Don’t Be Lazy (Though these People Did, and it’s Funny)

I came across this great slideshow on MSN this morning, featuring pictures that pretty much define gym laziness at its best. Napping on yoga mats, food remains, standing around doing nothing, a chair(!) on treadmill … there truly are some lethargic gems among these folks.

Which leads me to ask: if you’re going to go to the gym and be lazy, why bother going to the gym?

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I love both teaching classes and working out on my own at XSport. The club is huge, the members are awesome, you can’t beat 24/7, and I really don’t think I could survive a gym without towel service (as I’ve discovered in the handful of times they’ve been out of clean towels at the start of a workout). There are, however, two things I absolutely cannot stand about the club: the escalators in Alexandria (because people stand, instead of walking down them … which wastes time), and “member appreciation days” during the last week of the month (because they bring in a bunch of food, which usually makes the gym smell terrible … and do you really need to be eating tacos and pizza in a GYM??) If you clicked on the link above, you’ll see both of these – escalators and unhealthy food – on the slideshow. Yikes.

But back to gym laziness. It comes in many forms, and as a person who admits to probably spending too much time in the gym, I like to make the most of every second I spend there. If I’m not sweating, I’m not working hard enough (okay, full disclosure: my body has two temperatures – frozen or sweating – and it takes me, on average, about two minutes of movement to start sweating). So it makes me absolutely crazy to see people standing around talking, hanging for dear life on to machines or resting for far longer than necessary (here’s a tip: you don’t need 5 minutes to recover from one set. Superset, add a cardio burst, work a different body part … you’ll get a lot more done in a lot less time).

That said, my dear gym-goers, I beg of you … if you are going to make the effort to get yourself to the gym, take advantage of the time you spend there. On average, I spend around 12 hours a week in the gym – and have for the better part of the last decade. Throughout those years, I’ve found what works for me, and I can tell you in no uncertain terms, hanging out and doing everything in your power to avoid sweating isn’t gonna cut it. While I do admit to having a handful of people I do talk to regularly – and sometimes at length (Rebecca, Nour, RJ and D, I’m looking at you) – they are people who have the same mindset as me (as in we chat between sets or classes, during cardio or on our way out the door).

Perhaps even more so, be aware of your form. You could work out for hours, but if it is with bad form, you will likely not see the results you are looking to see – and potentially even end up with an injury. Stand up straight, take full breaths and maintain control of your movement at all times. As my Pilates classes are, undoubtedly, sick of hearing – use your muscle, not your momentum!