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Morning disappointment, MyProtein style.

I mentioned I had bought some protein shake powder and one of those little plastic cups to drink it out of. That all arrived yesterday, so I eagerly mixed up my first batch this morning. Put in 250ml of water, added 25g of powder (or what I estimated to be 25g with a ladle – the Official MyProtein 25g Scoop did not come with the pack), and gave the thing a good shake, as per instructions.

Why would you not make your milkshake shaker watertight, is my question. Little drops of gross water went everywhere and all down the side of the cup. And then even when I was drinking it, it was dripping down my front. I had planned on mixing these up and taking them to the gym in the morning, now if I want to do that I’ll need to put it inside a watertight container. I guess people have had worse problems.

A note on the taste. I went for vanilla. The first taste (the part that went in my mouth) was actually really nice. Sweet, slightly weird in texture but generally ok. The very next sip, my throat basically tried to close up and reject it. How can something go from moderately tasty to incredibly gross so quickly? It reminded me of the Butterbeer from the Harry Potter Studio Tour. If you ever find yourself there, save your £4.50.

If you ever find yourself on the MyProtein website, don’t forget to order the scoop. And a bib.

 

 

Do you remember this blog?

I did, about an hour ago. I bet there’s a book you could make of the first three posts of long-forgotten fitness blogs. So much optimism. So many inspirational quotes.

Anyway, the 4-6 weeks I had intended on being injured for turned into 4-6 months, which was pretty awful. But now I am nearly operational, I’ve started going to the gym again. The funny thing is, I can’t sit down on any of the machines or anything yet. All I can do is stand there and lift weights. However, people tell me that’s actually probably a pretty good thing, as standing up means you operate more of your core muscles when you’re doing stuff.

It’s been about three weeks and I am definitely lifting heavier stuff than I was three weeks ago, so that’s progress. In a move of stunning predictability, I’ve ordered some of that Protein Shake Powder stuff and one of those dorky little plastic lid-cups off the internet, so that should be arriving in the next day or two and then it’s all systems go. I also bought a vest from Sports Direct. It looks pretty hilarious.

Things I need to figure out:

  • A workout plan. I know you’re meant to do like, quadro-glutes on one day, then bicep smashers the next day, then auxiliary-squattro-rotations on day 3 etc. What I do is, just go in there and move weights around until I feel like I’ve been in there long enough. I need a routine in order to work stuff to exhaustion, then allow it to rest by working on something else.
  • What to eat. Everyone tells me that in order to gain any bulk, you have to eat a fuck ton of eggs and whatnot. My main problem is whether to have breakfast before or after.
  • Where the sauna is.

No pictures yet.

 

Personal training

Although I can’t currently attend the gym, I guess I can still write about it here. Anyway, I mentioned when I signed up that I was due two free personal training sessions, and get them I did. I organised one soon after joining the gym, and was told the guy they’d ascribed to me would get in touch soon.

A day or so later a guy called, and we arranged my first session. I was expecting him to ask what I wanted to get out of the gym, my goals and so on, and an induction to the gym and a look around. To this day I don’t know where the sauna is.

So yeah, what I did get was, an incredibly punishing workout. I told the guy numerous times that I’d never really done any training before, but it fell on deaf ears. He had me doing circuits of squats, star jumps, all that shit, then moved on to swinging some heavy disc around the place, before a load of pull-ups. The trainer had a background in boxing, and he had me put gloves on and throw feeble punches at pads he was holding too. When I literally turned green he finally stopped the madness and allowed me to catch my breath, before getting me to do some pressups.

This was not what I had in mind and it wasn’t what I wanted. I still didn’t know what an adductor machine was. The guy clearly wanted me to be good at the same boxing fitness he was interested in, and didn’t seem to care that I was a deeply shallow man who just wanted to look better in swimming shorts.

Because I’m a coward, I asked the reception bloke if next time, I could have a different trainer who’d be a bit more tailored to what I wanted.

A day later, the trainer called me and asked why he wasn’t doing my next session, and told me that they “couldn’t” swap me to someone else because he’d been signed up for both my sessions. I don’t know if they work on commission, or what.

My next session was more of the same. I told the guy I couldn’t afford to carry on training with him after the free sessions, and he said he’d make me a programme I could follow three days a week. I said ok, great, and arranged to meet him later in the week to go through it.

