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Keep that New Year's resolution
January 14, 2012 6:40 AM   Subscribe

This is why you don't go to the gym.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (59 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Stop by you local gym today, and the ellipticals will be flush with flush new faces.

Proofreaders, no doubt.
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:44 AM on January 14, 2012 [13 favorites]


This is why I bought an elliptical trainer last year rather than purchasing a gym membership that I wouldn't use.

the elliptical trainer is quite dusty
posted by wabbittwax at 6:45 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is a really stupid article. They introduce the idea of hyperbolic discounting, then suggest:

Maybe the nudge we need is just ... money...So Gym Pact charges your credit card a penalty of at least $5 if you fall short of your work-out goal each week.

Most people's financial restraint is the same as their gym restraint; if the reward or the penalty is virtually negligible in the short term, they don't get motivated to act in a way that's rewarding long-term. So if you think the only thing that's stopping people from skipping a workout is a $5 penalty, I've got news for you: they'll get penalized once and stop using the service, rather than get to the gym as regularly as they like.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:49 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also:

Gyms make most of their money from two sorts of people: 1) Absentee members and 2) super-users who pay not only the monthly fee but also for the add-ons, like trainers and classes, all the way down to the whey smoothies.

This is right on. It's getting harder and harder to find a squat rack in a gym that's conveniently located. The weight-lifting sections have been reduced to Smith machines and 65lb or lower dumbells, in favor of larger class and cardio sections. That satisfies the population who are interested in the vague notion of being healthier or fitter, without actually having a particular physical achievement in mind. I now have two gym memberships (thankfully, I have a company that offsets one.)

1) The "executive" one in my work building, which I use on busy days for cardio or cross-training.
2) The one I use at night and on weekends where I squat, but is basically a warehouse in an industrial park, the only place you can afford the kind of square footage a proper gym needs.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 6:56 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


These people need to deadlift more
posted by tiburon at 6:58 AM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I used to belong to my local Y and went 2-3 times a week. I lived on the treadmills, running, and did light weights.
Then, one day, someone in management got the bright idea to add tv monitors to the front of every treadmill. I know a lot of people love this stuff but, for me, running with a flat panel a foot-and-a-half in front of my face was a lot like perpetually running straight into a wall. Adding to the annoyance was that you could not turn the tvs off. They switched on as soon as you stepped on the treadmill, with no control to switch it off.

So, I left the Y. And, since it's the only gym in town, I've not kept-up with my exercises. can't afford a treadmill for myself, and running on the street really messes with my back and knees. Oh well. Degenerating into old age, I guess.

And the Y was stupid-expensive. My budget is certainly happy to be rid of that cost.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:01 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


No. The reason I don't go to the gym is that I don't exert myself unless I'm being paid.
posted by jonmc at 7:02 AM on January 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


I don't go to the gym because I have an allergic reaction to dodgy sales tactics, and the two times I did sign up for a gym membership almost killed me.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:11 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if it would help if there was some specific goal. Going to the gym to "get healthier" or "fitter" isn't going to work, if you ask me. For me, it was, "I want to ride the MS150" (a 150 mile bike ride from Houston to Austin). It was something I quite clearly could NOT do at the time (well, maybe I could but it would not be fun), but something that I could prepare for in something like 6 months.

This year I started running and my goal was to be able to run 5k. A modest goal - I got there in something like 6 or 7 weeks.

Along the way of trying for these goals I found out that it's not so hard to excercise if you do it Really Super Regularly. For me, this means 5-6 days a week. And if you have a goal that can be accomplished in 2-6mo, and you stick to achieving that goal, I think you're well on the way to establishing a habit, a momentum that will carry you forward.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:19 AM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'd title it "This is (a small selection of reasons) why you don't go to the (Big-box) gym.

The situation is somewhat different at your local Y - programs change regularly, member needs are taken into account, equipment is moved out of circulation when usage drops, kids' spaces are updated from time to time. Combine that with a small army of local volunteers, programs that have a skill-building focus (self-employment training, Y Neighbours, Youth Now employment skills) and you have a place of community where you have more to look forward to than just the workout.

