5 Factor Flop?

A month or so ago I held a press conference and announced mentioned here that I was trying a new workout plan. Currently gymless, I decided Harley Pasternak’s 5 Factor Fitness looked interesting enough to explore for a bit. I’d save myself some gym fees and get a little variety in the training/exercise routine I’d used for the past four years*.

Fast forward a month. A long and lonely month, with just me, my one set of Barbie weights, and a stability ball crammed into a 3’x8′ section of the spare bedroom. Day in, day out. Just me and whoever’s hosting whatever show I’m watching on HGTV that day. I’m so bored I could cry.

I like the exercises and the idea of shorter, more efficient workouts. I like the 5-day workout schedule (though I usually toss in a sixth day of cardio-only). I like that I can work out any time of day, without having to consider whether or not the gym might be crowded. I like not having to wait for a bench or station and that I don’t have to clean up someone else’s sweat once I get there. I like the idea that I could work out naked if I wanted to, even if I haven’t wanted to. So far.

So what is it I don’t like?

The biggest problem is my lack of variety in weights and equipment. What I have is adequate and with a little creativity, it gets the job done. I’m grateful for it, but it just doesn’t inspire me or challenge me in a way that brings me joy. For me, exercise doesn’t just improve physical health, it has mental and emotional benefits as well. I get some of that from my current home workout plan, but not enough. Not right now, anyway.

Another problem is that there’s no one here! No one to admire, no one to emulate, no one to irritate me, no one to criticize, and perhaps most of all, no one to admire my form! (Well, I suppose I could run to the mirror and tell myself, but it just wouldn’t be the same.) As it turns out, Ms. Can’t-Go-to-the-Gym-because-There-Might-Be-People-There has grown attached to the (mostly nonverbal) social aspect of gym membership! Who would have ever thought! Not me, that’s for sure!

So I have a choice. I can continue doing what I’m doing, which is free and enough but doesn’t particularly make my heart sing. Or I can rejoin a gym and work myself up and down the weight rack with gleeful abandon. Today, it’s not really a difficult decision. :)

But I’m not going to decide today. I’ve got a weekend trip (Fitbloggin’ Local) and then a wee bit of oral surgery next week after which I can’t exercise for a few days. I’ll use the commute/healing time to figure out which gym to join and how I’ll adjust the budget to accommodate the expense. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, right? Right!

What this home workout plan taught me was that–for me, for now–there’s no place like the gym! I’m glad I tried this 5 Factor workout plan, and I plan to continue it for a while at the gym where I can vary the weights or equipment and show off my good form. :)

Is there anything you tried recently that just didn’t work for you? Does what you’re doing now bring you joy? Is it time for a change?

*I just realized when I typed that sentence that I passed Traineversary #4 on June 14th! It was right around the time of the family reunion and I guess my sugar coma messed with my awareness. Rather than celebrate my first strength training workout with a post of its own, I’ll reference my Traineversary #3 post instead. Just add another year of blissful workouts to that one. Minus the last 7-10 days. :)

15 thoughts on “5 Factor Flop?

  1. Just today i was talking with my strength training partner, my mom, about how if we stopped doing that together I’d go back to my gym because I lack the motivation to do it alone. It’s nice when we can find ways to make our workouts more enjoyable:)

  2. I’m extremely TORN right now. I want to do CrossFit because it would be taking my exercise to the next level and would likely lead to good results… not just weight loss but also amazing increases in strength and such. But it’s very kind of aggressive — like getting in touch with the limited amounts of testosterone in my female body. For the cost of attending CrossFit twice per week, I can attend unlimited yoga classes at a really great studio just down the street from my apartment. So I’m very very torn. Yoga is more my emotional speed so to speak. I’m thinking perhaps I could CrossFit for a few months — it’s too intense and aggressive to keep up over time I think. Then, I could get in touch with my inner yogini. We’ll see what happens.

  3. I am coming from the opposite end. My gym membership runs out in August and I am tired of going and hearing the cursing and the people not wiping their sweat of the benches and hogging the cable machine. I want to bring it back home, but will miss some of the equipment that I dearly love (said cable machine and the squat cage). I haven’t totally decided not to renew, but I might.

    Have you thought about taking your weights and such outside for a park workout? Might be a nice change of scenery!

    • Give me a few months, Lori, and I’ll be back to wanting to work out at home. :) At least I have a good at home workout now!

      I’ve done a few outdoor workouts, but the temps are just too brutal right now. But when the weather breaks, you might find me walk-lunging my way across the park! :)

  4. I hope you find a nice, sweet spot in your budget so that you get the perfect gym membership. I believe in variety, both to keep it interesting and also to keep challenging our muscles and provide better results. It’ll be worth it, for sure.
    Good luck!
    And good luck with the dental work too.

  5. Hi Cammy,
    I tried aquafit, because it was easy on my injured foot. I HATE it…I just feel like I flail and flap around in the water and I have no idea if I’m doing it properly. That said, I have 6 more “punches” on my 10 visit card, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to waste them. Who knows, maybe it’ll eventually grow on me, but I don’t really hold out hope for that. Oh well…
    Have a great week.

  6. I have been gymless for a couple of years now and I am ready to go back just to take some classes. The gym I like just switched to a strictly month to month option so it’s perfect for me! Good luck with your oral surgery. 😉

  7. Just went back and read your ‘Trainaversary #3 post–LOVED it! And I think I agree with you about the gym. The whole time I was avoiding the gym for the past two months, I didn’t do any weight workouts at home. I’ve thought about it also as a money saving device. But I guess I really like the machines, the motivation and the variety (and the swimming pool) at the gym. Pricey, but a good investment of money (better than paying for cable tv, IMO.)

  8. Im so so envious of yer fitbloggin local!!

    cant wait to read about it.

    we arent having one here…

  9. As always, a GREAT post, Cammy! Your link to “Traineversary #3″ hit me right where I needed it. I’ve been backsliding, but with yesterday’s cortisone shot in my cranky hip I’m a happy camper and ready to go back to the aerobics classes plus the weight machines and the dumbbells at the gym after reading your blog. I’m really glad to be “an old tart” nowadays – just paid my gym membership: $60.00 for unlimited use for a year at the newly renovated Senior Center. *grin*

  10. Cammy, I guess the good ting about all this is you learned you what you do & don’t like! I am lucky that I joined my gym in 1982 & the dues are so cheap that I will never give it up no matter how poor I get! AND because there was a lawsuit against them & I am one that joined so long ago, I can go to any 24 hour fitness no matter how fancy or not for no addl cost to me – a lawsuit that worked for me! :-)

    To me, no place like the gym either – so many different things to do & with 24 hour – any time too….

    Hope you have fun at your meet up & good luck on that oral surgery – boy do I understand teeth things! 😉

  11. Hi Cammy! This is the first time stopping by your blog. It looks great!

    I absolutely love going to the gym! The synergy at the gym is quite special. I feel like I can work out harder when someone near by me is working hard. It is truly my favorite place to go.

    :-) Marion

  12. I have a fantasy of a fully equipt home gym so I don’t have to travel to my workouts – I do worry about having your issue, though. I know what you mean by the interactions – even if they are not verbal and sometimes are icky – they’re a big draw.

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