Wednesday, September 15, 2004


I went to the gym today for the first time in a year. I'd even suspended my membership (why pay dues for something you're not using).

But today, my wife came home and said, "You've got a date tonight. At 6pm."

I thought, "Cool, we're going out."

But no, she continued with, "You're doing x-bike with Tina at the gym."

A little less exciting than a night on the town with my wife. Instead, I was going to work-out at the gym with my brother's ex. Hmmm...

Well, lately I've been a lump of poo on a stick. I've done next to no exercise - notice how my last post about biking was .... July 17th. Wow.

I've been working far too much, and my body is rebelling. I am currently recovering from a rib that is out (first rib, right at the base of the neck). What does it mean to have a rib out? I don't really know, it's slightly out of place, and as a result, it's pressing on some nerves, causing things to be inflamed, causing pain, causing muscle tightness, which causes further pain/inflammation/tightness/etc. It's made sleeping difficult, and moving my head has been tough. I'm certain that if I had kept in shape, either through biking or yoga or whatever, this wouldn't have happened.

So, back to the story at hand, I had a date, with my brother's ex (also my dental assistant - Hi Tina!).

But that's a good thing. I've got a trip to Moab in just over a month, and a race at Hagg lake in less than a month. I've got to get my rear in gear.

So, the gym has this new, hip, exciting aerobic exercise called "x-biking". It's very similar to spinning which I used to do at my old gym. You hop up on a stationary bike, you pedal to music, sweat a lot, and generally get a good workout.

What's the verdict? After one class, I can say that I like spinning a little better. There are a couple of reasons:

  1. The spinning bikes are more like a fixed-gear track bike, you can't stop pedalling unless you stop the flywheel. I realize many people don't like this, but I think it's a good thing because it forces you to round your pedal stroke, very much like the training you'd get riding a track bike. So I miss that.

  2. The music for x-bike (we're using the canned CD's) is lame. It's a cross between techno and elevator music. It's got the driving beat, but you can barely hear it, and it's as repetitive as the music from the original Nintendo.

  3. The class is only half an hour long - need at least 45 minutes, if not 1 hour.

  4. The scripted work out is very repetitive - you only have 3 different things you do: pedal while seated, pedal while standing, don't pedal but rock the handle-bars back and forth. Lame.

  5. The bike itself doesn't fit quite as well: the handlebars are way too close to the pedals (you can adjust the seat back, but that doesn't help when you're standing). Plus, the rocking motion you can do with the handlebars is kind of dorky - you can't tighten it down very much, and I was pretty unimpressed with the "upper body" workout the web page claimed I'd get. I prefer the fixed handlebar because you can actually use it to help you press down on the pedals. The rockability of the handlebars takes away from that.

Needless to say, the club has just started the x-bike thing, and the instructor today said they'll be looking to make changes, so give feedback.

What I really want is my old spinning instructor, Chrysanthi (I think that's how you spell her name). She rocked. The classes were tough, the music was jamming, and she really got into setting the scene - you could almost imagine the ride she was leading. Plus, the spinning instructors had a bunch of different activities you did on the bike: jumps, runs, jogging (no-hands), really high-speed spinning, different hand positions, etc. That may not sound like much, but when you are stuck on a stationary bike, it's a fair amount.

I'm sure that the club will make the appropriate changes and let the x-bike instructors play with music and workout composition. They've got to be as bored and uninspired as I was with the canned lesson.

I'll be taking the class again, because, as I said, it's a good workout. And there aren't any spinning classes available.


Anonymous said...

i hope she ran your ass into the ground

BFW said...

Rather hostile comment.

Seems unwarranted. Which 'she' should have run me into the ground?

Anonymous said...

The rib thing, most people call that being fat!

Anonymous said...

wtf meant "you hanging out with my ex?"

BFW said...

Ahhh, hanging with the ex.

Yeah, she couldn't drop me. Actually, she almost fell off her bike when I reached over and kicked the resistance up to 10.

Anonymous said...

Rib out? Ouch...

Why sit in a gym when you can bike outside?