Getting comfortable in a new gym takes awhile — not long, but it doesn’t happen on the first visit. Every gym has its own “feel”. Happily, I know how to use gym equipment, how to adjust settings and weights, when and how to ask for help from someone on staff if I can’t figure something out. I know the culture of “working in”. I know how to balance a workout between cardio and resistance training. Thanks to my wonderful Rochester trainer and friend J. for all of that.
The downtown Y, where I belonged for the eight years I lived in Belltown, had an older demographic when I went to work out, which was usually mid-morning. In other words, I was surrounded by people like me. The new gym, befitting Seattle’s earned reputation as a young city, has a much younger demographic, at least on Saturday mid-day when I went to do my first workout. That’s like to be the case on weekends, and might have been true at the downtown Y too — I tended not to go there on weekends. I’ll see what the workout floor in the new place feels like when I go on Monday. Working out surrounded by younger people isn’t a problem. It just feels different.
As I noticed when doing the tour, some of the resistance machines are two or three generations old, although the cardio equipment is newer. Older equipment tends to be a little jerkier, a little less smooth. That’s not a big deal, and in a very real sense, a weight is a weight is a weight. Much more important is the newer cardio equipment.
The new gym seems friendly enough. The downtown Y was super friendly, probably the most courteous floor culture I’ve known in a gym. In Rochester I belonged to two places. The World Gym, which attracts a lot of hard core body builders — “purple Al” who literally turned purple lifting heavy weight [hint: steroids on board] — had an unexpectedly polite floor culture. The Jewish Community Center was the most cutthroat. I didn’t put up with any crap from anyone, but I sometimes stepped in when another woman was being bullied by a man who wanted her to get off a machine so he could use it. Women, especially older women who weren’t exposed to gym culture until much later in life, can be timid when first learning to navigate a gym floor. I get pretty annoyed with aggressive men who take advantage of that.
With my new gym in place, I can get back to my regular schedule of workouts, which feels really good. 🙂