Excuse No. 1: I have no time
Boo hoo, you're so busy. But these workouts are so quick you'll barely have time to worry about your to-do list.
I’ve been doing the same workout since 2001. I’m fit, but lack of variety just barely keeps my hips from bubbling over the muffin-top line. Common sense would tell me to mix up my routine, but I’ve got no time for concocting new workouts and I’m often too busy to make it to the gym in the first place. The solution? Twice a week for three weeks, trainers from Escape 2 Fitness—a new wellness company focused on delivering fitness, relaxation and nutrition to any workplace or residence—come to me: They track me down at my office, insist I stop what I’m doing, and exercise right then and there.
On a particularly harried day at work, Karen, my trainer, arrives for our first workout session—a fitness test. I dash to the bathroom for a quick wardrobe change and Karen and I head to the office workout room.
In my office, use of this room carries a stigma not unlike sitting at the nerds’ table at the high-school cafeteria. The few crusty treadmills, a fan bike and random free weights don’t draw a crowd, which turns out to be good news for me because Karen is armed with a tape measure and pincers to determine how much “extra” I’m packing. Next, I perform exercises to rate my strength and overall fitness. I start strong with a mile on the treadmill followed by a stretch-and-reach test. Holding a plank position assesses my core, a wall squat measures my lower-body strength and push-ups reveal my upper half could use some bulk. In an hour flat I switch gears—I’m back at my desk lifting the phone and pecking at my keyboard.
Results are in on the second session. A resting heart rate of 41 lightens the emphasis on cardio and targets strength training for my three-week program. Goals for my twice-weekly sessions: tone hips, abs and arms; improve core strength; and shed a notch of body fat.
Three sets of lunge kicks start the lunchtime circuit: My core is challenged while I hold a side plank position, lifting a dumbbell from floor to ceiling. Karen (my new friend) discloses her dating life to distract me from the count. Quivering just slightly, I move on to bicep curls, a tabletop hold (think human coffee table with feet and hands as the base) followed by a one-minute sprint on the treadmill. Three rounds of this and I’m officially sweating. To stay on the one-hour budget, I forgo a time-consuming dance of pulling tights over sweaty legs and return to my desk wearing just a dress and boots.
The day my second circuit begins, I start with a set of standing fire hydrants (a hip movement reminiscent of a pissing dog) just as an officemate joins us in the workout room. I lower my leg to a more modest position and quickly switch to a spectator-friendly drill: chest presses. After a few interludes of cardio, I’m ready for a cool-down stretch. If you’re lazy, this is the best part: Let your body go limp as personal trainers stretch you, elongating muscles like hamstrings that are prone to tightness.
I walk gingerly to the front desk to fetch Karen for my last session. My hips sting like they’ve been slapped repeatedly due to Karen’s obsession with squats, but the results are well worth the pain: Three weeks of training and a dozen holiday parties later, I’m happy to report my weight remains the same and I’ve shaved more than an inch off my waist. Some days, an office workout was a tight fit in my schedule, but I’ll take the wiggle room in my clothes any day. 312-222-1414, escape2Fitness.com. Personal training starts at $85 per session.
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