Are You Using This?

lift-weightsI’ve discussed before how I’m not the most social at the gym. But there are some questions that don’t bother me that much.

“Are you using this?” is typically not one of them. It’s a reasonable, polite question that can avoid some serious confrontations.

It’s just, when I get asked by the same people several times if I’m using some weights that I’m clearly using, I start to lose my patience.

And that’s what happened the other day. I didn’t technically lose my patience, but I sure came close.

A small group of dudes who were clearly total bros who loved to come to the weight room and pretend their working out when really they’re holding weights in strange positions and gossiping like Sex and the City ladies.

Yet because of their proximity to me, they seemed to think if I wasn’t actually touching a weight at that moment that it was easier just to ask me if I was using it than to go look for and find a similar (or, dare I say, heavier?) weight themselves.

The first time it happened, whatever. The second time, I was confused. But the third? I thought they must have been messing with me. But they weren’t They were just too lazy to walk to the weight rack themselves and too self-absorbed to realize they were asking the same person.

Doofuses. Doofusi? Doofi? Doofi.

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Get Your Reps In

female2In many ways, I approach my career athletically. I grew up playing lots of different sports and learned the value in practicing daily for incremental improvements in order to become overall better during game time. I understand that every chance you get to practice even the smallest of moves, you improve your overall performance in the game. I also understand that it’s helpful to take notes of specific games and how you did in them to analyze and see what you do well and what needs improvement.

And I apply a lot of that to my career. Daily. I treat performances as game time. I do the best I can given whatever surroundings conditions I’m playing in and analyze how I did afterwards. I know it’s not the same because in the entrainment world- especially in comedy- so much is arbitrary. But you can find ways to evaluate yourself. And you can understand how different moves help overall performance.

For instance, I consider doing stand up open mics the same as doing cardio at the gym. It’s necessary and can make a big difference in your overall physique. But doing hours and hours of it doesn’t always give you the best outcome for your time investment. You’ll improve, of course, but it’ll be incremental. And I consider writing like lifting weights. The more time I spend writing- whether it’s these blog posts, screenplays, short films, sketches, stand up jokes- the better I become as a comedic brain. In the best case scenario, in a good workout, you can get in both your weight lifting and your cardio sessions. But if you only choose one, you can just choose based on the immediate goals ahead.

Lately, for me, I’ve been lifting more weights and doing more writing. As a result, I’ve sculpted my body more effectively and created a ton more opportunities for performances that feature my strengths and sensibilities I wouldn’t otherwise have. And I’ve been happy with the results on both ends.

But I’m of course itching to find time to get that cardio back in my routine. I like to get those reps in on the mics to stay fresh and connected to the community. Even just one mic a week (or a couple cardio per week) and I can keep from getting too rusty.

So gotta keep the performance and practice routines balanced. Otherwise you get fat and not funny. And that’s just an odd combination.

I don’t mean it. I just needed a way to quickly end this post because things were getting too real. 

Switch Up

I got some advice from a hunky personal trainer the other day. He said that people in good shape (and I include myself in that because of my frequent gym sessions) should probably change up their routine every two weeks or so to keep their body growing and guessing. He asked me how long I’ve been doing my routines at the gym. I told him, “A while.”

The truth is, I’ve been doing them since friggin’ June or July.

To be fair, the exercising I’m doing are the classics. And there are some schools that think the classics really are all you need to improve your shape. And I’ve been going up in weight and adding moves here and there. And because of my schedule, I’m not always doing the everything every time I go.

But I’ve been basically doing the same thing. And I like it. But it’s definitely time to get creative and change things up.

So this week, I did just that. I found a workout routine on my “Workout Trainer” app called “Dedicated to Muscle.” It incorporates a lot of different great movements and weights in a different order.

And it was really challenging! And I was terrible at some of the movements! It turns out I can barely do a weighted single leg squat. I mean, like… barely. And there was this move called “Pistols”… let me tell you… I couldn’t do them like at all! I was terrible at them! I mean, terrible! The couple times I tried to do a full movement, I fell on my rump. The other times, when I tried to do less of a movement, my balance was completely off and I could barely do it. Plus, my gym boyfriend was working out right next to me, so it was even more embarrassing! (But maybe made him notice me which is actually a good thing…)

It was actually really exciting to be terrible at something again. You really do get so used to certain movements. Even if you add weight to those movements, your body is already good at them. Just by trying these other movements I have a very hard time with, I can feel muscles that haven’t been working getting a good workout. I can feel my body trying to learn this new stuff and growing. I know that it takes a bit by bit to get good at something, so I’m looking forward to a couple weeks from now when I can do a full “Pistol” and a full movement on weighted single leg squat.

And once I can do those, it’ll be time to change it up again.

Gotta keep the body guessing. Just like I keep men in my life guessing as to how I feel about them and which of my many multiple personalities might show up.

I wish I were joking about that last part.

Alas and alack.

Glasses at the Gym

I wear contacts. I needs thems in mine eyes to make me see good. And to makes me sound like a pirate from Alabama. Both them things. Arrg y’all.

Once every thirty days I have to switch out my contacts for a new pair and in doing so, have to give my eyes a breather. And that’s when I wear my feminine, sparkly, girly glasses.

Every once in a while, glasses day coincides with a heavy lifting day at the gym. Which always makes me feel funky because I wear my feminine, sparkly, girly glasses and lift like a beast.

This happened the other day. My glasses actually fogged over at one point. I had to constantly take them off in order to wipe the sweat off my face. I felt like a professor. But also a superhero. Like Professor X, but without the wheelchair. Or the amazing mind controlling powers. Believe you me, if I had those mind powers I would have had plenty of the men in that weight room sitting there with their shirts off. And I would have given deodorant to the old man who kept using the machines before me.

Instead, I just looked silly wearing my glasses. Sillier than usual, that is.

Gloves

So I’ve been consistently lifting for about a month now, and I’m surprised at how much I genuinely enjoy it! It makes it a lot easier to come into the weight room knowing exactly what exercises you’ll be doing and how many reps and what weight you previously used and having a plan for the day (I use iFitness app to help me! One of the few apps I’ve paid for and definitely worth the money).

The only problem with all this lifting is that my hands were starting to get rougher than normal. And despite the fact that I do comedy and otherwise want to look pretty jacked, I actually want to maintain some of my lady-like charm. What little of it I have in the first place, that is…

Solution? Gloves! I got gloves! I now wear these little fingerless lifting gloves with fishnet backing when I lift! And not only do they make me look pretty badass, but they help keep my hands from getting all calloused and manly.

If I got calloused hands, the next thing you know I’d be grunting and spraying my spit all over the place like the rest of the animals in the weight room.

I mean men. Not animals. I sometimes get them confused.

To be fair, you would too if you saw what I saw every day… :::shudders:::

Back for more tomorrow!