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The Regulars VS The New Year Crowd



It’s official, the New Year Crowd is dwindling. There were only 6 people in the company gym at lunch today and they were all Regulars. It seems President Day marks the beginning of the downturn in gyms across the nation. Every year the gym is packed to the grill right after the New Year and it is so difficult to find an empty locker, but relief is on the horizon. Rejoice!

One of my New Year Resolution is to Stay Alive! One thing I can control is to go to the gym and work out 4-5 times a week. For the most part, I have been able to do that. The week that Baby RB40 was born, I didn’t get anywhere close to the gym, but I’m back this week. Other than that, I think I had one or two 3-days week and that’s it.

usmc pull up

What is my secret to getting to the gym 4-5 times a week?

  • I schedule in gym time 5 times a week. I plan to go to the gym at lunch every working day. If there is a meeting or other conflict with gym time once a week, I will still be on track. I am one of the Regulars.
  • I mix up my workout so I don’t get too bored. I do yoga 2x a week, boot camp 1x a week and regular work out 3x a week. My regular work out routine is 30 minutes cardio plus 15-20 minutes weight lifting, then a few minutes of stretches. My cardio work out is on one of these machines – elliptical, rowing machine (which you can see has great benefits), or bike machine. My weight lifting work out includes pull up, push up, bicep curl, leg extension, leg curl, back extension, upright row, shoulder raise, sit up, crunches, ab bicycle, and seated row. I only do 3 sets of 4-6 exercises per work out depending on how I feel. For example, I did pull ups, curls, seated row, and abs today. I have been using pretty low weights since my early 30s because I don’t want to get bulked up.
  • I bring my Zune to work out. I can catch up on all my NPR podcasts and listen to music while I work out. Yes, I realize I must be the only guy without an APPLE iThingamajig, but I got a deal on the Zune and I just need to play music/podcast.
  • Make it a habit. I’ve been working out for years and it’s a habit for me now. I know the gym does not work for many people, but there are always alternatives. My father in law goes for a long walk every day and that works for him. You need to find the right activities for you and schedule them in regularly.

Let’s bring it back to Personal Finance. Regularly saving and investing draw a parallel to going to the gym. If you set up automatic saving plan and regularly save and invest, you will have more healthy personal finances. Make it a habit and your portfolio will be in great shape eventually.

How about you? Did you make a fitness resolution in 2011? Are you sticking with it? Is it still crowded at your gym?  😉

ps. It was a snow day. That’s why there were only a few people in the gym today, but I do see the numbers going down gradually.

photo credit USMC
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{ 30 comments… add one }
  • LifeAndMyFinances February 25, 2011, 3:57 am

    I think it’s great that people set goals and get to the gym, but to contantly make a frivilous goal of exercise every year is a shame. I like the tips you made. I think they’ll really help people stick it out and be healthy. Nice work!

  • Roshawn @ Watson Inc February 25, 2011, 4:18 am

    I haven’t worked out in two weeks and now feel it. Although I’m sure I’ll pick it up again soon, I guess I would be apart of that “New Year’s Crowd” you were referring to.

    BTW, 5X a week is a pretty serious commitment.

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 9:16 am

      Two weeks?! Get back to the gym Roshawn, you know it will make you feel better.
      I love working out at lunch, it wakes me up for the rest of the work day. Once in a while, I go out to eat lunch with friends instead of working out and the rest of the afternoon is always so unproductive because I would be sleepy the whole time.

  • 101 Centavos February 25, 2011, 4:39 am

    Count me thoroughly impressed, that’s a heck of a workout. You’ll need it, what with baby RB40 kicking your ass all the time.

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 9:10 am

      I think your work out is quite a bit more rigorous than mine. I only do 3-5 exercises with light to medium weight. Your work out sounds much harder. I’ll add a link to your post too, forgot to do that.

  • Kevin @ Thousandaire.com February 25, 2011, 6:24 am

    I’m just starting my working out resolution. I realized a few days ago that I’m in bad shape and I went swimming yesterday. It about killed me.

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 9:14 am

      Swimming kills me too, but it’s a lot of fun right. Too bad I don’t have access to a pool right now.

  • Aloysa February 25, 2011, 2:53 pm

    Do you do dead lifts? You have not mentioned them. I love dead lifts! Romanian and standard (I think it is standard).

    I usually start my work out routine with lifting then at the end do about 15-20 cardio and I am done! I also noticed less people at the gym, mostly regulars. Finally!

    You have to make your exercise a habit or it is sooo easy just not do it. I try to go at least 5 times a week. I like weekends because if I don’t make it to the gym during the week, I always can catch up on the weekend.

