Planet Fitness Black Card Membership: Is it Worth the Upgrade?

ImageFor just $10 and without signing a contract, you can join Planet Fitness and get your workout on. Truly, not a bad deal when I once was paying $49.99 a month a few years ago at an athletic club that forced me to sign a twelve-month contact. That may not sound like a lot but in this economy it’s almost the $70-$80 bucks that is now missing out of our paychecks these days. But as I was saying, $10 bucks can get you started and on your way to accomplishing your New Year’s resolution of dropping a few pounds and getting in better physical shape. Planet Fitness also offers what they’re calling their “Black Card” membership for $19.99 a month with a twelve-year contract—still not bad. You can workout at any location across the country, bring a guest every single time your workout and best of all…enjoy the benefits of their HydroMassage machine! I’m unsure if every location has one but most of the newer locations more than likely do.

Now, if you’ve been lucky enough to have a deep-tissue-whole-body massage at the hands of a professional masseuse then nothing—not even the Hydromassage—can compare. It would be like comparing the euphoric-dopamine filled feeling you feel after an hour-and-a-half workout versus that of a forty-five minute workout. Yet and still, working out is better than not working out, which is how I feel about the Hydromassage machine at Planet Fitness. You may not feel GREAT after the five minute massage, but you do feed good…at least while the jet system travels up and down the length of your body. It also has customizable pressure ranges and gives you the option to target any part of your body.

If you don’t have a personal masseuse at home (some of us haven’t come upon such luck yet) or a professional masseuse on speed dial (still…no such luck) or can afford to hit the spa every month (damn luck) then, yes, upgrading to the Black Card membership at Planet Fitness is DEFINITELY worth it…even if just for five-minutes of pleasure after a grueling workout! 

 

Ultimate Motivators…Wheelchair Bodybuilders!

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There are some days when I need a little bit more motivation than I can muster up to hit the gym (those days when visions of the body I want just don’t get me off the couch). I may listen to some music to get pumped or flip through some fitness magazines to get me up and moving. Or, scour YouTube and watch some bodybuilding videos, which always get me hype! (I can’t get enough of watching those Kai Greene videos. The guy is a bodybuilding beast!)

Moving along…

So, the other day I was watching a bodybuilding documentary. In one of the shots, I noticed a really ripped guy with big bulging muscles. It wasn’t until seconds later that I noticed he was in a wheelchair. Days later, this guy was still on my mind. I want to know who that guy is, I thought.Thus, I proceed to Google “wheelchair bodybuilder guy.” Now, I am aware of the Special Olympics and other athletic competitions for those with disabilities, but I seriously thought that this guy was the only wheelchair-bound bodybuilder in the world. That’s until my search led me to several men and women wheelchair bodybuilders. Not just bodybuilders, but IFBB pro bodybuilders!

I am sure these amazing men and women are known throughout the bodybuilding and fitness communities, but I was genuinely surprised to learn that the IFBB hosted a competitive category for those wheelchair-bound. These men and women are more than portraits of physical strength. They are examples of extraordinary people who, when faced with unfortunate circumstances, didn’t simply stop living—competitors who didn’t let their disability stop them from pursuing their passion. These men and women are the ultimate motivators! Not only do I feel like I can overcome my battle with the bulge, I feel like I can win the battle against anything that life throws my way.

Photos: wheelchair-bodybuilding.com

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Whatever You Do…Don’t Lose Your Butt! Ummmm…what?

From family to friends, I’ve been given the same warning since embarking on this fitness journey of mine, “Whatever you do…don’t lose your butt!” NEWS FLASH…that’s exactly what I’m trying to lose…well…maybe not all of it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to lose so much weight that my backside ends up looking like a deflated beach ball and I suppose I should consider myself lucky as some women these days are risking their lives for butt injections/implants from phony doctors in unsterile storefront-strip mall offices. Still, my cushion is overstuffed! I do love my curves, but the reality is that I am 48lbs overweight.

I suppose the question is, when does curvy become unfit? Is it when you find yourself short of breath after climbing a set of stairs or when you can’t run twenty consecutive minutes on the treadmill or do one hundred crunches without stopping? Well, that’s me! I. AM. UNFIT. And, I’m not the only one.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, four out of five African-American women are overweight or obese. This statistic, of course, I’m sure is due to many different factors. However, I believe the main factor is living an unhealthy-unfit lifestyle. And, I can’t help but wonder if the statistic is permeated by Black America’s—specifically a large majority of black men’s—obsession with “big” butts. At this very moment, I have a friend who is seriously considering getting butt implants! My thought…why add the extra weight?

Personally, I have wondered if—over the years—I put my desire to get in better shape unconsciously on hold because I believed I would no longer be desired in my community if I lost a few pounds (specifically my voluptuous backside) as women-entertainers such as Nicki Minaj, Deelishis and a host of video vixens are worshiped in my culture because of their enormous buttocks. In all honesty, carrying so much “junk in the trunk” can be tiresome. Yes, I said it! And believe me; I know (pic of my butt provided…center). I like to compare the experience to that of a woman with DDD’s, who desperately wants a breast reduction. It’s a lot to travel with.

Despite being warned, I’m going to continue on my fitness journey—aiming to get fit while also trying to preserve some of my voluptuousness. But, my ultimate goal is to have a tight and toned body because butt or no butt…fit is feminine and strong is sexy!

Progress Note: So, I usually can only manage to run/jog for 15 consecutive minutes on the treadmill at speeds 4.8/5.0. Well, yesterday, I decided to push myself a little further. My aim was to run/jog for 20 minutes and a few minutes at 5.2…sad to report I didn’t quite make my goal but I did manage to run/jog for 18 minutes before totally conking out. A small step forward is better than a giant step backwards!

Photos: Deelishis (Mediatakeout.com), Nicki Minaj (hiphopnewsdaily.com), Me (my lovely mother was the photographer)

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Ruby Rocks! A 64-year-old body to die for!

Ruby Rocks! A 64-year-old body to die for!

It’s Black Friday!  And my intent for today was to scour the internet for great deals on fitness gear and  to share them with you all. But, instead, I decided to introduce you to Ruby Carter-Pikes. Ruby is a 64-year-old grandmother … Continue reading