Gym membership? Thats a lot of money dude.

This time of year is always a bit of a money pit. All our registration and insurance and utility bills arrive in a dense, foreboding pile over a couple of weeks making the morning trip down to the letterbox just a little depressing.Last week I also got an email reminder that my gym membership was up for renewal.

Now usually this is not a big deal. I have regularly gone to the same local gym for 20 years now. Lifting the same weights up and down and up and down.
I even have pet names for individual plates:
Morning Gary….geez your feeling a little heavier than usual this morning.
Thats normal right?

I am a regular…and I have over time probably, no definitely, plateaued out into a fitness of beige repetitive familiarity.
But you see, I am also what is called a ‘foundation member’ and get a sweet discount for being so.

Until now. Recently my gym was subsumed into a big global ’chain’ of fitness centres. This meant a brand new building, new equipment….and new fees.

Wait-a-sec-a-minute…..its going to cost how much?

This got me thinking about my own fitness goals and strategies.
So I have decided that I am going to drop my gym membership for the next 12 months as a kind of experiment. And I would like your help.

Instead of weight focused training I am going to switch to a more aerobic theme. Running, cycling, hiking, active play (like frisbee!) and yoga.

For strength training I am going to look for exercises and routines that do not need a gym to achieve (like those outside fitness equipment thingies that are springing up in public spaces all over the place). Stuff that is easily accessible where ever I am, without needing much equipment, or gym memberships. Stuff that is challenging as well as adding increased variety and fun.

Run Ian run.

So. Lets start with running. Thats got to be a staple no?

I went out on a preparatory run.
You know, just to see where my baseline was at.

Driving out to a beautiful undulating dirt trail around the base of a nearby mountain, I tied my laces tight, did a few rudimentary stretches (this is going to be so great)…and I was away. Life is good!

Exactly 3.03 kilometres later I collapsed into a knackered heap of hypoxic, fasiculating flubber.
I had been running sixteen minutes and five seconds. I think I need a paramedic.

Admittedly there were some steep(ish) sections, and I had not been very active lately, and I am on the far side of fifty-five now.
But clearly there is a deep terrain of challenges and opportunities here to improve my fitness level. And also my ongoing enjoyment in doing so.

I am going to keep you posted on my journey. Onwards.


Please, I would love you to drop your own suggestions or experiences of useful & freely accessible fitness programs/strategies of your own in the comments.
Im open to all possible ideas!

Posted by Ian Miller

3 Comments

  1. I do a lot of body weight exercises and resistance band strength work at home on my gym free days or ‘no time days ‘. I love tabata hiit too. 20s hard 10 off for 4 mins. Therefore 8 rounds. It can be bicep curls , push ups , sit ups , resistance band rows for example and if u mash all 4 together it only takes 16 mins. Or u can use this format running or cycling too. I love redefining strength fb page for ideas also. Simple hand weights ar home, a bench in a park practically anywhere , stairs etc i could go on and on. Hope this gives u some ideas and inspiration Ian. Keep me posted.
    Ps. Technique is important though

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    1. Thanks Amanda, I have also been reading up on the ‘Tabata’ method which seems really interesting. Will check the redefining strength FB page too. Cheers!

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  2. How about hiring a Personal Trainer for a couple of sessions to get you started and work out a programme for you .Personally I dropped the Running and walk instead.Actually did a 35km Walk for Charity last year and the preparation was intense.They do the 35km walk in ACT for Mito in Sept./Oct I think….a goal to work towards.Good Luck and start off easy otherwise you get an injury and you will be done before you start !!!

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