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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter, Issue #173 Deciding where to workout can be confusing.
November 01, 2015

November 1, 2015

In this newsletter . . .

Imagine if you will that you’ve just walked into a commercial gym for the first time. You’re over 50, paunchy, out-of-shape, and someone, maybe your spouse or doctor, has noted your downward slide. Joining a gym is where getting back in shape begins, you’ve been told. But you feel uncomfortable in the surroundings. Overwhelmed maybe.

Maybe I should workout at home, you think to yourself. Commercial gyms or health clubs are not for everyone. But if you’ve never trained before, or never really had proper instruction, you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. If the gym you just walked into resembles a jungle of weights, machines and apparatuses, you may need a guide. They’re called personal trainers.

I wrote about the pluses and minuses of commercial gyms vs. home gyms in my beginner’s training book, Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women (the book is temporarily unavailable). One setting may be right for some and yet terrible for others. Knowing yourself is the main thing; but even then, finding just the right fit might take a little experimenting. With some of us, training is training. We’ll workout almost anywhere. We’re the fitness buffs, the health nuts. But that’s not the norm. Most people don’t share our obsession.

Know thyself.

My wife and I worked out and led classes in a commercial health club for years. We also have a few pieces of equipment at home and for a time we worked-out there, doing a combination of weights, resistance bands and bodyweight exercises. Then we switched back to a commercial gym again, and that’s where we workout today.

At some point, we may again workout more at home. Who knows? Ideally, I think home gyms are a great way to go — if you have training knowledge and the self-discipline to train regularly on your own. However, that’s a big if. The cliché of a treadmill stored in the garage with damp clothes hanging from it to dry can be all too real.

If you do have the self-discipline to workout regularly at home, the hours saved by not having to drive to and from a health club are good reasons to get busy creating your own workout space. Ours right now is pretty spartan – but effective. Take a look. We still use it on days we can’t or don’t want to go to the gym.

So home gyms can be as simple or extensive as you want to make them. Look at George Boedecker’s home gym, for example. Pretty nice, isn’t it? And very complete. Still, nothing more than a set of dumbbells or kettlebells, plus bodyweight exercises, can be highly effective. Add resistance bands and you’ve made your gym portable. Multi-purpose machines are worth considering, too, if your budget allows it.

There is place on the Senior Exercise Central web site where trainees can create their own personal story page and even include a picture of their workout equipment. Other fitness buffs, bodybuilders, lifters and trainers are always interested in seeing where others train and the kind of equipment they use. If you’ve got a home gym, why not share the history of your training space and how you decided on your equipment? It could be a couple of kettlebells in the corner of a room, or a big space filled with everything from free weights to fitness machines.

There is an easy-to-use form to walk you through your contribution. I promise that plenty of people will be interested. Check it out.

And if you’re a total beginner, here’s the most important thing: just start. Take that first step, at home or at a gym. Trust yourself. You’ll find your way.

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Newsletter Policy

The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.

I have never been paid or received compensation of any kind to write a positive review or endorse a product. If I say that I personally use a product or service, it is because I find value in it and have paid for it with my own money.

Like newspapers, magazines and television, this newsletter and my web site contain advertising and marketing links. Naturally, I am compensated for these.

The newsletter and web site provide information to help users establish and maintain a fitness lifestyle. But fitness information is not the same as fitness advice, which is the application of exercise and dietary practices to an individual's specific circumstances. Therefore, always consult with your physician for assurance that fitness information, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate for you.

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. Simply click on the "Reply" bottom.


Logan Franklin
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter

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