It's no coincidence that people are disappointed in the soulless corporatized version of what is essentially a social activity - self-improvement*. But if you go to places that aren't just designed to bring people through a revolving door, you might just find a few less reasons to skip the gym.


*Sure there are lone wolves who do it all on their own; I've tried to as well, but you need feedback along the way. The socializing is part of what eases that 'decision fatigue' - you meet people who can show and tell you what's worked for them, and voila, you get starting points for what you can try next.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2012


From the article: Everything You Know About Fitness is a Lie
posted by T.D. Strange at 7:21 AM on January 14, 2012 [8 favorites]


And there was me thinking it was because I don't like the combination of lycra, mirrors, crap music and the smell of sweat.
posted by iotic at 7:25 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lotta people go to the gym. But to "exercise," rather than to exercise.

As was quoted, I believe, here recently, "pedaling a stationary bicycle while reading the New Yorker does not constitute exercise." . . . for the mind either, I'd add, but let's not get off topic.

No, what this constitutes is "exercise," the motions most people at the gym go through to convince themselves that they're working out. These also involve 1) curls with five pound dumbbells, the smallest in the rack, 2) leg lifts with the pin set at "10 pounds," and 3) repeatedly curling, pressing, or squatting with a bar with no plates attached to it whatsoever.

These are clean, effort-free exercises that generate no sweat, keeping the air in the gym minty fresh, so I'm a happy camper. But it's sad to see the same people doing the same routines over and over, without an ounce of weight lost from their midsections, despite years of gym attendance and thousands in fees.
posted by Gordion Knott at 7:25 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I totally agree that the social aspect of exercise is HUGE. I don't really lift weights any more but I improved more and worked harder when I went with a friend. It sometimes helps to have someone say "You *can* do one more set".

But also it's less boring. Long distance cycling takes FOREVER (even at a brisk 20 mph, 100 miles takes 5 hours), having someone to talk to makes it much more bearable. I've been running mostly on my own and not really loving that. I did start to run somewhere that has a lot of people (running, walking, some biking) and that's better.

I think I could probably improve more with some kind of drill sergeant, but I don't like that kind of thing much.
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:26 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Drop your gym membership. Trade in your riding lawnmower for a push mower. Trade in your snow blower for a shovel. Rake your own leaves - with a rake. Do physical chores for your elderly neighbors. Walk or bike to work or the store. Chase your kids or dogs around. Stay healthy, save money, get something accomplished, all at the same time. And oh, yeah, throw out your TV - or put it where you can only watch it while standing up.
posted by tommyD at 7:30 AM on January 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Drop your gym membership. Trade in your riding lawnmower for a push mower. Trade in your snow blower for a shovel. Rake your own leaves - with a rake. Do physical chores for your elderly neighbors. Walk or bike to work or the store. Chase your kids or dogs around.


yea sure, we all live in suburbia.
posted by ts;dr at 7:36 AM on January 14, 2012 [12 favorites]


I don't go to the gym because I don't need to - I have a natural talent in projecting smug superiority.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:37 AM on January 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


yea sure, we all live in suburbia.

OK, drop your gym membership and do a bunch of pushups and situps in the comfort of your home while watching netflix and maybe even get a pullup bar, and also go for a run or bike ride once in a while.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:42 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh and eat good food and not too much.
posted by 3FLryan at 7:42 AM on January 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Drop your gym membership.

Why? I go to an awesome gym. Kind, helpful and large staff; reasonable price; numerous add on programs and no hard selling.

It's a gym located in a hospital. They don't seem to be in it for the money, but rather helping to keep its community and patients healthy, which keeps their costs lower and focus on more serious problems.

