Man in Black: I think the odds are slightly in your favor at hand fighting.
Fezzik: It's not my fault being the biggest and the strongest. I don't even exercise.
—The Princess Bride (1987)
Tonight I went to the YMCA for my first “official” workout.
I have been going; in fact I got to go three times last week. The bad news was that two of those trips took place in a single day. Gotta space these things out a little, methinks. Besides, that was a special circumstance.
Today’s visit was to the Waverly location to get set up for my FitLinxx account. Up until now, I was essentially going in and re-doing some of the stuff I did when I was in Physical Therapy—recumbent bike, treadmill, leg extension. With this setup, I’m not only able to use the other equipment, I’m able to use it correctly.
The first thing you do when getting into this system is fill out a form with your basic demographic information and any medical issues, real or potential, that you may have. The staff member puts all this information into the FitLinxx database and then begins to put together a workout routine for you based on this information and the overall goals that you have. We then go over to a kiosk and input the FitLinxx account number, then “begin the workout” in the system. The first time around, however, they have to follow you around and set up the machines for first-time use. They input the beginning information (what position the different elements of the machines need to be set, etc.), and monitor you as you go through the circuit. The specific order of the machines doesn’t really matter (it’s better to just move on to a different machine than it is to wait around for somebody to finish), and in fact we had to jump around out of the sequence that the FitLinxx created. The system essentially follows you, counting your reps, ensuring that you actually DO the reps (in one case I didn’t move the weight through my full range of motion and it didn’t count), and telling you how much of the routine you have left. As you work, the screen will occasionally offer tips such as “try to move slower” or “try not to let the weights touch” or some such, and will give you an encouraging message when you finish. When you get to the end of your program, you go back to the kiosk and “end the workout”, and it displays a summary for you.
One of the cool things about FitLinxx is that you can go home and review your progress online. The not-so-cool thing is that you need a separate account for each location. So at right is the webpage for my one-and-only workout (so far) at Stadium Place. There’s no data for my cardiovascular workout because you have to input that manually and I didn’t bother (plus I did only 10 minutes on the bike, and who needs such a lame-ass statistic). I’m pretty sure, however, that the cardio machines in Parkville do that information automatically. Here’s hoping, anyway. Otherwise I’m going to have to tote around a means for writing all this stuff down.
Oh—and here’s a fun little surprise: I weighed myself in both locations on the same day (Friday) to see whether the scales agree with one another, and it turns out that they do. Today, just for the laughs, I weighed myself again, and I’m down a pound and a half.