Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A gym in every port

As noted previously, I am completely a creature of habit, particularly when it comes to working out. My routine is my routine, and I greatly prefer not to change it. It's just how I'm wired.

Under normal circumstances, my gym of choice is an up-and-coming chain called Equinox Fitness. I have unnaturally strong feelings of affection for Equinox. First off, they have locations all over NYC, including one about 8 blocks from my office. Even better, they have another in my town in CT which is directly across the street from the commuter train station. It's a very nice, well maintained gym with modern equipment and really good staff. Most importantly, I know where everything is, and I built my overly elaborate workout routine around their standard set-ups. As noted, I take big comfort in the familiar.

So, when I'm home and working in NY, I am very comfortable and at ease that all of my exercise dreams can be fulfilled (sounds kind of sad now that I say it out loud).

If I were a runner (and I'm not), all the world would be my exercise oyster as I could theoretically run anywhere. Further, just about every full service hotel has a gym with a treadmill, so that's pretty easy. Same goes for walkers. Same could also go for people who work out with bands and other portable gear. One little problem. I don't run, walking isn't enough for me, and I have no interest in changing over to the bands or any other resistance substitute. Not judging, but they just are not for me.

Fear not obsessive gym rat people. Gyms are almost as ubiquitous as Dunkin Donuts and McDonalds (ironic). So here are my tricks for staying in the game when I'm on the road:
  • Vacation strategy: I'm staying in the Cape this week, and I had no problem finding a very suitable gym that was happy to sell me a one week membership. Sweet! (again, sad that this makes me so euphoric). Google Maps did the trick very nicely in this effort.
  • Hotel strategy #1: stay at a hotel that has a full service gym. Every full service hotel will say it has a fitness center. Usually, "fitness center" is French for 4 pieces of a crummy equipment. Don't mean to be a snob here, but it's true. Look for hotels that say they have a health club. That's usually code for a bunch of equipment. You won't find the assortment of a 24 Hour Fitness or Equinox, but they will do in a pinch.
  • Hotel strategy #2: stay at a hotel that's close to a full service gym. I did this in San Diego, and the hotel was able to sell me a $15 pass for the local 24 Hour Fitness. It was a great gym, and it made me smile. In my case, as an Equinox member, I can find hotels near Equinox gyms in a bunch of big cities including LA, Chicago, Boston, and others. I would guess that I've been to about 12 to 13 different Equinox gyms around the country. BTW, I've used the local gym strategy not only in the US, but also in Europe (Barcelona, Dusseldorf) and Australia.
Some people need constant variety in their exercise routine, while others need rock solid consistency. I am clearly the later. Despite my inflexible, OCD-like gym preferences, I have been able to make it work. When it comes to living a healthier life, a little research and advanced planning has truly been my friend.


  1. I know I am only one of a mere handful of guys that follow this blog and I only found out about it from my territory manager, but every post I read here provides me with a great boost. The previous entry about how habit trumps motivation was terrific and now I see how you manage it, even with living out of a suitcase half the time.

  2. The "French for 4 pieces of equipment" made me chortle. How true. The hotel we stayed at for BLS had a treadmill that I thought would break my neck. The belt moved in such a herky jerky manner that I decided to take the hint and run outside.

  3. Finally someone out there who see's what we(guys) see. Keep writing and keep us motivated!