The fitness battle is one that encompasses an entire lifetime. At each new turn, there are new challenges, and each of these challenges can be conquered with a little bit of hard work and dedication. Recently, I was privileged and pleased to be able to take a vacation to Orlando, Florida, with my loved ones. As most of us know, vacations tend to be a relaxing yet busy experience, and that was certainly the case for us! While we only scheduled two days for the amusement parks and one day at the beach, the remaining four days flew by so quickly that we really did not have any time to get over to the fitness center. For me, I appreciated the break from the typical (daily) grind at the gym, but the vacation is now over, so it is time to get back into the swing of things. Looking back, I recommend that you take a day off here or there or at least switch up the routine to keep fitness fun, exciting, and fresh. At the end of the day, fitness is a long-term life commitment, and it requires some finesse, persistence, determination, self-motivation, and dedication. Getting burned out along the way is a common frustration for many, so be sure to change things up from time to time and certainly give your body time to heal. Furthermore, be sure that you are feeding your muscles and getting adequate and consistent sleep each day. The fitness battle is long and tiring, but the fruits of the victories are well worth the time and effort; good luck and keep up the good work!
As many of you have known already (and to those who do not know but will soon figure out), I am a bit obsessive compulsive here and there, especially at the gym. When I walk up to the paper towel dispenser, I always pull two sheets off and line them up exactly back-to-back before folding it twice and spraying it with the disinfectant. I do the same thing when I need a dry (double) paper towel to wipe my sweat off of me. It is just part of my routine. Of course, I have other routines as well, just as many other weightlifters do. Now, if you read some of my other remarks and blog posts about fitness before, I really get flustered when I see the wrong weight on the wrong rack. At my gym, this becomes a bigger issue near the two Smith Machines.
Now, I would consider myself to be a nice fellow gym member. After using each machine or bench, I wipe it off. Also, when I use the plated weights (on benches, leg presses, etc.), I return each weight to the exact stack I got it from. For me, this is probably most popular on legs and shoulders day where, on a heavy workout day, I am stacking up 20-26 (45lbs) plates on the angled linear leg press (1300+ lbs total with the sled) and 300 to 400lbs on the Smith Machine when I do shoulder shrugs. No matter how much I decide to or attempt to lift, I try my best to be courteous to the other lifters by returning all plated weights to their rightful spot. In fact, you will typically find me noticing plated weights out of place and fixing those pet peeves of mine by returning those for the lazier gym rats.
So, what’s the problem (besides a few lazy people in the gym from time to time)? Well, great question, and here is one of my answers. The gym should be a bit more organized, especially for those visual learners. Of course, it is not fair just to complain about the problems or downfalls of the gym or any issue or place without offering up a potential solution. After great thought the other evening, I found that my gym and many others like it should simply have color coded plated weights. We could make each weight level a different color and color code the bar or slot where to return it, but I offer a different idea. Instead, I think that we should section off the gym more visibly by making each section of weights a different color because I find that some stacks are not full while others seem to overflow. So, the plated weights that are stacked on the leg press and squat machines should be one color (I say, pick green since it is my favorite color, and I love to work out my legs). Then, the plated weights over on the Smith machine should be colored blue (have you ever noticed just how clustered and unorganized the Smith Machine weights can be?)! Then, let’s go to the other plated machines and color those plates purple. Lastly, let’s color the plated weights within the bench section red. This will allow others to see where they borrowed the weights from in the first place. Furthermore, if I am using a red plate over in the leg press area, I know where it should be returned to. Attention gyms: Let’s get organized! And to my fellow lifters… take an extra minute and return the weights to their rightful spot after using them – think of it as the final repetition or something!