Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lookin' Good!

Like many of you, I have decided to head back to the gym this year. Unlike many of you, I have a lot of extra time and no excuses for not going. Each January we are inundated with all the helpful tips in magazines, on TV, and on the web about how to jump start your work-out by joining a health club that fits your schedule, personality, sign, etc.  One thing all these articles overlook is an honest account of what it is really like inside a health club (or at least my health club). You see, once you leave the outside world and enter into a health club you are suddenly smacked in the face with a whole new set of social norms and mores that you may be ill prepared to cope with. I'm here to help you navigate this new world.

Headbands are Required: If you are man over the age of 60 you must wear a headband. The headband seems to have no purpose in keeping sweat off the face (as I've observed little sweat among this age group) or for keeping hair out of the eyes (also, minimal observations of actual hair with this age group). These headbands seem to be purely for aesthetics. Headband options are the old school headband (John McEnroe) or Bandanna (Karate Kid) and yes, sadly a visor worn backwards does count as a headband.

Motivate Yourself: Don't wait for anyone to do this. You look yourself in the full length mirror and say things like, "Today I'm kicking my own ass" or "I'm huge" or just a primal scream and/or growl would do. You know you better than anyone else...do what works.

Say Whatever You Want, At Whatever Volume Level: You know that little voice in your head that says things like, "Is what I'm saying appropriate?", "Is my voice too loud?", "Am I being a douche?"....there is a censor in the door jam of all Health Clubs that deactivates that voice and allows you talk about  things like getting your back lasered (at length), how pomegranate juice flushed out your system, and what you think of that lady on the treadmill. Answer your phones loudly. Swear as much as you want. Its OK, you are in the gym.

Acknowledge How Good You Look: Working out is hard work and its exciting when you see results. If you were outside the gym you might try to catch your reflection in a window or steal a glance at yourself in a mirror. You're at a gym filled with mirrors now, so look long and hard at those abs as you lift up your shirt and pose. Go ahead, glance back at yourself (your butt)  as you walk to another machine, your mesmerising! Try not keep your eyes off yourself for more than a minute..chances are you are about to do something sexy!

You Have the Right to Use Any Piece of Equipment Immediately: In the real world you would never go up to someone using an ATM and stand 6 inches away from them and inquire, "How much longer" and then ask if you can "work in" between their transactions. At the health club, this is perfectly acceptable from the leg press machine to the 5lb dumbbells to the drinking fountain.

Putting Weights Away is For Sissies: This literally is true. The only weights that are ever where they should be are 15lbs and lighter. My guess is, if all the weights were stored right in front of the mirrors all weights would be put away. Because lets face it, you look awesome walking with that 45lb plate (see "Acknowledge How Good You Look").

Rest Whenever and Where Ever You Want: Working out is exhausting and it is important to get plenty of rest. Feel free to lay down in the middle of the floor, kick back on the staircase, or my favorite, lay down for a quick cat nap on what ever bench I was about to use.

I hope this helps. I love the health club....I hope you do to!


  1. 60 year old men with backward visors checking out their asses in the mirror and standing 6 inches behind me? I'm gonna stick to long naps and taco bell.

  2. It's a scene up here in Tarzana!

  3. I need to see some photos. I miss L.A.