A Strong Dilemma

April 17, 2012
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So…after working out every other day for the past two months you would think that I would look like Arnold Schwarzenegger by now, right? But for some odd reason I still appear, what my mom likes to refer to as, a “string bean.” It has to be the mirror I’m looking into. It was probably made with a defect that makes people seem skinnier than they actually are. Yeah, that’s it! Perhaps I need to drink more protein shakes. I saw from an infomercial that protein shakes have the ability to add on extra muscle within minutes of consumption. Could it possibly be the exercises I’m doing? Perhaps my faulty technique is actually causing me to lose muscle rather than to gain it. I mean have you seen those guys on the exercise videos? Their biceps are as big as my head. I should probably rent some of those videos so that I, too, can have biceps like that. Or here’s another possibility: could it be that the Arnold Schawrzeneggers of the world take steroids and my refusal to use the “juice” places them at an unfair advantage over me? I guess it’s possible that not every strong person has taken steroids, but my suspicions remain. And height. I’m not as tall as some of the stronger guys. Height has to play an important role in determining how much muscle one can gain.

Alright, enough with all the excuses. Sure, I have been going to the gym every other day, but dilemma probably lies in the fact that I only stay for about 20 minutes. My good intentions and high hopes slowly fade after 20 minutes of standing in a smelly, overcrowded weight room. I begin to think…why? Why am I here when I can be lying in bed eating Oreos and watching TV? It’s like choosing to vacation in Death Valley, one of the driest and hottest locations in North America, as opposed to Hawaii, one of the most tropical and beautiful. Somehow I was deceived into believing that my muscles would automatically get bigger as long as I simply stepped foot in the gym, when the truth was that the only thing growing bigger was my naivety. The whole purpose of people going to the gym is to get exercise and to lift weights. What’s the end result? They get stronger. As long as I am in the gym, I eventually have to get bigger, right? However, there are a few small problems with my logic: a) I should probably stay longer than 20 minutes, and b) I should actually do the exercises instead of just standing there and pretending I am.

Alas! I have addressed the problem. Now I should be able to change my bad habits and start working out the proper way. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009 only about 22% of adults age 18 and over met the Physical Activity Guidelines for muscle strengthening in the U.S.; I don’t want to be a part of that 78% who hasn’t met the guidelines for muscle-strengthening physical activity. I want to proudly be able to join the minority who go to the gym with a purpose. Hopefully the Oreos won’t get in the way of my motivation. In reality, when it really comes down to it what do you think I will choose? Oreos or working out? Unfortunately, I think Oreos probably have the upper hand in this battle.

My ideal world would be a place where I can eat as much junk food as I want, and where I can work out without having to get up from my bed, and where a machine can remove Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles and place them on my body. However, I don’t think this will be happening anytime soon so I may have to amend my vision of a perfect world. Studies show that I might not need to do as much strength training as I originally thought. Going to the gym every other day is good, but it is the frequency and repetition of it that quickly makes me lose interest in even going at all. Mayo Clinic research has proven that the best results come from using proper technique, which I lack. Going to the gym just twice a week and using proper technique will yield even better results than going to the gym four times a week and having no technique whatsoever. Technique is key! If I can master that, I know that I will be more inclined to go to the gym.

I have everything I need to fulfill my resolution; now I just have to put myself out there and do it. Will I be looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in two months? I sure hope so, but that remains to be seen. However, I do know this much: come summer time “sun’s out, guns out” will be in full force. Starting this week, the gym won’t even know what hit it when I begin utilizing my perfect technique. Sammy DiCarlo will, I repeat will, be ready for beach season…right after I finish this sleeve of Oreos.

Works Cited
"Exercise or Physical Activity." FastStats. 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 2012. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Weight Training: Do's and Dont's." Fitness. 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 2012. Mayo Clinic.

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