Maybe I Should Warm Up Before Jumping Back Into This Blogging Business

Seeing as how I hurt myself at the gym yesterday, I am super pumped that today is Friday.

Get it? That's Beyonce, getting pumped? Get it?
Get it? That’s Beyonce, getting pumped? Get it?

I was at the hideously misnamed Club Strength. Our also hideously misnamed instructor, Meaghan* had set up various torture stations around the perimeter of the class workout room. We were to go around the room in groups of two and do whatever “exercise” was assigned at each torture station for 1.30 minutes and then move on to the next one.

(*I say misnamed because  all the Meaghans or Megans or Schmegans or whatevers I know have been really pleasant and this one was a group class instructor; ie: Meaghan McMeanies)

Here’s the main issue: I don’t want to work out with a buddy. Sure, Meaghan assured us that we weren’t competing with each other, we were “just suffering through this together,” but still. I don’t want to work out with another solitary person doing the same thing next to me. I don’t like to grunt and struggle next to another person. That’s why I don’t invite XFE to sit on the edge of the tub while I take a crap. “It’s ok. We’re not competing here or anything, we’re just suffering through this together.”

Also, that’s why I’m in a class, see? Trying to blend in inconspicuously in the back of a room filled with a bunch of other people. I do not want any one-on-one attention while I’m sweating and grunting and generally failing at basic body skills such as lifting something and then putting it down, or raising my head off the floor and then putting it down.

But no. Meaghan had her plan. It was going to be fun. We were “mixing it up.”

The real reason they're extinct. They couldn't get through Club Strength.
The real reason they’re extinct. They couldn’t get through Club Strength.

To make matters worse, but only marginally, I was paired with an octogenarian who wanted to regale me with tales of missing vertebra. I assured her I didn’t care how many reps she could do and was only focusing on my own pain, and then we got to our lopsided workout. Oh, and when I say lopsided, I mean my old work out buddy basically kicked my ass and was able to complete more reps than me on all but one torture station (a sit up station. Guess you need vertebra for those. Suck it, octogenarian.)

We were two stations away from completing our second rotation of torture when I injured myself. It was an alternating-elbow-plank-with-side-shoulder-rotations move. I was huffing along, sucking in my gut (also known as “engaging your core”) when I over rotated while alternating elbows and fell full on my left shoulder. I thought I heard a pop.

The move. Pardon the selfie, I just couldn't find a good image to use.
The move. Pardon the selfie, I just couldn’t find a good image to use.

I crawled to a corner and gathered up my pride so I could complete the last two torture stations (with modified moves, of course). I think my octogenarian workout buddy was secretly relieved.

The whole episode was painful and very embarrassing and really makes me want to swear off all group classes forever. I didn’t dislocate my shoulder or anything like that, but it’s still pretty tender a day later. I think my career as a professional plank artist is over. Apparently, my wimpy useless pasta arms are incapable of holding up my body weight for approximately 1.30 minutes. Awesome.

So in the spirit of failing at fitness, I bring you this video, which I stole from this funny girl. It made me laugh and feel slightly better.

Bradley Cooper, Let Me Introduce You to Body Pump

Hey, you know that whole “exercise is good for you, it will help you live longer, improve your stamina, put you in a good mood” stuff? Yeah, I don’t get that either.

In fact, the main reason I go to the gym is to accompany my gym-buddy-for-life XFE to his beloved Body Pump class. You see, there are a lot of really, really hot girls/women/ladies in that class. Like, a lot of them. I was quite surprised when I first started going. I had been stretching my way through yoga class with all the old people. I had no idea.

And all the females in this Body Pump class are all really, really fit. They look like they spend a considerable amount of time working on their physiques, which they like to show off in these butt-sculpting yoga pants. These yoga pants also get quite a workout since these ladies are repeatedly bend over and lift things while grunting provocatively the entire hour of class.

rhoa-phaedra-donkey-booty-520x346

Oddly enough, there are not very many men in these Body Pump classes — usually only one or two others besides XFE. So basically, the ratio is about 7 girls for every guy. I do not like these odds. At. All.

Needless to say, I go to the gym to hang and slobber all over XFE and let the ladies know that this fine specimen is taken. He is not available to help you “work on your form,” or anything else for that matter. I don’t trust any of these little gym hood rats to keep their grubby paws off my man.

that's right

However, I never for a minute considered that there might be another, even better reason to go to the gym: Bradley Cooper.