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 3:24 pm

      I used to do dead lifts in my 20s. That’s the most difficult lift as I recall. I used to do all the bulk up lifts – bench press, squat, dead lifts, and ??.
      Now I’m old and I’m doing a bit more reps with less weight. It’s much easier on the body. 😉 Anyway, my body type is not the bulk up type so those lifts weren’t good for me. These days my favorite exercises are pull ups and push ups.

      • Aloysa February 25, 2011, 3:50 pm

        I am older than you my friend and I looove dead lifts. They are good if you want to get nice a butt and legs. 😉 Just saying…

        • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 4:51 pm

          haha, sure. We used to scrape the hell out of our shins with dead lifts. I think we were using too much weight. Maybe I can try with dumbbells and see how it goes.
          What’s the difference between Romanian and standard? I searched on youtube and they look the same to me.

          • Aloysa February 26, 2011, 7:33 am

            You don’t bent your knees doing Romanian (just a little). It targets you hamstrings. Standard – you bent your knees.

  • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 3:26 pm

    I was with 24 hours for a long time in my 20s, but I got cheap and I’m using the company gym now. I’ll definitely have to figure something out once I leave this place.

  • krantcents February 25, 2011, 5:17 pm

    Not only am I sticking with my resolution, but I added to it. I just wanted to add one workout during the week, instead I doing it twice! The unintended consequence of my bicycle workout is I am reading more. I wonder what else I can add?

    • retirebyforty February 25, 2011, 10:01 pm

      That’s great! Are you doing any weight lifting? You need to do a bit of that as you get older to keep the muscle and bone density up.

      • krantcents February 27, 2011, 8:14 am

        I am doing it on the M, W, F cycle. It is not as much fun or as long.

  • Melyssa February 25, 2011, 10:51 pm

    Since November I’ve been working out everyday. 3 days of cross training and 3 days of running, and 1 day of any activity which I call my ‘play day’. Seeing that I just finished another set in my cross training program, I decided to scale back and just focus on running. My first 5k of this year is in a month. I’ll pick up the 3 day a week cross training again after that.

    I used to workout at night, but couldn’t keep up or find motivation after a long commute and working all day. Now, I get up around 5:15am and get to it. It has become a habit, and really sets my mood for the day. If I don’t workout, I actually feel more tired during the day, and my body starts to feel a bit stiff.

    • retirebyforty February 26, 2011, 9:13 am

      WOW, working out every day is great! What do you do on the play day? Sports?
      I agree about working out at night, I could never keep up when I tried it. Mid day is much better for me. I get all irritated if I don’t get a little workout in. I’m much more alert for the rest of the day after a workout.

  • Barb Friedberg February 26, 2011, 6:00 pm

    Been working our regularly since age 23. Tae bo, yoga, walking, aerobics, weights etc. Yea, it’s a habit… I still have to drag myself to my workout some days!

    • retirebyforty February 26, 2011, 7:24 pm

      I know what you mean. That’s why I have 4-5 as my goal. Some days are definitely tougher than others.

  • Money Reasons February 26, 2011, 6:03 pm

    I went without structure this year around my resolutions, specifically starting out slowly. So far I’ve only had moderate success. But that’s okay, I can build on top of that and hopefully make some progress before summer comes.

    I don’t think I will do the same next year though…

    • retirebyforty February 26, 2011, 7:23 pm

      It’s tough to stick with the resolutions with no structures, but at least you’ve started. Keep working on it and next year write down a plan! 🙂

  • Invest It Wisely February 26, 2011, 7:54 pm

    That is dedication… great job on sticking to it!

  • First Gen American March 4, 2011, 12:34 am

    I’ve historically been very active but I usually fall off the wagon every year for at least a few months. My work schedule is very wacky and I travel a lot so I can’t commit to a set time every day. Mornings would be best but that’s my blogging time, so I need to start prioritizing one vs the other.

    The money discipline comes easy. Working out is not as easy to do consistently without breaks. Good for you for making it a priority.

    • retirebyforty March 4, 2011, 4:40 pm

      It’s a bit easier for me because my work schedule is pretty stable. Good luck getting back on the wagon. 🙂

  • FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com March 11, 2011, 8:04 am

    My resolutions are pretty achievable but I had to scale them back from doing yoga daily to yoga 3 times a week!

    • retirebyforty March 11, 2011, 8:19 am

      Yoga 3 times a week is still a lot of work out. Great job! Everyday is pretty tough, but I guess that’s why those yoga teachers are in great shape.

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