Military Workouts at American Fitness CenterPosted: June 5, 2012
This morning my mom’s boyfriend, Norm, texted me to ask if I wanted to go to the gym with him. ; He’d been telling me about this new gym he joined in Nashua, NH called American Fitness Center, and I was really intrigued. ; I see their promotions on Facebook all the time, and it seems like a great place. ;
Norm said his friend, Big Al, as he calls him, who is a firefighter and fitness enthusiast, did a great (although really challenging) military-inspired workout with him last time he went, and he thought I’d like it. ; I was really nervous to join them (What if I can’t keep up? What if I look stupid and they laugh at me?) but Billy and my mom convinced me to go and have fun – and that’s what I did! ; (Well, maybe not fun, exactly, but I am really glad I went.)
The gym is basically a no-frills, warehouse style gym, with a few cardio machines, tons of weight benches and free weights, plus all kinds of different equipment you may not usually see in your regular gym: huge tires, climbing ropes, an obstacle course, a boxing ring, punching bags, etc.
We warmed up with some tin soldiers, karaokes (or grapevines, as I know them – does anyone else call them that?), and the like, using the big open space in the middle for the majority of our work.
And then we got into the meat of it. We did circuits that involved carrying and squatting with weighted duffel bags, box jumps, getting across the monkey bars, swinging a sledge hammer while standing atop a huge tire, shuttle runs, and some other crazy stuff. Big Al told us what to do, and then Norm and I followed him in completing the circuits. ; Although we were focusing more on form and completion than speed, we still moved pretty fast, and it was definitely a wake up call for me that my cardio/stamina needs some serious work.
We also did circuits with kettle bells – which I’ve never really used, but loved! – as well as some plank work, bear crawls to pushups, and situps. ; And just about the time I was feeling like I might die, we finished with three minutes each on the Jacob’s ladder, the Stairmaster, and with the jump rope. ; ;
And then I really did die.
I’ll tell you, even though I thought I was in fairly good shape, this workout kicked my butt. I would say I definitely held my own, and the only thing I had to cut corners on were the box jumps: I changed them to step-ups on the second go-round so I didn’t fall on my face. (Oh, and I couldn’t do the rope climb at the very end, but I’m not that embarrassed about that one. I’ll work on it.)
But as difficult as it might have been (and as sore as I
might be will be tomorrow), I had so much fun, and if I had the opportunity to do this style of workouts more often, I absolutely would. ; Norm was telling me that the owner of the gym teaches classes there, which I would love to try if I’d be in town longer. ; It’s really a bummer that I just found out about this place now because I would definitely join if I wasn’t moving away. ; I love the laid back atmosphere, and when we were there, we were the only three people in the whole place! ; That’s a huge plus for me, because I hate waiting for equipment and feeling like people might be looking at me. ; I like to look like a goon flipping tires in privacy, thankyouverymuch! ;
Al was also great at explaining each of the moves we did, and gave me some awesome tips about buying a set of kettle bells and searching on YouTube for military-inspired workouts I can do on my own. I think it might be a little more difficult to push myself to do this intense style of workout alone, but I’m definitely looking forward to cranking up the intensity of my workouts again once I get settled at my new place and with my new routine, so these will be a great addition to the rotation!
If you are local and looking for a new gym, I would definitely encourage you to check out AFC! ; It may not be for everyone, but it seemed to me like a great place where you can just go in and get. things. done. without all of the hoopla of some of the more mainstream chain gyms, and that’s what I loved about it. ; That and the fact that you could pretty much do any kind of workout you could possibly think up there!
For more information, check out their website here.
After we got home, I showered up and made a smoothie that I could take with me to do some errands for my mom. ; Into the blender went plain Greek yogurt, a scoop of vanilla protein powder + water, strawberries, a kiwi, frozen blueberries, and a ton of spinach.
Quick, refreshing, healthy, and delicious!
Now I’m off to do some more errands. ; Lots to do before the big moving day coming up.
Catch you later!