Getting Out of the Gym

Some people feel at home in a gym. I’ve never felt completely comfortable. In my experience, gyms are either a hard, dungeonesque environment or bright, airy spaces full of all manner of isolation machines. Middle-Ages or High-Tech. Nothing Primal.

Over the past year, I’ve been moving further and further away from the machines in favour of free weights. I don’t even do seated dumbell presses. What’s the point of doing that when you can stand? It’s easier to lift more weight that way sitting down, I guess. I feel the same way about leg press machines. Compared to actual squats, what does the leg press strengthen better aside from your ego?

Anyway, free weights and body weight exercises like pullups and dips feel much more satisfying to me. They just feel “right.” Sure, I can barely do more than three pullups at a time, but they give me a bigger sense of accomplishment than the lat pulldown does.

We’ve been having some good weather in Calgary lately, and the other morning I was feeling way too energetic to be inside, so even though there is still a good three inches of snow on the ground, I put on my Vibram Fivefingers and went out to the park to play around.

Sprinting through the snowbanks in almost-bare feet felt good.

I found trees that were interesting shapes and tried to climb them.

I spent twenty minutes playing on a rope jungle gym, pulling myself up and down and through the weblike structure, forbidding myself from touching the ground.

I threw rocks into the Elbow River. I walked, trotted, and sprinted along the winding path beside it. I left the path to climb hills or jump on little stone monuments. I was out there for over two hours in a fasted state, with no discomfort. I could have done that all day.

It was so interesting to use my muscles in such unscripted ways. Now that I’ve developed them, I can better feel which muscles are doing which tasks. It was an enlightening experience.

Once the snow melts and I can get out there in the warm sun with friends, do hand-walks and cartwheels, and use nature as my gym, I have a feeling I won’t want to go down into the dungeon to work out anymore.

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4 Responses to “Getting Out of the Gym”

  1. Nina (Nina on Everything) Says:

    Yeah outside is the way to go! I spent a few hours exploring the back woods paths of my local forest preserve last week, I can’t wait for it to warm up again so I can go back!

  2. primalchild Says:

    I linked to your blog. Hope you don’t mind.

  3. Nina (Nina on Everything) Says:

    I certainly do not mind, in fact I thank! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Son of Grok Says:

    That sounds like a very cool very primal workout! Erwan Le Corre would be proud. I wish I could talk this desert I live in into growing some trees or sprouting a river ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh well, it is all about doing what you can with what you have right?

    The SoG

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