I find working out in the gymnasium, especially doing weights a very philosophical thing. There are certain things I do, and certain things I don't out of sheer respect towards my fellow beings. For one, there is this equipment that helps in building the back muscles and shoulder muscles. It involves being in a seated position (like on a chair) and lifting weights behind your back and in front of you. There is a stack of weights that are connected to the suspension wires and the number of weight units (each of 10kg) chosen decides the weight one is lifting. I understand that a reader of this piece, gets a feeling that the author assumes him to be one without knowledge of basic physics in lifting weights and of gymnasium equipment. The reader could not be further away from the truth. I am a novice when it comes to gymnasiums and their perpetually plotting equipment. Plotting to make me feel weak, week by week!
The previous 'gym' I had been to was in reality an akkada. Called Iyer's Gym and in one of the 'tougher' parts of Bangalore, it had the rowdy elements of the area working out on a daily basis. All of them had bulging stomachs of pure muscle. Weird! I think I draw my current shape from those folks there. My friends had suggested a certain routine to me on the eve of my tryst with Iyer. It included that one exercise I despise the most - ab crunches. Along with me was a debutant who I swear looked like he was a product of lean manufacturing concepts. Shockingly (for me) both of us were given the same routine. Like hell I was going to follow that. But, along with 'love thy neighbour', I am a strong believer in the tenet 'Listen to thy gym instructor'. After 2 days I had added an extension to the tenet and it read 'Listen to thy gym instructor... when he is present physically in the gym'. I started doing the crunches inspite of him telling me not to do that, as soon as he went out for his morning cuppa. 20 minutes later on his return, I realized he was staring at me with bloodshot coffee stained eyes. What I lacked in brawn, I made up in brain back then. (now I strongly feel I lack both). What had happend was that Kumar, the friendly 200 pounder, 6 footer had ratted on me and told the gym owner that I worked on abs in his absence. There have been very few occasions when strangers have attached street vernaculars to my name. Iyer was an early bird into this list. The next day, I had voluntarily quit the gym. There was a nagging doubt about me getting back my princely 50 bucks, paid for the first month (Yes, there indeed were gyms that charged that much). I suspected there would be more vernaculars to describe me, and the fraility of the pectorals and the sensitivity of the self didn't let me take the risk of seeking refunds.
This is my third attempt at working out. Seems good until now. 8 consecutive days (sparing the Sunday when the gym is closed) I've been to the gym. My first question to mezher was 'I'm a smoker, is it going to affect my work-outs?'. Most folks with IQs in the 30-45 range get the answer to that one right! Mezher isn't your regular bloke. He's got an IQ higher than 4 or 5 heads of such average folks, strung together with a skipping rope from the gym. 'Smoking ... its ok, it burns calories, it should not be a problem'. 'But for holistic health, I think you should stop'. I'm not lying folks.. I'm not! My fellow 'gymmer' Rahul will vouch for that.
I also am a strong believer in following the right diet. Every alternate day, after a fairly rigorous work out, I have had energy drinks. Last friday, it was beer with masala peanuts, french fries and some other starter I can't recall. Skipped dinner! Last saturday, I had to change the routine. I settled for some whiskey, without experimenting too much from the Friday haul of starters. Dinner skipped again! Sunday, as God wants it, was a rest day for me and the gym.
Monday and Wednesday has seen me appreciating the finer fizz in beer once again, with a different friend this time. Unfortunately I had to have dinner on both these days. I find myself feeling heavier everytime I have beer and masala peanuts as a combo deal. I think the masala peanuts don't go well with me. Will try the salted format this time.
So folks, do remember, its not just sufficient to go to a gym! Its necessary to go to the right gym! Its not just necessary to go to the right gym, its pertinent to have the right energy drinks after working out. Eat healthy, be healthy! Right!!