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At the Gym

Those of you that know me well, know that I love the gym. Working out makes me happy and keeps me sane. One of the first things I made sure to research when we found our apartment in Berlin were gyms. I found one that seemed similar to what I’m used to and most importantly provided child care. Now I’ve already shared some of the locker room differences, i.e. no towels, lots of nudity, and community showers, but there are a few other things worth noting.

Equipment: Ok so the equipment is really pretty much the same. The biggest challenge is figuring out how much to lift and how fast to run. Oh and if you want to input your vitals you need to figure out how many kilos you weigh. I’ve gotten much better at figuring out kilometers per hour and it actually helps me to run faster since I really have no concept of km per hour the high numbers are less intimidating. It’s a little more challenging figuring out how much to lift. One kilogram is about 2.2 pounds so none of the free weights equate exactly to free weights measured in pounds.

Attire: This can be interesting. Lululemon does not seem to have really taken off here yet and for the most part it seems that people aren’t too concerned about what they are wearing. It is common and perfectly acceptable to wear a baggy t-shirt and sweat pants or a jumper. Yes I said jumper and not a tight fitted one, which is apparently some new trend. Have fun going to the bathroom in that! Anyway, the point is anything goes. You do not have to look your best and I have yet to see one woman applying pre-workout makeup, unlike in the US. It also appears that shoes are optional when lifting weights as I have seen many men lifting heavy in their socks.

Fitness Classes: Obviously these are all in German so I have to make sure I can clearly see what is happening. I also hope that the instructor doesn’t try to correct my form or engage in any type of discussion with me as I have no clue what’s being said. For the most part it’s easy, just watch and repeat. Now I have taken a few different classes and so far one thing has been consistent, the warm-up is straight out of the eighties. I’m talking marching in place, wide marching, step touch, grapevine, and today, the pony. All with the appropriate hand movements of course. I didn’t even know this was still a thing and the instructors are all around my age or younger. After the warm-up we return to modern times, but this is what a warm-up looks like minus the awesome ensembles. I’m really not exaggerating.

There isn’t much else I can say after that gem. We leave for Vienna in the morning so I should really get to bed!



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