Monday 12 October 2015

Face Up Fitness: Au Revoir LA Fitness… Coping With Change

‘The Times They Are A-Changin’’. Those lyrics from a 1964 anthemic protest song by Bob Dylan hold a certain resonance for me right now. Last Monday I said a sad farewell to my local LA Fitness in Tunbridge Wells, bringing to an end 15 happy years of fitness training at the club.

The last few months there have not been particularly jolly. I have witnessed more than a few little protests (verbal – this is Tunbridge Wells!) amongst members unhappy at the changes.

LA Fitness has just been bought by budget chain PureGym, and clubs up and down the country are undergoing major refurbishments – over £1m is being spent on my (smallish) club alone! That may sound all well and good. And in part it is - I am delighted that money is being injected into a tired looking club in desperate need of new kit et al. 

But not all of the changes that are heading our way are welcome: Bye bye sauna and steam room, I will miss you immensely - nothing quite unwinds the mind and cleanses the body after a gruelling workout than a hot steam (though the sauna has been out of action for weeks as no maintenance has been undertaken). Farewell too swimming pool - though I won’t miss you personally I know plenty of members who will.

Little thought has been given to the opinions of those who have been long-time loyal members. Communication from head office has been dire, and it feels very much like we’ve been thrown out on the street to fend for ourselves while the club closes for at least four months as building work takes place – friendships have splintered and we’ve all had to find new gym homes.
Club Notice on Closing Day: Building Work Already Started 

Ranting aside, recent events have brought into sharp focus just how terrible I am at dealing with change. I’m a creature of habit. I like order and routine in my life. It makes me feel safe and secure. The unknown worries me. I become all stressed and anxious when I feel situations are beyond my control.

Does that sound familiar? Or are you the laid back type, who can take change on the chin? You’re able to just sit back, relax and let events unfold without worry. You’ll deal with situations as and when they crop up, without any prior planning. Is that you?

I wish I was more like that, but I’m not. So the next few months are going to be interesting for me, as I get used to new routines and surroundings – not to say equipment. The gym I’ve joined temporarily is very much a ‘blokes gym’ and has some very scary-looking kit! More on that in upcoming Face Up Fitness posts!

On a happier note, my personal training sessions have been going from strength-to-strength and luckily I have continuity there as my PT has found new premises. I’ve interspersed this post with a few snaps from my final PT session - shoulder day!

In order of appearance: Face Pulls using the Lat Pull Down machine (main pic). This is good for toning the Traps (the upper part of the shoulders). Standing Barbell Shoulder Press (bottom pic). This is good for toning the Traps and Deltoids (muscle forming the rounded contour of the shoulder). 
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