Monday, May 4, 2009

It Figures or 24 Hour Fitness? A moral dilemma for your Monday

Up @ a pound - I'm at 185 now. And I attribute this gain to the change in my exercise program.

As you may recall, my beloved Curves of Downtown Los Angeles closed a couple of weeks ago, and at the time, I thought, "Oh well, at least I can now join It Figures of Sherman Oaks, which has a similar circuit training setup, as well as treadmills, stationary bikes and other types of fitness equipment available."

Well, my initial enthusiasm for the opportunity to join It Figures has waned a bit. (And at this point, my husband will chime in, "Hmm … IT FIGURES!"

Here's the problem – and I had a feeling when I joined that it might be a problem, which is why I got the month-to-month membership rather than signing a long-term contract (always a good idea, by the way, with any sort of commitment like this).

It's the schedule. It just doesn't work well for me.

See, when I had the Curves available, right next to my office, I could go there first thing in the morning, or during my lunch hour, or even (when they had longer hours, up till a couple of months ago), on my coffee break when I was super-stressed and needed a quick break. It was great!

I can't really do that with the It Figures of Sherman Oaks. It's located in Sherman Oaks (hence the name, duh!), so really the only time I can go there during the week is in the evening, after work and on my way home.

But wait, there's more (problems, that is)!

See, one of the cool things about It Figures is that they offer regular exercise classes. And they have one every afternoon – right in the middle of the circuit training area – from 5:30 to 6:30. Which means, for all intents and purposes, that if you want to do circuit training, you pretty much have to wait till the class is over, at 6:30.

Which I kind of have to do, since I simply can't get off work early enough to make the class.

Last week I faithfully went in at @ 6:15/6:20, Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and puttered around on the treadmill or the stationary bike for the @10/15 minutes it took for the class to finish up. Then I was able to start the circuit training.

But even then, due to having to chat up the class participants as they were exiting, check phone messages, etc. (she's the only one there, so obviously very busy), Danielle wasn't able to get everything back in place (like the exercise balls & the step) till @ 6:45.

Now since I'm the one that wanted to use them, I suppose I should have just gone and gotten them out for myself. But I didn't know if I was supposed to, and also, being horizontally impaired (I'm only 5'2"!), I couldn't reach the shelf that the balls were stored on (it's wayyy high!).

So I just did the basic Curves-type workout, and that was, well, meh, it was okay. But not really as exciting as it was the last time I was there.

Maybe because last time I was disillusioned enough with Curves that I was getting the "grass is greener" effect. Hmmm ...

Well, anyway ... this morning, I took advantage of a 7-day guest pass membership at the 24 Hour Fitness in downtown Los Angeles. Which isn't exactly next door to my office, but at least is within a reasonable walking distance.

And actually, since I started getting off the subway at the 7th and Metro station and walking up to Bunker Hill, it's literally right on my way to work and only about 5 minutes from my office, at my walking speed.

So I went there this morning, and after a couple of false starts with the coin-operated lockers*, I spent about half an hour wandering from one strength training machine to another, lifting various weights with various parts of my body and actually feeling like I got a pretty good workout.

So … bottom line … I may drop It Figures and pick up 24 Hours. Which is too bad, because It Figures is actually a great IDEA for a women's gym. And it undoubtedly works wayyyy better for women who actually live and work in that area, as they can probably get there at non-class times and do whatever they need to do. But for me … it's just not working out.

Oh well … IT FIGURES!!!

*Guess what I learned? If you put your stuff in one of those coin-operated lockers, and put in your 50 cents, and then take the key out, and then realize you forgot your towel, and then put the key in and open it up again, and get your towel out, and close the locker door – you can't open it again unless you put in another 50 cents!

Which is kind of difficult when your purse is INSIDE the locker!

Which is why I had to borrow 50 cents from the nice lady at the front desk, who was happy to help me, but only had dimes.

Which is why I had to go to Famima! and get the dimes changed to quarters.

All of which helped me to get my heartrate up nicely, thankyouverymuch.

Perhaps that's a good motivation for me to actually buy my own lock!