Saturday, June 2, 2012

7 Reasons Why I Hate My Gym and Gyms in General With a Passion

Yesterday, it was raining profusely the entire day and I wasn't able to go swimming and since I was at university I didn't have access to DDR, so I was forced to go to my stupid university gym.  This will be a Cracked-style post.

I fucking hate my university gym and here's why...

1. Loud music

The music in the gym is way too loud.  Ridiculously loud.  Dance club loud.  That volume is appropriate for a rave or a rock concert, but in my opinion it has no place in a gym.  

Why not just make the gym look like this, why don't you?

If you want to listen to something that isn't Katy Perry or Skrillex via your iPod you have to crank the volume up to max and even then you can still hear booms of sound.  What do you do after that?  Hold the headphones in tightly while screaming along with your music?  No, that is too undignified for my taste.  

And just who is benefiting from this music other than the few staff members and the sad suckers who forgot their headphones?  Most people at the gym bring their MP3s with them to listen to while they work out.  

Anyway, they should at least turn it down so my ears aren't ringing by the end of my workout.

2. Boring, uninspiring surroundings

I love walking outdoors.  It is probably my favourite form of exercise and that is because the scenery is constantly changing as I walk and there are so many interesting things to take in.  I usually see something new every day.  No beautiful scenery can be found at the gym, unless you are talking about human scenery.  Then there's some. ;)  But on the whole, the gym is an off-white, industrial, modern and horribly boring space.  When I'm on a walk I am often too absorbed in my music and the view to pay attention to the fact that I am actually exercising, while at the gym it's all I can think about and I find myself obsessively counting the minutes until I am finally finished.  This makes the gym an unpleasant experience for me.  

I propose an invention that will improve this flaw, although it may have already been invented...

Virtual reality glasses that project beautiful scenery surrounding you as you use the treadmill.  It could also have a function that finds scenery that suits the music you are listening to.  Like the streets of Liverpool for the Beatles, an abandoned slaughterhouse full of kidnapped prostitutes for Marilyn Manson, a beautiful beach resort for Owl City, lush Canadian scenery for The Tragically Hip, the cobbled streets of Paris for Yann Tierson's Amelie soundtrack, etc.  I could go on forever. 

Now that's more like it.  I'm much more motivated to run.

In the corner they would have a video of you on the treadmill so that you are aware of where you are spatially.  There could also be some safety features on the equipment to ensure people do not fall off.  With this invention people could travel to places they might never reach in their lives.  Working out becomes travel.  It would be awesome.  

Some skeptics would say that one could just use their own imagination in order to do this, but seriously, are any of us smart enough to do that anymore???

Anyway, that would make the gym experience much more worthwhile and actually worth all the money people pay for a stupid gym membership.  

3. The TVs don't work

Most good gyms have several televisions hanging from the ceiling and if you want, you can plug your headphones into the TV audio and watch a show while you work out, which is great.  We have lots of TVs at our gym too, but our audio device is broken.  Has been for the four years I've been at the university and even though there have been renovations all over campus, nothing has been done about this problem.  So the TVs at our gym just dangle from the ceiling playing shows I will never be able to hear while pedalling an exercise bike.  They don't even turn the TVs off the save power.  I guess they do that because students are always touring the university so they want to give the impression that they don't have a shitty ghetto gym.  Yay lying and wasting energy!

He would make an excellent university president.  Much more transparency.

4. 30-min cardio limit

Apparently you can't go over 30 minutes on the cardio equipment.  Which sucks because I am aiming for an hour of cardio each day.  I understand that there are a lot of people that use the gym, but honestly that rule is bullshit.  Next time I'm going to do an hour and see if anyone does anything.  

5. Stupid jocks who lift weights in a douchey fashion

Every single gym except women's gyms are teeming with these creatures.  They lift the weights way too fast and lift more weight than they can handle in order to look impressive to their male friends.  They like to grunt and parade themselves around while resting from their "pumping iron."  I don't usually lift weights at the gym so I don't have to hear their stupid chatter, but they are pretty damn annoying.

6. Seeing professors working out

It's just kind of awkward.  This year pretty much every time I went to the gym I saw my Theory Professor working out at the gym and it was always too late for me to leave when I realized he was there.  That happened last year as well.  I think that guy is some kind of gym rat.  I just find that experience weird and annoying.  I don't like seeing my professors sweating and panting profusely unless they're the hot ones.  And that is never the case at my stupid gym.  I have never seen a hot professor there.  Alas.

At least Farnsworth doesn't use my gym.

7. The Stupidity of the Concept

The fact that people are stupid enough to pay through the nose for what they could accomplish just as easily with long walks and weights at home is mystifying.  I've never had a membership outside of my university gym (included with tuition) other than one-week trials and using the free guest pass.  Gyms just seem like a waste of money.  Unless the gym has a bunch of cool features like a hot tub, a sauna, swimming treadmills, a dance party room, DDR machines, etc then I don't think a membership is worth my money.

Oh yeah, that's right.  Tell me I'm perfect.  Give me an A.  This should be my professor.

And those are my seven reasons.  In conclusion, my gym and most gyms suck.

South Park/Billy Talent/Losing Weight

My tastes change so quickly, I'm so fleeting in my affection haha.

