I’ve been trying to figure out how to get a consistent workout in and establish a workout routine post-babies.
Before kids, I would get up at 4:30 AM, leave the house, work out for 1.5 hours, get ready at the gym, and head straight into work. By 7:00, my laptop would be fired up and ready to go with an hour to myself at work to send emails out before anyone had a chance to respond.
Two kids, three years later, and 15 pounds heavier, I was lucky if I can get to work by 8:00 - let alone get a work out in. I still have a membership to 24 Hour Fitness (since 2006) where I paid a HUGE amount of money up front for three years, and now 7 years later, I only pay $55 annually - and have gone ONCE in 2013. I’m pretty sure I'm getting a deal of a lifetime for that gym membership that I'm not even using.
With a new year, my goal is to get down to my wedding weight!! I'd been looking into purchasing an elliptical. Here were the key points I considered:
- Safety concerns for the kids
The only brand/model that I had in mind and looked at was the Precor 546i. I knew that this was a legit manufacturer since I used their equipment at 24 Hour Fitness. This model is amazing. Its easy on my legs and has a super clear display. Here are the specifications from the site:
- Elliptical trainer with fixed arms designed for rigors of commercial gym with easy-to-use
- Stride lengths from 21.2 to 24.7-Inch and ramp incline from 15 to 40 degrees
- 20 levels of resistance, 10 preset programs including 3 cross training, 1 fitness test, 1 manual
- Hand held heart rate monitoring with compatibility for wireless monitors
- 350-Pound maximum user weight
Obviously, I couldn’t purchase it new (it costs $7,000 new). Instead, I purchased a used one on Craigslist from some 40 year old guy still living in his parents house. After haggling with the seller, I finally agreed to purchase it for 1/5th of the price new - which was still a lot of money. Whenever I spend this kind of money, I always have to convince myself that it would be a good buy. There has to be "enough" benefits to outweigh the cost:
- I've actually used this elliptical model before, and I know I like it, and would use it.
- I can just roll out of bed every morning and get my workout on - all while the kids are still sleeping.
- No more remembering what to pack for work, forgetting my shoes in my gym bag…
I told Ryan that this would be my push present for both babies (he rolled his eyes). This thing turns out to be a beast. We had to have both Ryan and his dad help pick and load it up - it’s a 450 pound machine!!! It took some muscle just to get it onto the trailer.
Anyway, when I got it home and actually used it, the guy did not disclose that the "0" on the keypad was broken. Sigh. So, I always work out at 59 or 61 minute intervals. That also goes for when I put in my weight (I always round down). I guess that's the risk you take from buying off of Craigslist.
Lessoned learned when buying an elliptical off of Craigslist: You're going to feel like an idiot for "testing" out exercise equipment, so you might rush through the "testing". Ignore this overwhelming sense that you are a dork...make sure you check everything....all while you are wearing high heels testing it out!
Anyway, everything else about this machine was perfect. After 3 months of consistently working out on this elliptical, I will say that purchasing an in-home machine has made a huge difference in (a) my motivation to work out, (b) flexibility on when I can work out, and (c) getting back to my normal pre-kids healthy self. For momma’s out there trying to get their work outs to be a routine again, I highly recommend getting a cardio machine - especially during the winter months. For those eyeing a commercial elliptical, I would go for the Precor 546i. This one has NO CORDS or plugins, which makes it a little safer around kiddos. It runs on some sort of internal battery and charges as you work out on it (the more reason to workout). And its super smooth.
Safety concerns: Initially, I had major concerns with the kids and the elliptical. Since it was a commercial elliptical, Precor didn’t really have any safety guards that you could put on the ramp. Before we even got to the house, the initial goal was to have it in one of our rooms where we could lock it. Since its immovable at this point, I had to figure something out.
I basically gave Ansley and Aubrey a lecture. I set them next to the machine, pointed to it, and said fifty times, “Don’t get on this. This is dangerous.” I have never ever worked out on it while they were watching. I don’t want them trying to “mimic” me. I think the kids got the hint. Every day, Ansley points to it and states, “This dangerous mommy.” My lecture worked.
P.S. Wanna know where its sitting now?
In my living room - because it was too heavy for two people to maneuver up our staircase. Ryan's plan is for it to sit in the living room forever. That does not mesh well with my living room design aspirations. We’re going to have to have a family discussion on this (as well as the ladder thats been leaning against that window for the last 4 months).
Here are some tips for finding used ellipticals from my own experiences:
- I would suggest searching on Craigslist, there are tons of used ones out there that are in good shape. There are companies that specialize in refurbishing and reselling used commercial gym equipment.
- Go on eBay and see what the going rate for them are. Make sure you check the year, model number.
- Go for a test drive...and check EVERYTHING...click all the buttons and make sure they work.
As an added bonus: Have your husband watch food documentaries called “Food Matters” and "Farmageddon". After watching some documentaries on the horrendous processes that food manufacturers doing to our food supply, Ryan’s been on a new health kick. The hubs has finally volunteered to grocery shop and cook!!! In the last two weeks of doing this, I’m pretty sure he’s lost 20 pounds.
Me? I haven’t lost weight due to his cooking. Sometimes, I find myself secretly sneaking in a small meal prior to getting home because some of his chosen recipes and telling him I’m not hungry. This is only a handful of times 🙂 I usually work it off with my elliptical so I don’t feel as bad. We’re getting there by comprimising - one fried chicken leg at a time.
How do you squeeze in a workout with a crazy schedule?