Like health insurance companies in the US, I suspect gyms for profit are a sucker's game. The main goal is transfer money from you to them, not to get you healthy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:10 AM on January 14, 2012


I'll say this about gyms, exercise etc.: if you're going to the gym to lose weight, you're doing it wrong. You need to look at your diet. You should be doing physical exercise because it's good for you. That can be done in many different ways, the gym is a method of convenience. I chose the gym because it's easy.
posted by ob at 8:13 AM on January 14, 2012


"yea sure, we all live in suburbia."

Even better, sell your rolling moneypit of a car and ride your bike around, if you don't need to go further than 20 miles every day you don't need a car.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:39 AM on January 14, 2012


This is precisely why I train in martial arts. It's not boring, the skills might come in handy and there's an external reward system. The "pick things up and put them down" thing just doesn't work for me.
posted by tommasz at 8:40 AM on January 14, 2012


The analogy to Why Congress Can"t Pass Deficit Reduction is wrong. Dems don't want serious cuts and GOP does not want tax increase.
posted by Postroad at 8:48 AM on January 14, 2012


I've been going to a gym for over a decade and I couldn't tell you why. I have lousy will power, but gym membership seems to be the only form of exercise I can actually keep doing.

Of course, twice a week isn't exactly too demanding but I'm sure it's good for postponing a heart attack by a few years.
posted by YAMWAK at 8:50 AM on January 14, 2012


Eat less. Move more.
posted by freakazoid at 9:07 AM on January 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't understand gyms at all or why anyone besides serious athletes would ever step foot in one. It seems like the most soul-sucking way to "exercise". I love that the response to the first "ride a bike!" comment is "but it's so dangerous!".

Yes, why go out into the big scary world and make a real lifestyle change when you can have a salesman pitch you the compartmentalized dream of chasing a TV on a treadmill?
posted by bradbane at 9:08 AM on January 14, 2012


Hey, I like my generic 24/7 gym. My reward? My skinny body has a few more muscles so I have no more back problems. My heart and lungs work better. I only go once or twice a week. It costs 99 bucks a year. The reason it's not "soul-sucking" for me, the psychological "reward" I get, is that the last half of my visit is spent reading on a bicycle and lounging in the sauna or hot tub or whatever they call it.

I admit, it has all the atmosphere of a Wal-Mart, but at least I don't have to stand in line.
posted by kozad at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2012


iotic: And there was me thinking it was because I don't like the combination of lycra, mirrors, crap music and the smell of sweat.

That pretty much describes the disco-non-stop night in my town…

…which is AMAZING.
posted by LMGM at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2012


When I lived in Chicago, I was in Uptown near the lake, and I would bike all the way downtown and back (about 10 miles both ways, I think). I *love* biking and the scenery along the lake was always lovely (except on weekends, when all the yuppies of Lincoln Park & Lakeview descend on the beaches). Alas, everywhere else in town I had to go by car.

Now that I'm in Berlin, I don't go for a morning bike ride, but I do bike everywhere for everything. The city is mostly flat and has dedicated bike lanes almost everywhere. Even though I haven't seen the inside of a gym since I got here, I've been steadily losing weight.

Admittedly, the 12+ hour dancing sessions in Panorama Bar on the weekend also help…
posted by LMGM at 9:47 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That article was written for people who don't go to the gym, while I, so poorly organized and disciplined otherwise, manage to go regularly. I also prefer links to Slate than to the Atlantic. Maybe there's some kind of correlation, or, better still, some kind of causation, though I wonder in which direction it goes.
posted by Obscure Reference at 9:48 AM on January 14, 2012


I used to go to the gym regularly. Two things that really helped:

a) A workout partner. She forced me to go (and I forced her to go), one of us was always "on," so that dragged the other person along out of shame. It also let us keep two machines "in play" for a set, which was nice. Plus, we could confirm improvements in strength and tone, helping us past the "this is doing nothing."

b) Getting over the initial resistance. The first three weeks of MWF mornings was hard. After that, I became kind of addicted to the routine, and generally felt better when I went versus weeks when I missed a day or two. So it was self-policing.

