We love gyms, we really do. We just don’t love gyms at peak-season:
1. (Over)Crowded Classes
Those relaxing yoga classes can be a lot more stressful than you think during peak season. It’s hard enough to balance in tree pose without also having to worry about knocking into other people’s branches, er...elbows. And trust me you don’t want to end up with Julie’s downward dog in your face. We get it, Julie, you’re made of rubber, but go show off somewhere faaar away from me. Find your zen at home by using guided apps or online videos. Bonus: no one will judge you if your savasana turns into a power nap. It'll be extra comfy on one of these.
2. The Protein Shakers
You know who we’re talkin’ about. The people who seem to just take up benches and sip on a protein shake. We all know that’s your 3rd Blender Bottle this week, Bryan. What exactly are you blending? Concrete? Avoid those pesky protein shakers by doing your own workouts at home using your own couches and chairs or even MacGyver some park benches and tree branches outside. Add in a few weights or resistance bands and you’ve just DIY-ed your own gym!
3. Treadmill races - that you didn’t sign up for
We’ve all been there: you’re running on the treadmill, minding your own pace, when your neighbor looks over at your speed and then bumps up the speed on their run. “That’s fine,” you think, “this isn’t a race. I mean, I can totally go faster than them if I wanted to...but what if they think I can’t?” Next thing you know, you’re both full on sprinting, trying desperately to avoid a Taylor Swift moment. Ditch the competition by taking your run outside instead and show off some sweet trail running shoes.
4. The Commute
After working all day the last thing you wanna do is suffer through an ugly, frustrating commute in your car or packed train only to get to a crowded gym where you’ll have to deal with even more people. Make your commute your cardio by takin’ the scenic route on your bike. You’ll get a much more enjoyable workout than dealing with Shelby who gets weirdly possessive over that leftmost treadmill. You don’t live here, Shelby...I think. Plus, a real ride through the hills will be more exciting than a picture of them on a gym bike monitor. It's cold out, though. Bring these.
5. Everyone is sick...
Or they know someone who is sick. Maybe you’re sick! Well, sick people tend to leave sick germs everywhere and places like gyms are living petri dishes. I saw you sneeze and then grab those weights, Ken. I. SAW. Keep your immune system (and your sanity) healthy by working out in a park. The Bay Area is packed with incredible regional parks that have huge stretches of beach, grass, trail and even bike lanes to try all kinds of fun workouts. No disinfectant required.
6. The Grunt & Drop
If the Protein Shakers are annoying because they don’t lift anything, Grunt Droppers are the other end of the spectrum. We’re talking about the people who grunt very loudly to lift ridiculously heavy weights and immediately drop them onto the gym floor making an even louder noise. Not even my Workout Twerkout playlist can drown you out, Percy. Work out at home so you can listen to your tunes without flinching at loud noises. Unless your dog found his way into the kitchen pantry again...Max, do not eat those bacon bits!
7. The Pre-Gym Routine
Oh, and getting your gym bag ready is the worst: “Pack a change of clothes, shoes, and a towel. Maybe two. Don’t forget the wireless headphones aaaand their charger because the battery is dying. Actually, my phone battery is dying too, so bring that charger. Now, a hair tie. I’m going to work after this so I have to remember deodorant, some wipes, and a change of clothes. Where’s my water bottle?…” Oi! I take less stuff when I go backpacking in the woods. Ditch the baggage and try a new workout. Rock climbing anyone?
8. Can I be excused?
The only thing worse than thinking about going to the gym is thinking of good excuses to not go to the gym. Especially if your gym buddy already texted you asking if you were still down to go later. Here are some rock solid excuses for you to use next time you need one:
- I can’t go since my boss needs to me to work on a big project!
- I think I pulled something so I’m just going to ice it and rest.
- Netflix already started the next episode…
- I don’t have gym shoes.
- I'm going to Sports Basement for gym shoes!
- How about we just get a non-fat latte and take a lap around the block?
- New phone, who dis?
- I won’t make it to my World Domination planning meeting.
- I’m hosting the World Domination planning meeting.
9. Recovery days
Don’t forget that you need to give your muscles a chance to recover from your workouts. Get a hurts-so-good stretch with these rollers. And then maybe you need to recover from recovering. Changing positions while watching Netflix is basically stretching right?
10. Fresh air over gym air. No contest.
While gyms do their best to ventilate the...odors, nothing beats that good ol' fresh air so take your workout where you can get more of it: outdoors! Some of our favorite workouts in the bay include going for a nice hike through Mt. Tam, taking on a challenging bike ride through Annadel State Park, and paddleboarding in Alameda. Your new gym is out there waiting for you for a limited time, introductory price of $0!