Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Some go to the gym for a workout, some go to the gym for a shower

Lately I’ve been noticing that my gym has been rather empty in terms of people working out. The ladies changing room, however, is still packed with people. Yesterday I realized why. I started looking at the people that came into the changing room around the same time as me (one young girl in sky-high heels, one old lady and one office girl). Did any of these people change to workout gear and join me to the actual gym? Oh no. Rather, they stripped down and hit the shower. So, this explains why there are so many free treadmills at the gym (when I joined in Feb this year I used to have to fight for a spot) but not so many free hair-dryers in the changing room (like I have previously explained it is extremely popular to skip the towel and turn to the hair-dryer to blow-dry your body instead). I would never pay 1800 rmb/year for a shower, but then again, maybe they have their reasons. And maybe they do a workout from time to time.

Another interesting observation made in the women’s changing room was that one of a young woman putting on a corset top underneath her training clothes?! I first didn’t get it at all, until the put a t-shirt on top and I got the point: ahhhh, some extra help of keeping the tummy in. That’s quite a lot of effort some people go thought in order to look good while working out. Can you imagine working out in a tight corset top that only gives you limited breathing support. Uhhhh…

Finally, I have to say that I’m now torn between continuing my membership at my shitty gym (because yes, it is SO SHITTY! It’s dirty, it doesn’t open until 6.30am, they are stingy with the air-con during summer, the people working in there are rude, and so on) or joining a new (more expensive) one. My workmate has started at a new place and surprised me by telling me she joined a spinning class.

-For real? You took a spinning class in China? On free will?

-Yes, it was quite good!

-Without wearing earplugs?

-Yes, can you believe it? The instructor actually spoke, rather than just screamed.

-Wow. Tempting.

I’m still not convinced. But intrigued. The spinning I’ve taken over here has been very uneven in terms of quality. At my gym in Suzhou it was quite good from time to time, but in Shanghai it’s gone straight downhill. The music is so loud in the spinning room that when you step into the room, 2 floors down, you can tell that there’s a class going on upstairs. Not sure if I want to torture my ears with that, regardless of how much fat I'll be able to burn.

3 comments:

chen.esseff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Don Tai said...

It is very odd and expensive to go to a gym simply to shower. Then again maybe they have their reasons.

The corset for working out sounds painful. Maybe an exercise in exertion while using less oxygen? Painful.

roy said...

I grew up in Beijing during a time when there weren't many cars on the road and most of the people rode bicycles everywhere. I would attribute the general excellence in the health of older Chinese people to riding bikes everyday, eating lots of vegetables and not eating much meat or dairy products. It's rather strange now to think that there are spinning classes in Shanghai... or anywhere in China for that matter.