I arrived at 6pm on the day and he wasn’t at the gym. He text me later on and said he’d email me the programme, but he never did.

So, yeah. Personal training at Fitness First, not that good.

Fair play

I emailed the complaint link on the Fitness First website this morning, and they’ve already been in touch to apologise and refund the £20 I’d have got if I’d completed my little stamp book. Amazingly quick response, and apparently they are going to look into upping their customer service quality. So there you go, one more squeaky wheel getting some oil, and hopefully someone else won’t be made to feel as big of a dick as I was the other day.

Injuries

Well, it had to happen. Just as I was getting into some kind of rhythm, I had to have a small operation that will put me out of training for 4-6 weeks.

Here’s how Fitness First helped. They offered to defer my membership for a month, which was kind of nice but kind of pointless.

Here is how they did not help. You remember the “come 20 times in 8 weeks and get £20 back” reward card, well I’m only a few stamps away and asked, before the surgery, whether I would just lose this.

The fella on reception was super nice, and said if I could just make it along to the gym with my card, walk around for a bit and leave, he’d stamp it for me.

So, four days after the op, I hobbled in to find some blonde devil woman manning the stamper. I explained my situation, and she and a couple of the PTs hanging around laughed in my face. When she noticed I wasn’t laughing, she said “Imagine if we let everyone do that, the point is you’re supposed to train.”

I pointed out that I wanted to train but wasn’t fit to, but she point blank refused to help me out. She went and spoke to her manager, who apparently backed her up.

Fine, I said, I’d like to come in and train. I walked in, took a drink at the water fountain, then walked back out. “You didn’t train,” she insisted, “I just watched you.”

She wouldn’t stamp my thing, is the end of the story. It was terrible customer service and I wished I worked at Men’s Health or something so I could threaten them with a dreadful exposè. As it was, I just slunk out, annoyed.

The worst part is I was actually beginning to enjoy the gym, now I’m not only unable to work out, but I’ve been mugged off by some bitch that works there. That’s life.

It’s been a month now

Nearly. Have I noticed a difference in my physique? Not really.

That said, I haven’t a clue what I’m doing. The psychotic gym instructor (of which more another time, honest) is meant to be making me a programme of exercises to follow, but he hasn’t yet.

What I do is, go to the gym three times a week and just sort of rotate by the machines and do a bit on all the ones I can work out how to use. However, my friend Dan told me that the machines actually aren’t any good, so the last week or so I’ve been trying to get more involved in the big free weights room out the back, hanging out with the blokes who look like they throw washing machines over tractors for fun. I fit in.

Joining a gym

I suppose the hardest part of joining a gym is actually joining a gym. My primary concerns were convenience, and cost. I was looking to pay around £40 a month, which to me seems fairly reasonable for what you get for it: A place you can have a shower when your boiler breaks down.

A gym on the same street as my work cost £69pcm, and was full of ancient, creaky machines. I did not join this gym.

A gym on the same street as where my work is moving in a few months costs £25 a month, and seemed fairly good, being connected to a larger leisure centre. This gym also had a pool, which I did not care about.

The gym I ended up joining was a Fitness First, who charge me £45 a month. I had to sign a 12 month contract which I wasn’t happy about, but if you want the option to get out whenever you want, the price jumps up to something like £67, so fuck that, obviously. My final price was lowered slightly by the fact that I declined the option to use other Fitness Firsts nationwide, so I’m locked into this facility. If I’d wanted to use all the gyms in the country, the price would have been £50 a month. Psychologically that seems a lot more than £45, to me.

However, it’s really close to my house and on the way to work, so it ticks the convenience box. I’ve been going for around three weeks now and it’s pretty good. In a future post I’m going to select five things I like and five things I don’t like about this particular gym, so I’m sure you’ll look forward to that.

But back to joining the gym. When I signed, I got a free backpack with a little water bottle inside, and a little towel thing, and a keyfob that gets me discounts at places like 3 mobile (as if) and, like, Thomas Cook holidays or something.  I also got two free personal training sessions, more of which in a future post.

They also took a £40 joining fee, and gave me a little loyalty-stamp card. If I get 20 stamps within 8 weeks, I get £20 of the joining fee back. A nice incentive for first-time members, which I am hopefully on my way to fulfilling.

IN THE NEXT THRILLING INSTALMENT: WHAT IS “PERSONAL TRAINING” AND WHY IS IT SO TERRIBLE