Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I'll probably pay for this tomorrow

For today's workout I decided to switch things up a bit. I decided it was high time to get back into weight lifting and add that element to the equation of my already stressed exercise regimen. Weight lifting was, after all, my passion even before I made the move to Minnesota. It was a great escape from the day-to-day insanity of graduate school and provided the extra boost I needed to make it through. when I moved to the Twin Cities area I quickly found Life Time Fitness and joined up without hesitation.

For about 4 years and one girlfriend I remained a loyal member of LTF. Even after moving from the northwest burbs to the southwest burbs and having to change my location to a club almost 13 miles away, I still found the time and resources to go.

But, like all romances, the honey moon period has to end sometime and as it turns out it would be LTF that would ultimately put the steak in my heart. True to form for any woman I've previously dated, I was the one being left to pick up the pieces of a failed romance. Life Time finally became more expensive than my pocket book would reasonably allow me to fund and so I had to quit the club. So... I guess you could say it was I who did the leaving. But she started it. ;-)

I've tried a few other fitness clubs since then but none seemed to fit my needs. One was a small club that was open 24/7. We accessed it using a key card and it was typically unmanned. On the plus side, I could go any time I wanted. Plus, it was within walking distance from where I was living (read: no need to drive). I could always find a time where it was just me. That was nice.

On the down side, there was no pool for me to practice swimming. Nor was there a decent stationary bike for winter training. Also, because it was such a small club, there were no classes. For all there is to dislike about Life Time Fitness, their classes were AMAZING and for the longest time were the justification for me keeping my membership.

I also tried a few other clubs but none really met my needs. I need classes, cycle classes, yoga, ab classes, a lap pool, and a wide selection of weight lifting equipment.

Other than Life Time and their amazingly outrageous cost I was stuck. So for about a year now I've been training myself. I can definitely tell I'm much more soggy in the mid section than I used to be. This is not a good thing and absolutely has to change.

Just the other week, on Highway 7 & Hopkins Crossroad opened up a new fitness club: LA Fitness. I decided to pop in for a bit to check the club out. I think it took me all of 1 minute before I was hooked. They have state-of-the-art stationary cycles (much better than LTF), classes, lap pools, and all sorts of free weights and machines. Plus, they have personal trainers and a very nice set of amenities. And the final monthly cost? $35!

Hell yeah dawg! And that fee will never change. Provided I keep my membership current I will pay $35/month even up to my 180th birthday (assuming of course I'm not feeding worms at that time.)

So now I've got the winter months covered. But until then I'm actively working on integrating classes & strength training into my already insane running schedule.

I'm still researching how to make this all work. If any of you have any suggestions please drop a line. Here's all that needs to get accomplished in a week: swimming, biking, running, weight lifting. I'm training for a marathon and half Ironman so there cannot be compromises with the long runs and long bikes.

Can't wait to get this one figured out.

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