Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Gym, A New Workout Routine, and Weekend Fun

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Retro Fitness to see if I wanted to check out their brand-new gyms that just opened in San Jose, California (one on Foxworthy and the other on Blossom Hill Road). It’s my understanding that these are the first two Retro Fitness locations on the West Coast.

When we arrived, I first noticed the colorful interior - yellow and red. While the colors do remind you of a certain fast food chain, I really enjoyed the colorful surroundings and felt energized throughout my workout.

Retro Fitness has all the free weights and machines that you could want to get a good workout. Another nice feature is that all the cardio machines have built-in TVs.

But probably the coolest part for me is the Cardio Theatre – a darkened room with a big movie screen with all the types of cardio equipment also found on the main floor. Every day there is a different movie that is shown continuously. On one of the days they were showing The Fast and the Furious - it made time go by really quickly. Walking on a treadmill while watching a good movie is a fun way to get those 10,000+ daily steps.

In addition, Retro Fitness also offers group exercise classes as well as recorded exercise classes on demand that can be played in the group exercise room on a big screen.

Retro Fitness also has a small childcare room as well as basic, but clean, locker rooms.

We belonged to a “fancy” gym (thanks to a huge discount) for many years but canceled the membership about six months ago because I had been doing more yoga and barre classes at a studio, and we have some weight sets at home. I am impressed by Retro Fitness and by what it offers for only $19.99/month (and no enrollment fee with a one year membership).

After I did my first workout at Retro Fitness, I was reminded of what to do and not to do when you start a new workout routine, or what to do when you get back to a routine you haven’t done in quite some time:
  • Don’t assume you can lift the same weights you lifted months (or years) ago – you will be incredibly sore, or, worse, hurt yourself lifting too much. I was truly surprised by how much strength I had lost, especially because I do a fair amount of body weight exercises, like push ups and also do squats with dumbbells, etc.
  • Start with weights you can lift for 8 to 10 reps with good form, even if that’s a lot less than what you used to be able to lift.
  • You don’t have to use every single piece of equipment in the gym – in fact, you shouldn’t, instead have a plan (see next bullet point)
  • Make a workout plan before you start your workout so that you don’t wander around the gym without a focus or get distracted by “cool” equipment.
After my first workout, I was very sore, but I really enjoyed the soreness. While I get a fair amount of physical activity every day, I haven’t done as many weight workouts with heavy weights as I should have in the past months, and lifting heavy weights again was a really nice change of pace. It was a reminder that it’s good to change things up once in a while, and I truly feel a passion again for lifting weights, something that I hadn’t felt in quite some time.

We worked out at Retro Fitness a few times this weekend, but the highlight of our weekend was that the kid was student of the month at his Korean school.

Reminder in case you are interested: The April Conscious Cleanse starts on April 5. Through Sunday, March 16 you can get $25 off registration with code EBCC414. Click here for more information and to register. Here are my posts about my previous experiences with the Conscious Cleanse.

Questions: Do you belong to a gym? If so, what’s your favorite part of your gym? Do you lift weights? If so, how do you keep things interesting? What was the highlight of your weekend?
Be well,

[Disclaimer: I received a free 30-day workout pass from Retro Fitness, but, as always, all opinions in this review are my own.]