I joined a gym in January 2006, following through on a New Years resolution. It was my first gym membership in many years, and I remember haggling with the salesman to settle on a decent monthly price. (Despite the ad stipulating x per month, that was only if you signed for a 3-year contract and at the time, I couldn’t commit to such a time frame.)
Work Out World, a regional chain that competes with Gold’s Gym and its ilk, has been good to me. There are about 20 elliptical machines, and over a dozen stationary bikes and treadmills. And that’s just the first room; the back room contains complete lines by Nautilus, Life Fitness, and Cybex, and typical free weight configurations.
My usual regimen includes 5-10 minutes on the elliptical, followed by a half hour on the weight machines. While I give focus to my abs and stomach, I try to keep all elements of my body in shape. More recently, I’ve lay on a contraption that holds my shins in place to do sit-ups.
The ab workout and recent running routine has definitely helped in my goal to reduce my “gut,” which used to be much more extended than it is now. I’ve also changed my diet, trying to stay off processed foods and high-carb contents; and eating more whole grains and fruits and vegetables. (I don’t follow any specific plan, but borrow aspects of Atkins, such as eating fat-rich foods as long as there is less carbs and sugars.) To this end, I’ve bought new pairs of shorts and jeans, let alone belts, and I constantly receive compliments from people saying I look good.