So last week the boyf, our neighbours and I went along to check out Projekt 42, a new gym space at the Newkirkgate shopping centre, Leith.

If you haven’t heard about it yet, Projekt 42 is a new community gym and wellness centre. As a charity, it’s supported by donations and grants and aims to provide “mindful exercise” to the people who need it most. They’re currently in the process of building their gym and wellness centre just off Leith Walk, so the location at Newkirkgate is a temporary one.

Anyhoo, we heard about it, thought it sounded cool and since it’s 5 minutes from the flat, we thought we’d check it out. Here are my thoughts… View Post

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In my last post I spoke about the various types of gym-goers I’ve noticed so far in my not at all clichéd “new year new me” journey. Here’s a list of the 5 characters who have stoof out for me so far. Any I’ve missed out?

The hulk

You know who I mean. A specimen whose reputation precedes him (as it is most often a ‘him’). Found in his natural habitat, the heavy weights section, the hulk swaggers his way from dumbbell to bench press, forehead vein and biceps pulsating in tandem.

Arms always a good few inches away from actual body. Legs either meaty or comparatively skinny: hulks don’t do inbetween.

Always in a wife beater.

The skinny boy

Exist to confirm the hulks’ sense of purpose. If I was a boy I would probably fit into this category. Shifting nervously around the jungle of equipment, face crumpled into a deeply painful expression when lifting anything.

Often sporting converse and/or baggy t-shirt.

The insta-conscious female

Feels as if they should go to the gym but lack of sweat, intact false eyelashes and hair extensions insinuates they don’t do much. Indulges in self-congratulatory selfie for online followers in the changing rooms after some sit-ups.

Always in branded sports bra.

Normally operate in pairs.

The middle-class, middle-aged lady

Saw one of these on the apparently gender specific inner thigh leg machine before 10 mins light jogging on treadmill in leopard print leggings and matching top.

Can be seen in comfort zone of legs, bums n tums class (‘LBT’ if you’re in the in-crowd.)

The old school tank

Often an older guy. Favoured attire of cycling shorts or spandex. Level of commitment easily gauged by the leather gloves worn to lift gym’s heaviest weights.

Identifiable by the sound of rythmic grunts.

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January gets a bad rep. It’s a month we’re determined to suffer but when considered fully, surely this four-week festive nemesis is the one that suffers us. Because what wrath is greater than a tide of cold, skint, disenchanted civilians?  January counts abused sales racks, withered Christmas trees and empty pubs among its various unfortunate identifying factors – yet perhaps the biggest ailment of all that poor January suffers is its fresh crowd, nay stampede, of newbie gym-goers.

Most years I like to acknowledge my muffin top misery in regretful swathes, often through mouthfuls of comfort carbs or gulps of supermarket wine. Every January I have the best intentions to improve my (admittedly poor) fitness levels, but somehow when faced with the cold and dark, such goals never quite come to fruition.

Excuses for not doing cardio exercise have slowly grown into a haphazard Grinch mountain of self-deceit. I’m too poor to join, and don’t own any nice gym clothes. Office work is tiring, and  one can’t simply skip an overdue hair wash. The mountain has reached such a height that I enter 2017 feeling a distinct threat of avalanche.

So as 2016 ended with more of my zips flying low than a budget airline, I decided enough was enough. At 5pm on the 2nd of January 2017, I entered into unknown territory. This was not just a gym I walked into. It was a Pure Gym. In name; in nature.

For those who like to make a sport out of people-watching, look no further. This strip-lit grey mass is an anthropological porno; a bleak purgatory, a lure for the socially disparate, bound by a collective desire to sweat out their sins.

As I walked into this newly discovered heaven/hell waiting room, I was able to quickly discern the different tribes. Since I am running late for my next gym date, these will follow in my next post…. Wish me luck.

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