Apparently, he went to a spin class in New York earlier this week and this made the papers. OK, well, it made the New York Post.

And then he took his shirt off. Le sigh.

“Silver Linings Playbook” star Bradley Cooper got ladies spinning out of control at the SoulCycle studio in TriBeCa yesterday morning. Cooper showed up at the 7:30 class for an early workout. “He was trying to be incognito and wore a long-sleeved shirt for most of the ride,” an onlooker tells us. However, Cooper ripped off his shirt near the end of class, causing a ruckus among the mostly female riders. “Girls were literally falling off their bikes,” said our source.

Whelp, that is indeed a silver lining to going to the gym.  Ladies of TriBeCa, you might want to do your hair and start wearing makeup to spin class. Ladies of Old Town Sport & Health, you might want to consider moving to TriBeCa. I’ll even help you pack your yoga pants.

What a scamp!
He’s no XFE, but what an adorable little scamp. 

It’s Not a Fad If In Fact You Do Get Fit

My personal-trainer-for-eternity XFE is making me try new workout classes lately. He’s talked me into going to BodyPump a handful of times. Tonight, he’s got me doing some CXwork class, which sounds intimidating as all get out.

sauna suit
The happy couple. That’s a pretty accurate representation. Me, standing useless. XFE, trying to get his fitness on.

(Where on my body is my CX located anyway? Are we absolutely sure it needs work?)

We’re trying to get beach ready for Croatia and we know it’s going to take more than a couple of SlimFasts and a walk around the block at lunchtime to get there.

cow bikini

The whole class thing gives me so, so much anxiety. It’s paralyzing enough to go to the gym and get on a treadmill. It basically requires me to have my ipod blaring at full blast and a pair of blinders so I don’t look around and fall off my treadmill.

But classes take that drama up another notch. Whenever I walk into a class and start gathering the puzzling myriad of equipment necessary for a BodyPump session, I look around at my fellow classmates and size them up. “Well, she’s pregnant, so pretty sure she won’t make it through the class. That lady over there is at least 114 years old, so she’ll probably fall over at the halfway point. That mini-lady over there is about 80 pounds, so I’m sure I’ll be able to lift more than her. That girl in the front just looks all loose and disjointed. I’m not sure what’s going on with her.”

(By the way, why does BodyPump have to be one word? Is that meant to convey some sort of intensity?  Same with CrossFit? Why? Why not two words? You could even have some sort of lightning bolt logo or something between the two words, if space is an issue).

Of course, I’m invariably wrong about all my classmates. While I “BodyPump” my measly 5 pound weights and fall into a sweaty heap whenever there’s an opportunity for floor work, our pregnant protagonist is opting for all the more challenging move options; our geriatric heroine is crunching her well-worn heart out; and Thumbelina is adding another 20 pounds to her already bowing weight bar.

So here are some exercises and fads that I think are better options for someone with my athletic abilities.

Stretching. Stretching is nice. No weights. No steps. No gravity working against you.

stretch

If I can’t just lay down and stretch, at least I can balance on my knees. And if it’s good enough for NeNe, it’s good enough for me. Plus, the footwear is much more attractive.

leakes workout

These Trim-Jeans actually work in two ways  – they’re supposed to help you burn calories through metabolic heat or something or other (“a sauna for your belly” according to the promotional materials.) OR, if you don’t lose the weight, you can just wear these to cover your pudge. BONUS: you’d probably float in water! Although, maybe floating butt-up isn’t how you want to spend your vacation.

trimjeans

I do enjoy a good sit down and this thing seems like a good way to tone up.

vita master

If I absolutely must stand to get more toned, then maybe I can use this thing called a Hyper Bike. They’re saying it goes 5o mph and has the backing of NASA — an agency replete with really buff athletes. On the upside, since this one has big wheels, your workout probably take half the time, no? It seems to have worked for this lady.

hyperbike

Or, one could go the human hamster wheel path. Even hipsters seem to like it.

human hamster wheel

This one is my absolute favorite though. This Fit Wet combines a stationary bike with a hot tub. And it looks like she’s doing all of this in an evening gown whilst drinking a beer. Yep, we have a winner.

FitWet