Part of my 2013 goals is to achieve the best physical fitness level of my life. After moving from San Francisco to Córdoba and getting settled into my life here, nearly a month had passed since I’d been in the gym. I was getting restless and needed to find un gimnasio.
I did a quick internet search and went about trying to locate a gym that would suit my needs. While touring the gyms in Córdoba I quickly found out where all the US gym equipment from the 1980’s went.
The majority of the machines where old and rusty. Some where so old I couldn’t decipher how to use them or even which muscles it was supposed to work. And I’m no spring chicken in the gym. Lending to my theory that the gym equipment here is from the US is that all the weights are still in pounds instead of kilograms.
After a couple days of searching I finally found a good gym within walking distance of my apartment that was decently priced and contained all of the equipment I need for a proper workout.
The gym is $200 pesos per month for a maximum of 16 sessions. Four sessions per week is my absolute max so this is just fine. This gym provides a card that they mark with a date stamp every time you go. I actually like this system because it lets me know when I’ve been to the gym. Motivation is typically something I do not struggle with but with this card I have additional incentive to not let too many days pass in between visits.The $200 pesos per month is actually more than I pay in the US however I should say I have such a ridiculously low rate at 24 Hour Fitness due to a promotion they ran circa 2005. At that time they ran a deal where if you pay 3 years (or maybe it was 4) of monthly gym dues ($30/month) up front its only $60 a year to renew after that. Fresh out of college it was financial strain to cough up over a grand however I knew that I’d always be going to the gym so this has been the greatest investment of my life. In the US I paid less per year for the gym than some of my friends paid in a single month.
The majority of Argentinians are talkers. A local word means talking knowledgeably on a subject when you indeed have no idea, the art of bullshitting if you will. My gym always has small groups of people (2-3) standing around talking rather than working out. During one particular gym sesh I saw two guys as I entered the gym. As I moved between exercises I caught a glimpse of them passionately engaged in their conversation. And when I finished my 50 minute workout and made my way to the door they were still there, not having lifted a single weight the entire stretch.
There is this one exercise that all girls do in the gym which I’ve never seen before in the US. I think girls see other girls doing this exercise and it becomes viral. It’s done on angled squat machine with shoulder pads that support the weight. They turn their hips sideways and do single leg lunges. Seems to be an effective exercise just one I’ve never seen before.
The owners of my gym also function as trainers and provide free personal training to those who need it. They are classic gym rats who are absurdly big but extremely nice. However they do make it a point to hunt down people who don’t replace their weights after use. This aggressive hunting makes sure all weights are replaced after use.Overall the gym experience here is more or less the same here. The equipment is slightly older and the layout not as spacious (and probably a huge fire hazard) but I’m able to get a great workout, the staff is great, the costs are good, and I always leave feeling great.
Couple of useful Spanish expressions in the gym –
Cuanto te queda? – How many (sets) do you have left?
Me echas una mano? / Me podés echar una mano? – Can you spot me? (give me a hand)
Estas usando esta? – Are you using this?
Alguien está usando esta? – Is anyone using this?