Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Working out at home or in the gym? What do you say?

This year, I made a resolution to try to get back in shape. I bought some size 38 pants in the fall, and I took a picture with wifey over Christmas and my face was, well, a bit more rounded than in some I remembered.

I have been a member of the YMCA since 1988 and used to play basketball in the Dowd location like a demon. I met a lot of lifelong friends there, but after breaking my wrist badly in '95 -- trying to dunk a rebound -- I gave up hoopin' and hoopin' pretty much was my only exercise.

So I slowly gained weight because I ate the same. Finally I decided to do something after seeing that picture over Christmas.

Getting to the YMCA was going to be hard because I have two kids and a full time job that has me running all times of the day and night. I went to the YMCA and met with a trainer and got a workout regimen even though I knew it would be hard to follow.

I figured I'd better try working out at home. We have had a treadmill here for a number of years (one of my previous failed experiments), so I dusted it off and began using it. I found, for me, it was much easier to hop on, turn on "Golf Central" and go, any time I felt. Didn't have to get dressed or drive to the gym.

As it turns out, the people from EFI Sports Medicine recently sent me a Total Gym to test. It's much better than the cheapy version you'd buy at Dick's and better than the one you see Chuck Norris advertise on television, too. She's not cheap, at about $2,400, but EFI offers several payment plan options that make it cheaper than buying a gym membership in some cases.

And let me tell you, Total Gym works. I get just as much "burn" as I do on the YMCA machines and I don't have to wait in line to use them, so I get a consistent cardio workout too.

I asked two friends -- one who works out regularly and one who has never worked out -- to come by and test out the Total Gym with me. I'll be reporting the results here over the next few weeks. And, if you have home exercise equipment or prefer working at the gym, I'd love to read your comments here.


-- iH7 has a couple interesting back to school products. One is an iPod alarm clock with dual speakers. So instead of waking up to your favorite radio DJ or some music you hate, you can wake up to music you love (and your parents hate). Plus, with the great speaker array, it'll sound better than any clock radio you ever tried.

The other gadget is iH31 boom box. Yes, it's a boom box for your iPod. I remember my first cool boombox. Used eight C batteries, which would last for about two hours.

I took mine to West Charlotte High, pumping some sweet go-go ("Drop The Bomb") and had everyone rocking -- until I ran into the assistant principal. He confiscated my box on a day when we were having an outdoor festival and I was going to be sure to have all the cute girls around me, plus that upperclass junior cheerleader I liked so much.


Anonymous said...

My husband gained more than 60 pounds at the beginning of our marriage . Joining a gym wasn't convenient and also wasn't something we really had the money for. He started his weight loss by walking every day and I prepared low-fat, portion-controlled meals. He eventually started running every other day, and that's his fitness routine today. He went from a 40 waist to a 36 over the course of more than a year and looks great! I think gym memberships are great, but there is much to be said for the benefits of the "free" exercise route.

Anonymous said...

For weights, I like the gym better than home equipment. I like free weights and it isn't feasible to have all that in a garage. Its become a habit and luckily I have the ability to hit the gym at lunch. I get 'free' exercise when I run at home.

Anonymous said...

I too have the Total Gym , love it. I get the same burn of free weights . I belong to a gym also , the driving time is what stops me.
The total gym gives me all I need the cardio is a bonus. I bought the one from TV infomercial . Yes Chuck & Christy got me.... I got a video along with it that is really awesome , so it's like having a personal trainer right at home.
I do have a full universal gym at homealso (my husbands ) just never used it because the plate changes drives me crazy. Not that I am lazy but , the only time I have to work out is 5:30 am. got 1 hr to get it done...

Desk Jockey said...


As you know I have a small functional fitness studio in south Charlotte. I currently have two TG 11000s in house that get used daily. They offer options for clients that are unable to do body weight exercises at full weight... the TG allows a user to downscale the exercise to a level that is appropriate for them.

For example, how many people do you see doing chin-ups when you go to the Y or Bally's? Probably none... The TG allows EVERYONE to perform the chin up... at a level that is appropriate for them... specifically, between 10 and 70 percent of their body weight.

In general, the TG allows us to train at our maximum relative strength. Relative strength is our strength level relative to our own body weight. Absolute strength is a measure of a person's ability to train at a fixed weight amount.

For example, who is stronger? A 125 pound athlete that can bench press 150 pounds or a 225 pound athlete that can bench press 200 pounds. In absolute terms the 200 pound lift is higher than the 150 pound lift. In relative terms, the 150 pound lift is 140 percent of the athlete's body weight, while the 200 pound lift is 90 percent of the athlete's body weight. I relative terms, the 150 pound lift is greater.

Some sports require absolute strength, such as football, basketball and rugby. Other sports, such as tennis, golf and swimming, require a higher degree of relative strength. The most important sport of all, life, requires relative strength.

The TG is a "relative strength" conditioning machine. If the athlete's sport demands relative strength, the TG is an excellent tool to achieve success.