breakfast, fitness

Getting Grouchy at the Gym + Quick n’ Dirty Cardio

Woke up this morning and dug into a purple smoothie parfait. I blended up the usual suspects of frozen banana, blueberries, ice cubes and protein powder but added some new twists like a a bit of maple syrup, some instant coffee and a big ol’ handful of SPINACH. Then I layered it with my favourite cereals and sliced banana. Stupid tasty!

As I am currently on an all important rest day from the gym, I got to thinking….No matter how much I try to have a positive attitude about it, sometimes going to the gym makes me grouchy. And not for the reasons you’d think. I’m all for getting my sweat on, its gym culture I can’t handle.

Top 5 aspects of gym culture that totally grind my gears:

  1. Too Costly
  2. Too Time Consuming
  3. Appearance and Weight > Health and Fun
  4. The Skeevy Guys (GTL, Bro!)
  5. The Type-A Girls (Tracy Flick on a Treadmill)

How I have been avoiding the grouch as of late:

  1. Go to the Y. Its affordable plus they use a sliding scale for those who need it. I’ll sweat for equity anyday. Check.
  2. Work up a Quick n’ Dirty Sweat: See Below
  3. Workout with a body-positive friend. Don’t spend a lot of time chillin in the change room or mirrored areas. If you hear people engaging in negative self-talk, don’t sweat it. Just roll your eyes, let out a sigh and don’t be afraid to relocate!
  4. Head straight to the weight room and don’t get intimidated. Push yourself as much or as little as you want to, and if they say anything douchey to you, tell them their bronzer is running.
  5. DO NOT ENGAGE. If they look you over with judgement in their eyes, just imagine how hard it must be to live in their self-critical brains for a day. Then picture how much happier they’d be eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Quick n’ Dirty Cardio Workout

One of the best ways to avoid spending too much time at the gym is by using your time efficiently. I use this pyramid interval workout all the time because its super fast, flexible and works great on any cardio machine.

High Intensity = About 80-90% of your full tilt exertion (aka. biking/running/climbing as fast as you can)

Low Intensity = About 40%-50% exertion, slow enough to let your heart rate really come back down (aka. brisk walking).

  • 5 minute warmup
  • 30 seconds high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 45 seconds high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 1 minute high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 90 seconds high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 1 minute high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 45 seconds high intensity
  • 1 minute low intensity
  • 30 seconds high intensity
  • 5 minute cool down
What are your biggest pet peeves about gym/workout culture? How do you make it work for you? 
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  • Reply cassandrantonia September 25, 2011 at 11:17 am

    Ugh. I know what you mean! Being in college, all the frat bros lifting with their Muscle Milks and grunting obnoxiously drive me nuts! I just start doing my more intense than theirs routine and they usually tone it down…or grunt louder.

    That smoothie also looks lovely!

    • Reply the healthy hipster September 26, 2011 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks! And I’m glad to hear you’re not letting the grunts get you down! 🙂

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