Tag Archives: Yoga

Club Zum: Our New Gym!

1 Sep

Having been spoiled by the amazing (and cheap!) Melbourne Uni gym, I’m really picky about gyms. I originally wrote “James and I are really picky” but actually it’s just me and James is much more easily pleased. Though he did agree with me that the gyms that we had looked at in Seattle were pretty bad until we discovered Club Zum.

It’s totally an expensive yuppie gym, but unlike one of the other expensive yuppie gyms (where the guy who gave us the tour spent most of the time talking about how great the changing rooms were) it’s actually really decently equipped. A lot of the time I’ve thought to myself “I wish they had X” only to find out that they do have X! I do wish they had more mirrors though.

And the great part is that, unlike at the Melbourne Uni gym, the strength equipment isn’t that popular. It’s not uncommon for us to be the only two people in the lifting area, so James will pretty much set up 4 stations and cycle through them until he’s done.

This is where we do most of our workouts.

And here’s the other half of the room. I like the height of these benches – they’re lower than the Melbourne Uni ones so I don’t need to stack plates underneath my feet to touch the ground.

I prefer the squat rack in the first photo because I use the window as a mirror. Also because there’s a bar on the rack that I use to do pull-ups and chin-ups in between squats.

Nearby is some sort of dedicated pilates area, including what James and I think is some sort of weird sex bed.

To the left of that is a long desk and chairs, and it’s kind of set up as a study/relaxation area, which I thought was kind of wanky until the time James was on call and he had to work on his laptop at the gym. They also have a bunch of exercise-related reference books, including this gem:

Don’t act like you don’t want this book.

Space-wise in the next photo, the study area is to the right of me and the lifting area to the back diagonal right. To the left there are some stretching mats and there’s some cardio equipment to the back diagonal left.

The blue stripe is a 25m sprint track. Awesome huh? To the left of the track are the weight machines, cable machines, and some more cardio equipment. On the right they have some TRX equipment, 2 (or 3?) sets of Olympic rings, and this huge open area for classes.

You can kind of see the open area in this photo. I only took it because I was trying to figure out if the thingy on the right is a glute-ham raise machine (after internet comparison I don’t think it is because there’s no foot plate and it’s too high up, but I’m going to give it a shot anyway).

But yeah, tucked away in that room they have medicine balls, witches hats, skipping ropes, bands, mats, dumbbells, (light) barbells, and a whole bunch of random equipment.

So that is pretty much the upstairs level of Zum. There’s not much downstairs – a foosball table, waiting area, 2 climbing ropes, mats, monkey bars, an Olympic lifting area, and a sandpit that I’ve never, ever seen anyone use. I do my deadlifts downstairs because the upstairs plates aren’t the right size for deads. Oh yeah and there’s this giant container of chalk which is handy for people more hardcore than me.

Zum was the only gym we found that had an area for Olympic lifts. It has bumper plates, rubber floors and plates in kilograms! There’s another squat rack in the top left corner that didn’t make it into the photo. There are 3 full-size bars down here and one that feels like it weighs around 15kg. Also one of the PTs here was a national strongman and powerlifting champion, so if I want to start doing proper oly lifts I can get training from someone who actually knows what he’s doing.

All the trainers seem pretty switched on. I’ve done a few classes and they’re very good at making sure you’re using correct form. The classes are varied and fun – I keep meaning to get to the Monday bodyweight conditioning class, but it starts at 6:30am!

Oh yeah, there’s also a special yoga/pilates room. I went on Thursday and it was a great! The style is vinyasa yoga, which seems to mean that you move through the positions much quicker. It felt more strength-based than the yoga at Melbourne Uni, and was surprisingly challenging. I need to go regularly because I am ridiculously inflexible at the moment.

I mentioned the towel service in a previous post, but wanted to reiterate how awesome it is. Other cool features include several chilled water dispensers dotted around the gym, with little disposable cups if you don’t have your own water bottle. The changeroom lockers are programmable with a temporary PIN so you don’t need to carry a key around or bring your own combination lock. Oh and the changing rooms are really swish – they have wooden hangers for your coats, automatic flushing toilets, automatic soap dispensers and Aveda toiletries – I remember James washed his hands, came out smiling and was like “the soap here smells really nice”.

So anyway that’s our happy little gym. We’re really pleased with it – not only does it have everything we need, but it’s not too busy, everyone who works/trains there is really friendly, and it’s only a 10 minute walk from home. =)

Current Workout:

Monday

  • Squat
  • Dumbbell Press
  • Chin-ups
  • Hanging Leg Raise
  • Handstand Practice

Tuesday – Cardio/agility class.

Wednesday

  • Turkish Getup
  • Deadlift
  • Seated Row (I think I’m going to swap this out for inverted rows)
  • Straight Leg Deadlift (but going to try the glute-ham raise machine next time)

Thursday – Yoga

Friday

  • Pull-ups
  • Front Squat
  • Bench Press
  • Pistol Squat

My lifts aren’t quite what they were when I stopped working out in March (neither are James’) but now that we’re lifting in pounds we feel quite strong. =P

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Pictures For Inspiration

21 Jan

Sorry, no attribution, just random photos from the internet that I saved for inspiration.

I like this shot because she’s got big legs (like me!) but she’s still pretty ripped.

If this is what I think it is, it’s one of the steps you need to get to a planche (imagine her legs straight out behind her). This is roughly the stage that I am in my planche progression (ie. the beginner stage), but her back and shoulders are much better defined than mine!

I just think this is cool. Flexibility always impresses me.

Apparently this is some famous fitness model – Pauline someone? Look at her back!

I’m working on my handstand too. This seems like it would need more flexibility than I have though.

These are the abs that I want.

After seeing this picture I attempted to copy the position. It was surprisingly easy, though I wobble a lot and don’t look as serene as the woman in the photo. Or maybe she looks nervous.

I should print these out and stick them in my gym book for inspiration, but that might be a bit porny. I don’t really want guys following me around, trying to get a peek at my book.

Also the gym printed the wrong times for my Body Attack class today, so it was over by the time I got there. The gym lady said that there was a yoga class on, so I figured I may as well go, since I’d walked all the way there. What she didn’t tell me was that it was the advanced yoga class! So they were learning handstands and shoulder stands, and doing more advanced moves than I’d seen in like … the 5 yoga classes I’d attended in the past.

But as it turns out, general strength training makes a lot of yoga positions pretty easy, and I’ve actually been practicing handstands in my own time. We were doing handstands against the wall, and the yoga teacher came up and said “you’ve obviously done this before!” I was able to pass for someone who belonged in the advanced yoga class!

It was pretty fun, and more physical than other yoga classes I’ve done. Maybe I’ll do it after Body Attack next Friday, and maybe I’ll drag James along with me. He likes yoga for the flexibility, but not the woowoo parts of it.