It also helped that the morning people were generally dedicated exercisers with a few people seriously training (but who were nice and friendly). I am told that the club was a crazy meat market in the evenings, with a totally different clientele. I think I wouldn't have lasted long in that environment.

That's all I've got.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:41 AM on January 14, 2012


RustyBrooks: I wonder if it would help if there was some specific goal.

Yes. When I was training for RAGBRAI, I ended up doing the equivalent of two full rides, I think (if I'd stuck to the official training schedule, I'd have done three)--more than I'd ridden in the previous several years combined, I'm sure. And I also rode a lot afterwards, because after the ride itself, twenty miles seemed an almost trivial distance.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:44 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Join fitocracy, treat the gym like an MMO works for me.

OK, drop your gym membership and do a bunch of pushups and situps in the comfort of your home while watching netflix and maybe even get a pullup bar, and also go for a run or bike ride once in a while.

My floors aren't reinforced, so I can't deadlift on them.

Even better, sell your rolling moneypit of a car and ride your bike around, if you don't need to go further than 20 miles every day you don't need a car.

If metafilter has taught me anything, it's that buying a bicycle turns you into an angry, smug twat. So, no thanks.
posted by rodgerd at 11:07 AM on January 14, 2012 [11 favorites]


The social aspect really is key, and to those who say It seems like the most soul-sucking way to "exercise", there are different kinds of gyms. I go to a climbing gym where part of the experience is necessarily interacting with a partner the whole time, and it's definitely a lot more interesting that pulling weights repetitively.

Plus the pricing structure really drives you toward membership (at mine, $65/month vs. $18/walk-up) and I think would discourage non-members from coming all that often, being such a relatively big investment.
posted by psoas at 11:30 AM on January 14, 2012


If metafilter has taught me anything, it's that buying a bicycle turns you into an angry, smug twat.

That's limited to just bicycle owners on metafilter?
posted by phearlez at 11:32 AM on January 14, 2012


"But let's assume you can't find somebody to pay you to work out (a likely assumption)."

Two of the gyms by me (including the fancy, powerbroker gym) have started a similar campaign, whereby if you workout 100 times in the next year(in one) or workout twice a week for 5 months (in the other), your initiation fee is refunded.

It's likely a good gamble for them, but if you are motivated by money, it just might help you get to the gym more often.
posted by madajb at 11:51 AM on January 14, 2012


I go to a gym 4x per week and get quite a lot out of it, and I attribute this to two things in order of importance: 1) Gym Location 2) Self Brainwashing. I will only go to a gym regularly if it is as convenient as humanly possible, and the easier it is to get to, the more I will go...period. As a contractor I bounce around to different companies a lot, and I bounce around to just as many gyms around town - all with the goal of keeping them as close to my work as possible. Right now I belong to a gym that is literally next door to my work. I have to pass by it when I bike home every night, so it is easy to just walk in. I literally try to work at places that are close to or next to gyms if at all possible - I prioritize this over career opportunities. This could be some sort of personal neurosis...but this is where point 2 comes into play.

In my mind I quite literally have to go to the gym...the same way I have to pay taxes or eat when I'm hungry. I wasn't always this way...but years of reading research on how our sedentary lifestyles are killing us has quite literally changed my life priorities. I've kind of scared myself straight, so to speak, and interestingly it has changed the whole tack of my life.

21st century lifestyle research got me anxious...the anxiety led to me learning about fitness...learning about fitness turned it into an interest or hobby...which turned into doing it...and doing it a lot turned it into a large part of my life...and now I'm at a point where I fantasize about quitting my industry and devoting my life to a fitness career...but who knows.

All that being said, I'd say 80 percent of it is having easy access to a nearby gym. Differences of tenths of miles will dictate my willingness to actually go.
posted by jnnla at 11:52 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


If metafilter has taught me anything, it's that buying a bicycle turns you into an angry, smug twat.

