the water with lemon slices, you’re basically paying for a boutique hotel with B.O.
What are your fitness goals for the new year? Any gym rules you think should be added to the list?