During a discussion on another site, someone mentioned in passing that “many – if not most – people join a gym to lose weight”.
This made me think a bit.
Do I hear gymgoers talking about losing weight or wanting to lose weight? Some. But I also hear gymgoers talking about getting stronger, or faster, or increasing endurance — and I’m glad I’m not the only woman talking in these terms!
And, occasionally, I hear discussion of wanting to gain weight, or rather, to gain muscle. Here’s the thing, though: So far, at least at my gym, the people I’ve heard talking about bulking up are men. Thin men. Because men are supposed to be big and strong, and women are supposed to be thin and dainty.
Does one have to join a gym to do this? Of course not. You can do a lot of strength training with bodyweight alone and a few dumbbells. Putting on Springsteen and dancing in the living room can be as aerobic as you’d like. If you mostly walk everywhere that can keep you in good shape too!
What the gym often provides is more and varied equipment. This can help keep you interested and let you try new activities. It’s also less costy than buying and maintaining specialized equipment. A membership at a gym with a pool is a lot cheaper than building a pool, especially when the weather doesn’t support swimming outside year-round.
In my case, I mostly save time. At home I’m working each leg individually, so it takes at least twice as long as at the gym — and often more because I can push the resistance up on the machines higher than with my ankle weight. This lets me do fewer sets for the same amount of muscle tiredness.
Do you belong to a gym? Why/why not?
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