Unless someone steals their bike. Then they're just angry.
posted by madajb at 11:54 AM on January 14, 2012


My gym habit stays regular mostly thanks to the live-in girlfriend with whom I go and the fact that the YMCA is literally just around the block. Right next to, I think, a churro factory.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:00 PM on January 14, 2012


Admittedly, the 12+ hour dancing sessions in Panorama Bar on the weekend also help

I've got to say, spending the night dancing is not only a good aerobic workout but also about infinity times more fun than anything one might do at a gym. (Admittedly it has no strength-training component, at least for most kinds of dancing, but that's not important to me.)

OTOH, I don't really go dancing anymore or to the gym, but I know which of those I actually want to change.
posted by hattifattener at 12:28 PM on January 14, 2012


I go to the gym because they have CHILD CARE! which my kids absolutely adore and get sad if they don't get to go to. And then, while I'm there, I might as well work out. Deadlifting at home, where there's nobody to stop the kids from destroying the house if I don't run around after them and I could drop weights on the 1-year-old's head? Going out for a jog or a bike ride while the kids . . . do what, exactly? No thanks.
posted by KathrynT at 12:42 PM on January 14, 2012


Bally's dumped a its gym locations from about 2/3 of the markets they're in late last year. Local coverage example, Chicago in this case.

The operation was struggling for several years, the most recent visit to bankruptcy court wasn't the first. The anecdotal version told at the location I'd typically go to (St. Paul, MN) was that they signed up a bunch of people years ago under contracts where they'd pressure the customer into signing up for a contract where they'd get a special monthly rate by paying ahead for up to three years in advance. Expectation was that a lot of those customers would just drop away after a little while and Bally's would just pocket the extra money.

Problem was that a lot of those people didn't stop as expected, they kept on showing up for years afterwards, locked in at pricing levels up to 20 years old. It wasn't unusual to compare notes with some older dude and hear of monthly rates of $9 a month or even lower--some of those on contracts that Bally's would have taken over from their predecessor in the Twin Cities (which I think was US Swim and Fitness--that would have easily been a couple of decades ago).

Anyway, that's strictly anecdotal, there could have been many other factors involved.
posted by gimonca at 1:02 PM on January 14, 2012


If metafilter has taught me anything, it's that buying a bicycle turns you into an angry, smug twat.

At least you'd be saving the planet whilst keeping fit & healthy, instead of spewing noxious gases like a species-extincting megavolcano of doom.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:40 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even better, sell your rolling moneypit of a
car and ride your bike around, if you don' t
need to go further than 20 miles every day
you don' t need a car.


Sorry, while I love to bike, I live in North friggin' Dakota. This time of year, I'll take my Corolla and go to the gym for spin class, thank you very much.

I am typing this on my phone at the gym as I rest between sets. I did deadlifts, dammit, although at a weight that some here would sneer at. Maybe more people would be more active in or out of the gym if they didn't face judgment from seemingly everywhere.
posted by weathergal at 2:02 PM on January 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


If metafilter has taught me anything, it's that buying a bicycle turns you into an angry, smug twat.

What? Yesterday it was the cab that ran the stop sign and nearly ground me into a fine paste that turned me into an angry, smug twat. Riding the bike for a while longer made me feel pleasant and personable again, though. You're getting your causalities mixed up. I'd recommend an hour on the treadmill, that's where I do my best thinking.
posted by metaman livingblog at 2:45 PM on January 14, 2012


Or you could join the military. Heh.
Begin with DEP and maybe learn to run a mile and do a few sit-ups and push-ups without having to throw up.
Then comes bootcamp, which involves being yelled at for everything and being told to "get down and beat yourself." Of course, you don't -HAVE- to, but that's how everyone feels after a week or two. Prepare to work out for a possible 2 to 3 hours without breaks. Prepare to not know why you're being "punished" (though they'll never ever call it that), because it's likely due to something a silly, smug, apparently-hasn't-yet-realized-she's-in-motherfuckin'-BOOTCAMP dumb chick you don't know the name of yet. Or because your Chief didn't like the way you looked at his shoes. Practice throwing yourself on the floor, as if someone with a shotgun told you to "get down on the ground!", like this one girl did every time we were told to do leg lifts or anything else wherein we had to lie on the floor.

