Last Updated on August 25, 2021 by Michael Brockbank
So, today was my triumphant return to the gym. It’s been more than a year and a half, just before COVID shut everything down in 2020. This time around, I am using Planet Fitness. Mostly, because it’s about a 1.2-mile walk round trip from my house.
I got dressed this morning, packed my bag, made sure I had everything I needed…I felt like a kid on his first day of school. It was kind of exciting, but outside of my comfort zone.
This is a good thing, though. I’m tired of being content by sitting at home and twiddling my thumbs. I want to be out and about more, and going to the gym is my first step.
Using Planet Fitness and Not Pushing Too Hard
I have a habit of going hardcore when at the gym. It’s not because of ego-lifting, though. I tend to think I can do the same things today as I did two years ago. And when you’re pretty sedentary, it just doesn’t work like that.
Today was more about finding my baseline for lifting weights. What can I do that isn’t going to be too difficult? Is “X” amount of weight too easy? What is my range of motion nowadays?
Because I am walking back and forth, I’m not worrying about leg workouts at the moment. For now, I’m simply shooting for exercises focusing on the waist up. And perhaps my glutes and lower back.
After all, I would like to have “America’s Ass.”
Overall, I wasn’t as weak as I thought I would be. I lost some strength in terms of bicep curls, tricep push-downs, and ab crunch machine. But, that is to be expected.
I mean, come on, it’s been about 20 months since I really put in a lot of effort into strength training. And since humans start losing muscle mass and density after about 4 weeks, yes, I was going to lose any gains I had before.
So, I’m not disappointed or upset. On the contrary, I feel pretty good today and look forward to doing some more on Friday.
What My Schedule for Using Planet Fitness Looks Like
The plan is to to go the gym every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll play two rounds of the Xbox throughout the day. That’s because playing the Kinect is one of the best forms of cardio for me.
And I, indeed, work up one hell of a sweat.
For now, I’m going to walk back and forth while hitting five machines while I’m there. Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of time in the day. I chewed up more than an hour this time around, which I really couldn’t afford.
But, subsequent visits shouldn’t take nearly as long. I spent a bit of time finishing up my account setup, taking my picture, buying and figuring out my lock, and looking for the machines I want to use most.
Now that I have an idea where everything is, I shouldn’t melt through as much time.
Yep, Here Comes a New Case Study
So, I wanted to see how much of a physical difference I can make at home with cheap workout equipment. But if I want to look my very best by October for the calendar photoshoot, I need to greatly add more to the weekly routines.
As much as I hate paying for and using a gym such as Planet Fitness, it’s a means to an end.
And who knows, I might just keep going simply because I like it. To be honest, I really don’t mind the exercise. For me, it’s fun to see how many pounds I’ve lifted throughout any given session.
Remember, I’m a geek with a spreadsheet.
At any rate, I’m keeping track of all my workouts and taking pictures after every day of hitting the gym. The idea is to see how much I need to do to make a physical and visual difference.
All of this while doing a keto-ish diet.
I’m debating on how long I should wait before each blog post to show results. In reality, it’s not like I’m going to Hulk out within the next week or so.
Perhaps I’ll do updates every two weeks complete with photos, stats, and eating habits. That way, you can see exactly what I did to reach specific goals. Then, perhaps you can form your own strategy that is effective for you.
Does Keto Affect My Weight Training?
As I said before, I have a habit of pushing myself way too hard. From all of the scientific papers I’ve read, keto is known for decreasing your overall energy levels. But today, I really didn’t notice the decrease.
Then again, this is my first day back. So, I can’t say for sure if the keto diet will negatively impact my routines. Plus, I had to cut my workout short because of a lack of time.
Luckily, keto doesn’t negatively impact weight training aside from energy. There is as much of a possibility to build and define muscle mass while on keto than someone on a carb-rich diet.
It all really comes down to sustainable energy levels. And this is a normal thing in the beginning. Many people report having an increase in energy once the body switches to burning fat for energy.
Not to mention what you eat is going to have a great influence as well.
Regardless, I’m feeling pretty damn good at the moment. I probably won’t tomorrow as I know I kind of taxed my triceps, biceps, and chest. But, I feel like a superhero right now, and that’s all that matters.
What’s My Impression of Planet Fitness Thus Far?
The first thing that piques my interest is the fee. Instead of the $35 I was paying at Anytime Fitness, or the $60 I was paying for the family pass at the rec center in Westminster, $23 per month for all the amenities is a great bargain.
I’m looking forward to trying out the massage beds and chairs. I’m not really into tanning, and I get enough UV walking back and forth.
I’m just really stoked that Planet Fitness has all the weight machines I love to use. Not to mention a slew of treadmills and bikes, which I’ll probably use during the winter depending on the day.
If I have to drive to the gym because of snow, I’ll make sure I still get 20 minutes of walking.
Let’s See What Happens
I’m stoked about going back to the gym. The hardest part is making sure I have enough time to get in my workout while still having time in the morning to get my work done.
Like right now, I’m quite behind schedule.
But like I said, today isn’t really reflective of a typical gym day. So, I really won’t need to panic about time until after my next visit. That will give me a better idea about how much time I need to allocate in the day.
No matter what, though, I think using Planet Fitness is going to greatly help towards my end goals by October 3rd.