Gyms! Huh! Yeah! Good God, Y’all? What Are They Good For?

Absolutely nothing!  Say it again!

Hello dear reader(s)!

Yesterday a good friend of mine asked me to give her motivation to go to the gym.  Knowing her, I came up with something I thought would work pretty well.

But then I thought about it.  What did I just do?  Why on Earth would I tell her to do anything but cancel her gym membership and workout at home?  And so I backtracked and attempted to convince her not to go to the gym, but to cancel her membership and instead invest in a set of dumbbells (cheap as about 2 months) and if your gym is one of those ones with the Enrollment Fees and all that crap…then you are actually saving even right away.

Anything you can do at a gym, you can do just as well (if not better) with dumbbells and a little bit of aerobic exercise.  And you don’t need a treadmill…  you see, in most places, they have these things called trails or sidewalks or parks or even open land that you can use to do something to get your heart rate up.  If it is cold outside, you can jog in place, run circles around your living room (I’ve actually done that), or any number of other activities.

My friend is married, and dedicated to her husband and family, so it isn’t like she needs the gym for a meat market.

Gyms are a scam.  Especially now.  I went to a gym for a while that I actually liked, and they taught me proper lifting technique (don’t throw the weight up, lift it, breathe, etc…), but that was pre-internet and pre-YouTube where you can learn all that for free.  Or just ask someone you know who lifts and they can help you.  But that gym, my membership?  $10 a month, pay as you go.  I was in the 8th grade, about to hit high school, and used the money from my paper route to pay the membership.  It was within walking distance of my house.  If you have a gym like that…well, I guess I wouldn’t be so anti-gym, but I’m pretty sure they don’t exist anymore.

Think about the Rocky movies.  Specifically the first one, and the one where he goes to Russia.  Think about the way he trained.  Do you think that is all fiction?  There was a time, when people were fit, before gyms.  How do you think that happened?

As people become more and more obese, more and more mega-gyms pop up.  And the people get their Starbucks in the morning, their McDeath’s at lunch, and then go home and try to find the energy to drive themselves to the gym to work off all the crap they shouldn’t have had.  And the gyms don’t care if people can’t find the motivation, they are making money either way.

From fad-diets to gyms, people are getting rich off the fact that modern society has forgotten how to live outside of their homes, offices and restaurants.  We have forgotten how to eat in balance.  Bad for you food has been around for ever, and I submit it is okay once in a while, just try to keep it as real as possible, and not all the time.  Balance.  From carb heavy diets, to no carb diets, to “paleo” diets that are not even close to what we really had to eat in paleo times (when people were lucky to reach their 30’s, by the way), to no fat, to no sugar…everything is out of balance, and they count on that to make money.

Driving to get exercise should be something that makes everyone laugh, but instead it is common practice.  Walk to your park, try to do a pull-up on the monkey bars (bring gloves or hand sanitizer), take a jog.  Go home, grab your dumbbells, spread your legs just beyond shoulder width, squat down until your butt touches a chair (but don’t sit).  Repeat a bunch.  Do some lunges.  Take your knees and raise them to your opposite-side elbows.  Do it between 10 and 15 times a side, and do that 3 times.  Then rest one day.  Then the next day, do arms and chest and triceps and shoulders.  Do push ups,  Use what is around you.

Don’t eat crap all of the time.  Cook more.  Fruits, veggies.  Lean meat.  Some carbs.  Treat yourself every once in a while too.  Be in balance.

No diet book, no gym membership, no surgery is going to help you balance your life.  No monthly fee will change your willpower.  Everything you need to know is available online for free, and the equipment is cheap or can even be free is you’re innovative enough.

I’m not saying it is easy.  I am sitting here typing this post waiting for my stomach to settle instead of just getting on with my own exercise.  I have a soda beside me, and have already had my own white mocha.  I need to balance my own life a bit better, cut down on (but not eliminate) the sugar and get off of my computer more often.  But if I can make progress, and I am…so can most people and we sure as hell do not need to pay a shady industry to do it.

photo credit mensfitness.com  check out their dumbbell routines, they are awesome  

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

13 thoughts on “Gyms! Huh! Yeah! Good God, Y’all? What Are They Good For?”

  1. I’ve been starting and stopping gym memberships my whole life until I had a trainer who didn’t believe in gyms. She taught me plyometrics and I will never get on a treadmill again! Great post!

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  2. Boom! Dynamite! I wouldn’t mind paying $10 for a membership, but my brother has had to pay like $80 with renewals and “deals” for a “fancy” gym. I don’t mind working out at home, but I don’t mind using the gym/fitness center if it’s free or at my job!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent. Finally someone is talking sense. I quit the gym membership when I counted the dollars spent on membership and gas to get there. I don’t exercise enough, but there is a road where I can walk and it is at the end of my driveway. I just need to keep doing it.

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  4. I started with my gym 9 years ago while I was working and got the corporate discount. I messed up my hamstring and knee and could not run anymore and could not walk outside for fear of twisting ankle/knee/ham. I actually recuperated by using a treadmill. I have had home gym equipment in the past and I was not motivated although I did my best. I am very happy at my gym and it offers a variety of classes.

    Perhaps gyms aren’t for everyone, but without it I could not have recuperated and restrengthened my legs. I also have made friends there and use a variety of options like TRX and other training aids. Plus I make sure I get my money’s worth by going at least 4 days a week. However I cycled for an hour today on my real bike. I think this is a great post, but everyone needs to evaluate their needs and decide what works best.

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  5. I’m not a gym person.
    I will say, a lot of mommies use the gym because they need to leave the house to get away from all the needy people. Maybe daddies do, too, and they don’t talk to me about it?
    Great advice and commentary on society.
    I like the outdoors most of the year and I eat well — it’s those damn sugary drinks that get me 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love my gym! Although, I am slowly building up my stash of equipment at home, I enjoy getting out of the house every day and hanging out with my friends. In my case my membership is WAAAAAAAAAAAAY less than the cost of all the equipment I need, and I don’t really have any room at our house to store all of it. I am a super social person though, and working out is one of my only social hobbies so… Staying at home doesn’t really have the same effect.

    I will agree 98% of the time most mega gyms are a racket, only trying to get money in their pockets and not people in the doors toward better health.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s really the only reason I go so faithfully, if I ever lost that social aspect I would totally return to my previous hermit status and workout in my back yard. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I love this post — because I HATE the gym. I wasted a small fortune by donating my money to the gym for years and hardly ever went. Now that I live in Hong Kong I go hiking most days and that does me for cardio. I should probably invest in some weights to do some lifts at home, or maybe start with using my own body weight (push ups, squats etc). That I’m not so good at getting motivated to do.

    You’re so right though, the important thing is to have a balanced healthy life, and running on a treadmill like a hamster in its wheel once every other week isn’t going to achieve that!

    Liked by 1 person

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