I thought this sign was too funny! Especially number 9 – NEVER EXERCISE ALONE.
Last Monday I did a treadmill run at the Holiday Inn Express in East Peoria, IL. The hotel staff was extremely friendly, the room was quiet, clean and spacious, the bed was fabulous. But the fitness room? I’ll start by giving them a thumbs up for even having one. It was clean and not too cramped, with furnished towels and a water dispenser – and wonderfully outdated exercise charts that were fun to look at, especially the 80′s workout attire! Yet if you were interested in anything other than cardio, you were out of luck.
While one weight machine was available, exercisers were limited to chest press, chest press, or chest press. And the decline mini-bench? It was fit only for teeny, tiny, inhumanly short little people – I’ve yet to figure out what one could actually do with it. I used it as a resting place for my heels while doing tricep dips. . .not ideal, but it worked.
Now back home, today was my “regular” Monday workout – so thankful! That meant a 20 minute warm-up on the stationary bike followed by 45 minutes of strength training, WITH DUMBBELLS, working biceps, shoulders, and triceps, with a little light leg work tossed in. Seriously, dumbbells should be your new BFF – especially if you’re a woman. Building muscle builds strength, stamina, and energy, and helps you burn calories more efficiently (even when not working out). All reasons why I was so disappointed there were no free weights (aka dumbbells) at the hotel. I missed my BFF’s.
With that said, I give the Holiday Inn Express in East Peoria, IL a two dumbbell rating (out of five). My recommendations for an improved workout experience? Move out the chest press machine and slanted mini-bench, and move in a rack of dumbbells ranging in weight from 3 – 50 pounds. Add 4, 6 and 8 pound medicine balls, and a BOSU balance trainer. Voila! That’s plenty of tools for a varied, effective workout.