I Renewed My Gym Membership During COVID-19

It’s Thursday, October 1st. I have delayed renewing my gym membership for months despite the cravings to get back in the gym. I have been scared about the consequences, as I catch a few colds each year from the gym, and that’s when there hasn’t been a global pandemic.

But yesterday, for the first time in months, I got back in the gym.

I decided to do a few things differently. Instead of going to my normal gym which is always packed and grimy, I am investing a little extra money to go to a health and wellness club associated with my nearby hospital. They are the cleanest place around, taking the most precautions, and there are generally very few people there.

Even though it’s a bit extra money, if it saves me from far more expensive medical bills later it is worth the pricing.

With a newfound motivation to get in shape, here are some of my fitness goals:

  1. Squat my own body weight.

I’ve come so so close to doing this, but a few knee injuries have been the only thing holding me back. Since I haven’t squatted with weight in a while, I will make sure to take it slow and work on this goal one step at a time.

Only once in my life have I deadlifted my own body weight. It was a miraculous thing. Some people might shake their heads at this goal and think that’s far out of their reach, and others might scoff and think it’s far below their reach – we’re all at different points in our journeys.

The day I deadlifted my own body weight it was actually on accident. I thought I was using a 22 lb barbell and loaded up the weight to see what my one rep max was. With my final rep I thought I was deadlifting a weight I had already deadlifted before, so in my mind I knew that if I had done it before I must be able to do it again. I decided to push through despite that weight feeling heavier than I remembered. When I got to the top, my vision blacked out and I thought I was going to pass out. I dropped the weight as you are supposed to, and as my eyesight returned I was hit with confusion on why it had become more difficult to lift a weight I had more easily lifted before.

Then, my friend reviled to me the barbell was indeed a 45 lb one (not sure how I mixed that up) and I had indeed lifted my own body weight. It was a surprise and an accident, and still something that I laugh at, but am extremely proud of.

At the end of the day, sometimes tricking yourself into meeting new goals is the best way to go about it.

2. Do the splits.

I’ve had this goal since around the age of 7. Honestly, the fact it’s been on my bucket list for that long and I haven’t achieved it yet bugs the crap out of me. I feel like this is the year that anything can happen, so maybe that goes for the splits.

Fitness isn’t just about muscular and cardiovascular health, but also about flexibility, and I think it’s great to always have at least on flexibility goal in with your other fitness goals, even if that’s simply being able to touch your hands to the ground from the standing position (yes, at one point my hamstrings were so tight I could not do this, but now I’ve achieved that goal!)

3. Do a handstand.

Also a goal I’ve had since a young age. I always wanted to do gymnastics, but my balance is notoriously bad. And being upside down kind of scares me.

Anyway, as I get back into the gym I am going to put an extra emphasis on increasing my shoulder strength, both because I love the look of capped shoulders and because I want to be able to show off some handstand skills.

4. Find balance in muscle growth.

For most of college my fitness goals revolved around having the same body as the fitness instagram girls. Mostly, that meant having an amazing butt. And I can’t count on my hands the number of YouTube videos that are all about growing your glutes without growing your quads, or video after video about butt workouts, but few on upper body workouts (for females that is). But as I’ve spent less time on instagram and more time reflecting on my goals, I realize balance is key.

It’s the principle in “a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link”. If you want to bench press to grow your chest, but have weak triceps, you’ll quickly hit a wall in you chest progression because your tricepts will hold you back. Likewise, Exercises that are great for your glutes (e.g. squats and lunges) also require quad strength, core strength, and some upper body strength. If you ignore these for the sake of focusing solely on your glutes, your glute growth may actually suffer.

Balance is key, and as I am working for muscle growth I will keep this in mind in regard to my daily workouts, workout split, and diet.

What are your fitness goals for the rest of 2020?

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