Gym, Community, & Why They Go Hand in Hand
I finished a difficult leg workout this morning and had a thought. “I never pushed myself this hard when I went to a big box gym.” Especially legs! I did more machines and less free weights on legs because…, it was easier. Even though the burn was in the muscles and maximum effort was attained, it still doesn’t compare to our leg workouts here.
Was the difference using free weight? I do think that is a factor. While machines have their place, for most of us, we will benefit much more from using free weight and body weight. Not only do those movement better mimic real life, they call on more than just one muscle group (ie. Quadriceps), to perform certain exercises. It takes balance, body control, core strength, flexibility and upper body strength to perform squats properly. I know there are usually squat racks at most gyms, but let’s face it, most people opt for a machine. Also, if you go to a good gym that has trainer lead classes or you are personally trained, you will develop good form which will add proper body mechanics, another wonderful benefit. That way when you perform a certain movement in real life, like lifting a box from the ground to an overhead position, you will continue your good body mechanics and avoid injury.
As I thought about the years that I went to 24 Hour Fitness to workout, I knew that I worked out hard, unlike many who go there. I knew how to workout as well. I developed good routines that kept me in the gain category. However, Total Fit Gym, programmed by me, is different. It is harder. I tend to push myself more. There are many workouts that I never dreamed of when I went to 24 Hour. There are things that we do here that cannot be replicated at a big box gym. When you are pushing hard for a time or for as many reps as you can within a time frame, it changes how you workout. The average person working out in a gym has a start time and maybe an end time. However, I rarely saw anyone who had timed sets or who moved from one thing to the next with drive. It was more like picking up your water bottle and your towel, checking your phone and seeing what is available for your next exercise.
There are more differences, but probably the biggest one is community. When you are at a big box gym everyone has headphones in their ears. Even I did. I didn’t feel as alone when listening to headphones. It can be lonely even when you are surrounded by 2 or 3 dozen people. At Total Fit Gym, and gyms like it, you workout together. You warm up together. You stretch together. There is a camaraderie. Even if you are the strongest and fastest in the class, you still push yourself with ease because of the atmosphere that is created. There are high 5’s, ringing the bell, encouragement, and the fact that other people are working hard that pushes you to work hard.
All of this and more creates an atmosphere that raises your personal bar higher than it would be. So I do work my legs, my core, cardio, and even my favorite, my upper body, harder than I ever did at a big box gym. Me. Mr. All-in. Mr. one speed – high speed. What this translates to is: more benefit, a higher level of fitness, more strength, more endurance, and a better body. If it did it for me, it will do it for you. Come to Total Fit Gym or find a gym that has trainer lead classes that will challenge you, give you a reason to work hard, work right and keep coming back for more.
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