After yet again getting stuck behind a “stander” on the escalator in my gym (yes, escalator. In my gym.) last night, I found myself thinking … I wonder if people realize that some of the things they do in a gym make them look incredibly lazy. I’m looking at you, escalator stander. You, too, parking lot circler. And you, too, girl who spends more time stopping the treadmill to text than she does actually walking or running (I’m not making this up… I wish I was … but I was on the machine behind her again last night).
Here’s the thing I don’t understand: If you are making the effort to go to the gym, why are you wasting your time instead of actually working out? My gym only validates parking for two hours. You had better bet that I have my workouts planned down to the minute because of it (unless I’m lucky enough to score time limit-free street parking). As much time as I spend in the gym to begin with, I do a pretty good job of being efficient. My workouts tend to involve a lot of compound exercises, super-sets and circuits, and it’s because if I’m making the effort to work out, I’m getting the most out of my time. For example, I found myself lifting next to this younger guy a few weeks ago, and in the time it took me to do two three exercise circuits, he completed two sets of bicep curls. With a bar that I could tell was way too light for him (meaning he definitely didn’t need the five minutes of rest he was taking between them to, for what I could tell, walk around the weight room). Yes, he looked like a guy who maybe didn’t really know what he was doing. But wouldn’t that motivate you to ask a friend for help, rip a workout out of a magazine, hire a trainer, or if nothing else, copy whatever the person next to you is doing?
But some people truly are just lazy. I can honestly say that I run up or down that escalator when there isn’t anyone else in front of me (bonus cardio. I love a bonus!) I’d much rather park in the back of the parking garage and get going on my workout, rather than lose another five minutes stalking the space next to the door. I don’t take my phone into the gym, and for good reason – those 2 hours (give or take, depending on the day, if I’m teaching, or if it’s a strictly cardio day) are my time. No disturbances, no distraction – it’s my escape from the hustle of the day, to just focus on myself. Research says the little things make the difference … meaning don’t be afraid to walk up that escalator, or park a little further away, or do something that wears you out/makes you sweat/raises your heart and breathing rates/will probably hurt tomorrow.
Bottom line: if your workouts aren’t producing the results you are hoping for, take a look at how you spend your time. Are you an “escalator stander”? Do you spend more time walking around, trying to figure out what you should do next? Or are you too focused on the television, or your phone, or talking with your friend to put forth your best efforts? If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time to get serious. Is your gym time social hour, or something you feel you should do, versus something you want to do for yourself? Fitness is a commitment – are you going to be lazy, or are you up for a challenge?