Stepping Away From the Glitter…Again!

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Yesterday I gave my Glitter Gym notice I was leaving.

For those new to the site, I use the term “Glitter Gym” to refer to the modern gym which is full of cardio equipment, mirrors and often loud dance music. When I coined the term over a decade ago. I use it as an umbrella term to describe places like 24 Hour Fitness, Bally’s, LA Fitness and Fitness 19. Since I moved away from traditional weight lifting to HIT (High Intensity Training), I no longer use the term in a derogatory manner. I use it out of habit. 

My decision to leave the gym has been a long time coming. As I explained in my August post Why I Traded Volume for Intensity at the Glitter Gym, the temperature at Fitness 19 Ballard is too damn high. It is often 70 degrees in the gym. The grocery store next door is more comfortable. Limiting my intensity to avoid headaches was fine for a while, but I’ve grown increasingly bored at the gym. It isn’t fun anymore.

For over a year I complained about the temperature and my request was ignored. I was the only one complaining. It is my belief that the temperature of the gym was set for the comfort of the inactive staff and not for patrons. And I understand that. Replacing me is much easier than replacing the 20 year old girl huddled by a space heater working the front desk.

The other patrons and most of the staff falsely believe that their breaking a sweat is an indicator of the quality of their workout. The reality is one could break a sweat tying their shoe at that gym. In today’s Glitter Gym one no longer needs to work up a sweat – it is done for them. And that is why I left.

Chin-up Bars

Photo by Daniel Oines. Some chin-ups, push-ups and a wall sit are all you need. Glitter not required.

Returning to HillFit

I’m going back to the body weight fitness program described in the ebook Hillfit. Jokingly, I told someone that I would do the HillFit routine in the grocery store next to the gym for a superior workout. Who wants to join me for a QFC workout? We’ll meet by the ice cream case – so it will be easy to grab our post-workout meal.

Seriously, I’ll be doing the workout outside, much like I did the last time I left the Glitter Gym in 2011. A lower temperature for me results in a much higher intensity workout, which means I’ll be doing fewer workouts and spending more days in recovery.

At some point, I’m sure I’ll get bored and return to another Glitter Gym, but you can bet it will have to be cooler than Fitness 19 Ballard. My last day for Glitter will be December 15th.

13 thoughts on “Stepping Away From the Glitter…Again!

  1. Jim

    MAS,
    Why not stay at the Gym and try the Flexi Freeze Ice Vest (see it at Amazon)?
    Only half serious. 🙂

  2. rob

    I live in Florida, today it hit 86 degrees outside, I’m okay with 70. I do dislike the music at my Glitter Gym but that is offset by the opportunity to use a whole bunch of equipment for $19 a month.

    Plus hot chicks in yoga pants.

  3. There are comfortable 70 degrees if the air is flowing, but Fitness 19 was always stuffy. When I lived in florida, I went to air conditioned gyms that I guess were 68-70 degrees that were fine. Something about the airflow in that place.

  4. Michael,

    If you live somewhere cold enough to do this most of the year that would be great. Ironically, most gyms are horrible places to work out. I suspect you are right about the temperature – it is set for the employees’ comfort, not the members, and you are absolutely correct about sweat being neither necessary for or an indicator of effective exercise. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend looking up Ken Hutchins’ articles on exercise and heat dissipation, as well as the Stanford studies on temperature and fatigue.

    One of the gyms I worked out at in college was in a large converted warehouse, and they would leave one of the bay doors open during the winter (this was in Green Bay, WI) and I loved it and so did most of the other people who trained there. Unless you were heavily dressed you HAD to work hard to stay warm 🙂

    HillFit is a great program and bodyweight training in general can be extremely effective when done correctly. You’re not going to lose anything by quitting the glitter gym (except maybe the hot girls in yoga pants, but you can find those anywhere).

  5. @Roland – I have a 25# KB which I use for goblet squats.

    @Drew – Before Greg Anderson’s passing I got to workout twice at his HIT gym, which was kept at 61 degrees, just like Dr. McGuff uses for his gym. The great thing about outdoors in Seattle, is I can usually find a pocket of 45-60 degrees outdoors most days of the week. I’m also going to be using ideas from your new book as well. Thanks.

  6. Thanks Michael, I hope you find the book helpful and would appreciate any feedback you can offer after using some of the exercises or methods for a while.

    Most people don’t appreciate what a huge difference temperature makes. Our home gym (UXS, adjustable bench, and dumbbells) is in a screened in porch and it is great in the mornings and evenings during the winter in Florida, but working out outdoors in the summers here sucks.

  7. Txomin

    I’ve got the same problem. The gym crowd fails to understand that a hot environment is actually detrimental to exercise. Then again, most of them are not exercising but being entertained.

    Anyway, it’s cooling down outdoors so I’ve restarted the sprinting and what not.

  8. @Txomin – This is an interim fix to some back-end issues I’ve been having with the site. I hope to get everything fixed and launch a redesign before the weekend is over.

  9. Michael, you appear to be in the ideal environment to exercise outdoors. It is about to be subfreezing winter here in Montreal, and the folks in the subtropics are complaining about heat, while you have the happy medium.

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