Creating atmosphere

Creating atmosphere

For the third week in a row I got to work out with someone other than my own reflection, this time lifting with both Rob and our trainer. I learned two things from the lifting session: it is truly inspiring (and humbling!) to be around incredibly fit people, and I love eating post-workout carbs at night!

The gym we went to was packed full of bodybuilders – quite a stark contrast to my gym, which is full of guys who have smaller arms than me. I think my head has gotten too big over the past couple of months from lifting at my gym so going somewhere different was a nice reminder that I still have a long way to go.

It’s always good to mix up your workouts, whether by changing the environment or varying the actual exercises. To be around people who are so clearly ripped can invoke one of two reactions. Either you feel super intimidated and want to shrink away into the shadows, or you take the opportunity as a challenge to push yourself harder. It was crazy to see how heavy our trainer was lifting – I swear it actually made my weights feel lighter!

We trained back and biceps. Apparently my back definition is coming in nicely, but my idea of muscular seems to be different to my trainer’s! I also reconfirmed that my biceps are beyond weak. In fact, they’re so pathetic I actually have to start doing mock bicep curls with a broomstick handle so that I can build up proper rotation.

As usual, Rob was lusting after a number of the guys’ figures in the gym. Unfortunately, according to our reputable source, most of them were on steroids. Rob is mighty impatient when it comes to seeing results and wants to take steroids, but I refuse to let him because of the nasty side-effects. I constantly tell him he needs to be more patient and find inspiration in men who have built up their size naturally over a number of years.

Steroids? Yes please!

We worked out in the evening, which was also different. I’m used to working out first thing in the morning but lately I’ve been reading that, if you’re training for a competition, it’s better to work out in the late afternoon or evening. The reason is because your body’s core temperature peaks later in the day and your pain threshold is also highest – both factors which allow you to lift heavier. Finally, by having more meals in your system, your energy levels will undoubtedly be higher.

When I first thought about working out after work I immediately dismissed it. Although I go to the gym three times a week after work anyway to do various classes, I wouldn’t be able to commit to going every single day in case something work-related came up. Furthermore, there’s a big difference between doing a soothing yoga class and pumping myself up with a heavy lifting session. The latter usually leaves me wired for a good few hours afterwards, and I wouldn’t want to risk my exercise interfering with my sleep.

Although I feel like I’m putting a lot of energy into my morning workouts, can I really assume that I wouldn’t be more efficient in the evenings if I’ve never actually tried it? If I had total choice I would work out in the middle of the day like Rob.

Another compelling reason for me to make the switch to evening workouts is that I can then eat carbs at night post workout. At the moment I’m not eating carbs past 12pm and while I’m mostly fine with this I’ll always miss evening carbs. Since I started training seriously I haven’t been eating any carbs at night so it’s nothing new, however.

My problem is that I could happily forego carbs at every meal – except dinner. For some reason, I’ve always drawn comfort in eating carbs after a long day at work, and fish and salad just isn’t going to cut it. I almost think that I’m fighting a losing battle by not eating carbs at night, so my body might subconsciously telling me I should be lifting at night. One can dream, right?

One reason I’m not so keen to change my routine is that my gym is dead quiet in the morning. I can move around freely without having to wait for any machines or space and nobody is really paying attention to what I’m doing. After work, on the other hand, it’s mayhem in there.

What time do you work out and is it working for you? Do you feel motivated working out around other fit people or do you prefer to be a stand-out?

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