South Park:

I've suddenly become obsessed with South Park.  Before a week or so ago, I'd only seen a couple episodes of this and found it okay but not amazing with some funny moments.  But watching more of their episodes, I have discovered that not only is this show much better than Family Guy, but Matt Stone and Trey Parker are masters of irony.  Every episode generally adheres to a general formula:

1. Problem arises, usually due to the ignorance of the townsfolk or the children because their parents and teachers don't teach them anything.
2. Chef encounter with the same dialogue each time and often Chef sings a song about sex.
2. Episode revolves around an important political issue, social trend or celebrity.  Usually something very current and relevant.
3. Cartman acts like a greedy, racist douche.
4. Usually a Terence and Philip episode excerpt which is hilarious and usually an immature fart joke.
5. Kenny dies, "Oh my God they killed Kenny!", "You bastards!"
6. Problem solved.
7. Kyle's "I learned something today speech" which generally causes people to stop being insane for the moment.

However within that formula that makes up nearly every South Park episode are some amazing jokes, hilarious characters and sad, but legitimate truths.  Strangely enough, I do feel like "I learned something" after every episode.

The best thing about this show is their proficient use of irony.

Some examples:

"Christian Rock Hard" 

The boys (Stan, Kyle, Kenny, Butters) in this episode start a band but when they try to download music for free online to "find their sound" they get arrested and the police officer gives them a "heart-wrenching" speech about how, because of illegal downloads, celebrities can't spend as lavishly as they used to, only being able to afford things that are really expensive, but not as expensive as the obscenely expensive things they used to buy.  

"Passion of the Jew"

Cartman's speech to "Passion of the Christ" fans where he is talking about another Holocaust (wearing a Hitler costume, I might add) while they believe he is talking about making more people watch the Passion or convert to Christianity.  He eventually gets them to chant something about death to Jews in German while they believe they are speaking Aramaic, like in the movie.  Another hilarious thing about this episode is their caricature of Mel Gibson as absolutely insane.

There are so many other examples.  Most examples leave me laughing hysterically...

Also, I'm again listening profusely to Billy Talent for probably the ninth time.  It's like I can never get tired of them.  Their new album is really awesome.  And it turns out they are great music for working out.  I've loved this band since middle school or high school and they're still putting out amazing music!  Can't wait for their new album this coming fall!  Judging by the sound of Billy Talent III I think it will be just as impressive.

My weight loss plan for this summer:

I'm going to try something crazy this summer.  It was basically inspired by a visit to the doctor a couple months ago...

I was generally healthy, except that I was 155-160 pounds and 5''3, which according to her is Overweight.  I should be 105-135 pounds, so I am about 20 pounds overweight.  My BMI is 28.  She told me to lose the weight in a couple months, slowly as opposed to quickly.  I knew this already as I had calculated my BMI on the computer several times before that but it was depressing to hear a doctor say that I was overweight and I needed to lose weight.  

Before a year or two ago I had never been overweight.  I had always been the right weight.  Also, looking at myself in the mirror, I don't look overweight.  I look average weight.  Hardly anyone has ever told me I need to lose weight or that I am fat.  I'm not extremely muscular but I do have muscles and I wonder if that makes me more overweight than I actually am on the BMI scale.  

Nevertheless, the first couple months after that doctor's appointment I was indignant.  She had not told me how to lose the weight and spoke to me as if it would be extremely easy and simple.  The doctor herself was not obese, but not slim either.  So, feeling like I shouldn't have to try to lose weight at all, I didn't change anything about my diet or exercise.

But this summer, like many summers before, I have much more time on my hands, and I exercise more.  This summer I have decided to try something completely new.  I have never dieted before, except for the fact that I am vegetarian, but I have seen so many people try diets and fail, and I find that I am hungry really often.  I thought, "losing weight would be so much easier if all you had to do was exercise."  Exercise is invigorating and fun and makes me have more energy and sleep better.  On the internet I googled "Can you lose weight by only exercising?" and people were divided on the issue, some people saying it was impossible and some saying it was a good method.  

So, this summer I will exercise at least six times a week for 30-90 minutes, NOT CHANGING MY DIET AT ALL for two months (May 7-July 7) and see what happens.  At first I said every day, but there are some days when I feel lethargic or depressed.  I generally try to make myself exercise on those do-nothing days but occasionally it doesn't happen.  So, at least six times a week.  So far, with almost a month done, I have only missed two days, with one day that I only walked for 10 minutes (which half counts, I guess).  My methods of exercise so far are walking, biking, elliptical, exercise bike, swimming and DDR.  My favourites are walking, swimming, biking and DDR (Dance Dance Revolution).  Yup, everything except the gym, but I'll get into that in a moment...  I like to mix things up so I don't get too bored with what I'm doing, and so far, it's been quite enjoyable.  Sometimes I even look forward to it.  For biking and walking I like to try different routes each day, exploring a different part of my city each day, which is fun.  I'd love some suggestions for other forms of exercise to try to keep things interesting.  So far my weight has been consistently 158-161 but I feel thinner and more energetic and productive.  And if that is all I get from this, at least I have that!  I also keep a basic diary (type of exercise, duration, weight) to track my progress.  So we'll see what happens.  I think I might lose some weight but in the end, I'll probably need to change my diet as well, which will suck.  Hopefully my plan will succeed and I can still eat Kraft Dinner and delicious, delicious carbs!