On June 28th, Tim and I decided to go to the gym on a regular basis. Our goals were to have fun challenging ourselves, and in the process improve ourselves physically and mentally. My goals were to gain weight, something that I had never tried before. Honestly, it was intimidating, because I had mostly focused on endurance running for the past couple of years, trying to stay lean. And my biggest fear was gaining fat instead of muscle, but to my relief, after four months everything turned out alright.
- Buckets of QuickMass used: 2 - $140 total
- Gym membership used: 4 months - $120 total
- Times I’ve gone to the gym: 58
- Days since start of project: 115
- Start weight: 133.7 lbs
- End weight: 151.8 lbs
The one trick to seeing results was to make sure I could find a way to have fun at the gym, and to enjoy it. Which I guess is a trick that could be applied to most anything. Starting out, I was perceptively self-conscious about myself, since:
- I didn’t know what I was doing
- I felt like everyone else was judging me
- I was judging myself
Component #1 was resolved by having a buddy, Tim, teach me how to do exercises in reasonably good form (still working on it). #2 and #3 were all in my head, but I’m not saying that to downplay those points. It takes a lot consistent work and effort to combat those negative thoughts and gain enough positive self image to feel comfortable in the gym. I think that the gym is like any other new environment. Experience it enough and it feels comfortable.
One important thing that I always kept in mind while doing this was to consciously develop a habit. Habits are created through consistency. I tried to be as consistent as possible. I had days where I didn’t want to go to the gym, but I was able to overcome these feelings by remember that I wasn’t just missing this specific day, I was missing out on developing a habit, consequently affecting all of my days ahead.
I was lucky in that I knew some basics of exercise before starting this experiment. Like the fundamentals of progressive overload and strength training.
Before and After
The results are visible in the before and after photos below. Nothing exceptional, but it was exciting to see a difference. The biggest change was not in my physical image, but mental. I felt better about myself, and that manifested itself in everything from a general increase in daily energy, to being more relaxed in social situations.
Below is a random collection of snapshots taken at the gym. Tim and I were testing an app called Momentage (they work in the same co-working space as us), and thought the title of Bromentage was clever.