After you've gone through boot camp (congrats!), prepare to work out 3 times a week with your department. You're also expected to pass a physical fitness test twice a year. While some people do the bare minimum, there are goals you can set for yourself. For example, instead of the basic passing number of sit-ups (which I think is about 70?) in the allotted 2 minutes, I do 105, which helps raise my score for my lower push-ups and run time.

I'm in the Navy and apparently our test, and weekly PTs, are REALLY rather mild.

Add the fact that I'd like to wear a bikini for the first time this summer, and voila, the gym becomes an obligation and a gateway to several goals.
posted by DisreputableDog at 3:17 PM on January 14, 2012


I'm one of the minority who uses the hell out of my gym membership (along with cycling, running, and swimming outside of they gym). I've been doing this for a long time. Many friends and co-workers have asked me for advice on getting started over the years and I've had a chance to watch their progress. My anecdotal belief is that everyone falls into two categories: people who really enjoy athletics and whatever the gym has to offer, and people who want the benefits of regular exercise, but view going to the gym in the same category as brushing their teeth or going grocery shopping: the best they can do is make the experience not entirely unpleasant. Sure, there are all kinds of tricks you can use to try to "make yourself" go to the gym, as discussed in the article and by many of the commenters up thread, but once you are at the gym, there is no getting around the fact that you are going to have to do something that may be physically uncomfortable and/or boring to you for 20 or 30 or 60 minutes. I think that if you really just don't like being in the gym, those tricks are only going to take you so far, maybe a couple of months or a year.

In my sample, there are a few people who discovered a latent streak of athleticism and ended up going from visiting the gym a few times a week as a New Year's resolution to running marathons or triathlons or some other athletic pursuit. But most ended up doing exactly what was described in the FPP: sticking with it for a few months, losing some weight and getting some modest increases in fitness, and then falling out. I agree with the commenters that suggested a better path to fitness is working on your diet first, and making simple lifestyle changes like walking or biking where and when you can, taking the stairs in instead of the elevator, or fun hobbies like dancing or martial arts where fitness is a side effect. When people ask my advice now and start out with something like, "what gym should I join?" I'm usually steering them away from joining a gym for all the reasons listed in the article.
posted by kovacs at 3:25 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a membership at the Y and I go regularly. Not because it keeps the fat off, because it doesn't (not for me, anyway), but because a) exercise chases away depression/anxiety, even if it's just for a few hours and b) as I get older, I would like to preserve my strength if I can. Weight training is a solo sport and I'm just fine with that; group classes for someone like me are a multi-leveled joke. You should see me in Zumba.

My Y got rid of some floor-style equipment recently in favor of yet more treadmills. Not a good trend, says I, but they still have a pretty good array of free weights, although their squat rack is shoved in the corner.
posted by Currer Belfry at 3:32 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I go to the gym because I get to take a shower afterward-with way better and more expensive shampoo/conditioner/bodywash than I would ever buy at home.
posted by atomicstone at 3:46 PM on January 14, 2012


At least you'd be saving the planet whilst keeping fit & healthy, instead of spewing noxious gases like a species-extincting megavolcano of doom.

I'm not sure how buying an expensive hunk of carbon-cost rich aluminium or carbon fibre and a bunch of Tour de Fuckwit gear would lower my carbon footprint over walking and running, but don't let that stop you getting your rage on.

Yesterday it was the cab that ran the stop sign and nearly ground me into a fine paste that turned me into an angry, smug twat.

Funny. The angry twats I notice most were the guy in his pretend racer gear who ran onto me on a footpath on his bike, and hipster bitch who raced through a red light and into a bunch of pedestrians (including me). Never been hit by a car on foot. Have been hit by cyclists twice in two months. And then they clog up web sites raging about poor people (who steal their bike) and how they should be brutally murdered, and how pedestrians and drivers all alike are out to get 'em.

