Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hitting the Gym + Rowing Machine

Every semester of my college career other than this semester I've worked out in a gym. Freshman and sophomore year's it was in the Jacob's Fitness Center at American University and in the fall of junior year it was at Club Kensington in London. This semester things have changed a bit what with a photography class that is like a part-time job, an internship with Ping Pong and an executive board position on my fraternity (plus Veggie Bites!!), so I've tended to workout in my apartment.

Working out sans "proper" machinery is no issue for me-- I make use of chairs, large cans of crushed tomato as weights and my yoga mat for carpet burn-free exercise. My apartment building has a gym at the first floor but it's pretty awkward; people can see you as they are entering the building due to its glass wall and people can also see you while walking by on the first floor. In addition to that, the gym is teeny tiny and makes me feel pretty strange when it's just me and one other person and we're both eying each other for the same silly gossip magazine.

I know I don't post a lot about exercise (my mind is usually on the food!), but I do get in physical activity everyday. This can range from dancing at a club, to walking back and forth between my apartment and campus two times because I forgot my photo printing paper, to doing side planks and push-ups in my living room while my roommates are in class. I have definitely maintained the same weight throughout the semester through my atypical exercises but it's almost summertime so I have a new focus; my arms.

After a full day of classes the absolute last thing I want to do is to stay on campus longer to go to the gym (I'd rather blast Lady Gaga in my room and do squats and lunges), but the problem about my apartment versus a real gym is the equipment. Other than my cans of garbanzo beans and bottles of sparkling water, I have no real weights in my possession. During my stay in London I got really into the rowing machine at the gym because it worked my core, legs and arms at the same time, while especially making my arms look toned. Today I made myself go to the gym on campus after class so that I could hop onto that machine again and see what it would do for me across the pond.

The Jacob's Fitness Center has Concept 2 rowing machines, so I decided to check out their website to learn more about what the machine can do for me. Here they identify which muscles are used while rowing, which I think is really great because I am all about visuals! They've also got tabs such as "Technique" and "Training Programs" which can show you how to row correctly and do so effectively to meet your weight and fitness goals.

Today I did a 15 minute sprint on the elliptical with a resistance increase at least at every 2 minutes 30 seconds (starting at a 5 resistance), 10 minutes rowing and 30 minutes of strength including box squatting with weights, torso twists with weights and also vertical crunches but reaching my arms straight up to the ceiling instead of having my hands behind my back (you can see what a vertical crunch looks like here).While I have been doing a lot of strength training in the comfort of my apartment this semester, it is nice to be able to add additional, non-edible weights to my workout via the gym at school.

Does anyone workout at home? Do you find that there is a difference between working out in a home setting or at a gym?

With health,


1 comment:

  1. I work out at home. I have an almost broken-down treadmill which i have caused much more damage to due to the amount I use it. It does scare me because I might die, but hey, at least I'll die fit! Ok, there is nothing funny about that. However, my Mother madame Ellyn has just invested in a Wii fit, and I SWEAR that thing works you, and works you hard! Whenever you feel like coming home to the dirty O, you must spend a day with me using this thing! Love reading your blog Melly! So proud of you!
    With worms in dirt,