Cycling does bad things to the mind.
posted by rodgerd at 8:04 PM on January 14, 2012


Cycling does bad things to the mind.

I really can't fathom what it is that makes people make statements like this. Are some cyclists assholes? Of course, there are assholes in every group of people. But the idea that cycling is inherently some kind of corrupting influence is unsupported by pretty much anything aside from your anecdotes.

And speaking of angry... you're not exactly coming off as calm and happy here...

Regarding the "carbon footprint" of a bike - there is a very wide selection of used bikes. I don't know anything about the lifetime of carbon fiber bikes, but aluminum, steel and titanium bikes last a Very Long Time and you can get many many miles out of them. But I don't bike because I want to reduce my carbon footprint - I bike to work or other places rarely. But I'm just sayin, you can get a pretty nice bike without having to buy a brand new carbon fiber bike.
posted by RustyBrooks at 10:06 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cycling does bad things to the mind.

Says the guy who totally missed the fact that if my tongue was further implanted in my cheek, it would've been in China. "Species-extincting megavolcano of doom"?!?? Time to recalibrate, there.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:34 PM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fitocracy has helped keep me motivated since I joined last fall. I spend about 6 hours a week at my community center gym. Not a huge amount of free weights, but more than I can lift. Plus, they added rowing machines, which I love. I've stopped using the treadmill for the most part, mostly I'm doing weights. I haven't lost a ton of weight, but I've lost about 4" and two sizes, so I count it as a win. For me, what works is going at dark-thirty in the am, after I drop off Boy at school. It's too early for me to have formulated a reason not to go. I wake up about two sets in. Heh. I do wish there was someone there who could help me learn barbell form, so I could start adding squats w/o blowing out my knees again, bit other than that, I feel much better since I added the gym to my routine.

As for biking, I live in the country. Two lane roads, no shoulder, 55mph, blind curves, potholes of doom, ancient patched asphalt, tractors, trucks, and newly transplanted city folks who don't know how to drive around here. I would no more try to ride a bike on those roads than I would try to out smoke Hunter S. Thompson.
posted by dejah420 at 10:51 PM on January 14, 2012


[Can we back away from the umpteenth cycling+namecalling angry repetitive repetition repeating thing thing derail derail?]
posted by taz at 11:09 PM on January 14, 2012


I quit my gym because they kept removing my favourite classes from the schedule to make room for more fucking Zumba. And yeah, I bought a bike instead.
posted by embrangled at 2:07 AM on January 15, 2012


I swim at a community pool/gym/leisure centre, and they've stuffed the place with classes for the new year. The pool has always been busy and it's much the same, except with chunks taken for classes or bigger aqua aerobics groups, but twice this month I've stood around in a swimsuit for ten minutes just waiting for a locker to free up.

It sucks. Not just because it's false hope that'll cost people money while making them feel bad all year, but also 'cos I'm trying to build up strength after fracturing my shoulder (on a kerb!) and it looks like I'm going to have to learn to go in the mornings if I want to keep on schedule.
posted by carbide at 3:53 AM on January 15, 2012


I quit my gym because they kept removing my favourite classes from the schedule to make room for more fucking Zumba.
Aaargh. Why do they do this? I'm seriously considering quitting my gym, because they've replaced all the Pilates classes with fucking Zumba. They now have three Pilates classes a week: noon on Tuesday, 5:30 on Wednesday and 5:30 on Thursday. So basically, if you work during the day, the only way to get two Pilates classes a week is to go on consecutive days. Meanwhile, they have four or five fucking Zumba classes every single day. I suspect that it's just easier to find Zumba teachers than Pilates teachers, but it is pissing me right off.
posted by craichead at 7:17 AM on January 15, 2012


I quit my gym because they kept removing my favourite classes from the schedule to make room for more fucking Zumba.

It's a Zumba thing....you wouldn't understand.
posted by bearette at 11:47 PM on January 16, 2012


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