On Fitness…

3 years ago, I was against any form of fitness that involved traditional methods. You know, things like running or heaven forbid playing in a team sport. I found gyms awkward and cliquey, I would quite enjoy swimming, but by that I mean I enjoyed messing about in a pool, preferably near sun loungers and slides.

Fast forward a year and I’d joined London Central YMCA. I was going to trampoline twice a week and on the other three weekdays doing an absolutely awful full body workout using various machines that I used to convince myself I was keeping fit. At this point, whilst the trampoline was good and a nice little look back at the days of Gymnastics, I was going to the gym and thinking by going to the gym I was keeping fit. I wasn’t, I was simply spending a lot of time in the gym. All in all a positive step forward, because I started to actually enjoy going to the gym even if sometimes I thought doing 5km on a cross trainer was a good workout.

Let us now fast forward another year. Now I’ve left Furnival Mansions and no longer live near Tottenham Court Road but in Maida Vale. I sign up to Bannatynes Maida Vale spurred on by my flatmate who had been training on and off for a few years. Bannatynes Maida Vale, ain’t in Maida. Sorry but it’s Kilburn. It’s also a dreadful gym. I feel like I can point that out now. We spent around 6 months there, I may have had to leave London with work due to being on a flexible location contract so after 6 months of on and off going to the gym at 6am and lifting weights without really understanding what I was doing. I don’t think I made any progress in particular but it was good to be doing something rather than nothing. I should also point out, that I was drinking regularly, probably 4 times a week and not really considering my diet whatsoever, but I am one of those people who doesn’t get fat quickly. I was still rake thin at this point. All in all, a good step, less fun because the Gymnastics was gone but we had a pretty good routine, the gym sucked though and it was stupidly expensive, something like £60 a month.

Then, Training House Gym. This gym taught me something before I even did my first session. Google Reviews can suck. There were some pretty crushing reviews knocking about with Training House Gym. Stuff like, “old equipment”, “smells bad”, “cliquey”. I can honestly say I never had a problem and it was an awesome and supportive gym from day 1. It is however, different. It’s essentially a huge room with weights. The treadmills don’t have TVs, the cycling machines are hardly used and there is a lot of those cross fit types knocking about. It took me a while, but I got a routine together, I started compound lifts, deadlifts, squats and bench. Running a split of 4 days a week as a rule. I finally started making some progress with weights, going from struggling to bench 40kg at the start of 2015 to comfortably lifting sets of 70kg later in the year. I went from never deadlifting before to deadlifting 100kg and have been doing squats at 80kg. Training was actually going really well at this gym and the PTs would swing by and offer advice and stop me from injuring myself. I also had Aussie Dom, the chap from the cupboard, motivating me as lifting was the only fitness he liked other than surfing. Cliché.

Then only recently I decided to get a fit bit charge. With the heart rate monitor. So I can call it a Charge HR. Smashing. Anyway I soon realised after six months of weight lifting and eating loads of anything for “gains”, despite being stronger, on a cardio level I was not  fit. So the current thing is running and weight lifting. Aiming to increase both strength and cardio health whilst aiming towards a super sprint triathlon in the next year. Now to get swimming and buy a road bike. My fixie won’t do. 

The Lego Video Games Are Outstanding

I bought an Xbox One not long ago on a bit of a whim. Having hardly picked up my Wii U gamepad in a while and knowing full well that between work, the Chartered Banker and funding London’s various PubCos I would probably not spend much time playing it.

Then I happened to remember that I had an Australian guy living, quite literally in my cupboard who absolutely loved games, which is curious because he’s also a surfer dude and the sun comes out in Australia every now and then. He and I actually managed to get into Fifa, a game I’ve detested my entire life and especially throughout university when the chaps would prefer to play Fifa than go out.

Alas the Aussie moved out, Fifa went back on the shelf and the Xbox became a BBC iPlayer machine. An expensive one at that. Then I decided to flick through the store on Monday night as all good TV has finished (Cheers HBO) and see if there were any deals on.

There it was Lego Marvel Super Heroes. £10.34 I think it was, a weird price but near enough 3 pints in your local Sam Smiths and probably going to last a lot longer. I downloaded it and had in the back of my mind a game that was going to be similar to the previous Lego instalments I’ve played on iPhone and I think Nintendo DS. I was blown away. The console game is much more polished and much bigger.

There are fantastic scenes, decent puzzles and all in all it’s a pretty funny game. I haven’t really played a game I’ve enjoyed this much in a while. Not since I got the latest Mario game for Wii U. When Mr Fantastic turns himself into a screwdriver I was properly laughing out loud, on a Monday, in my flat, on my own. A sad sight but slightly better than sat there miserable!

Yes the Lego universe, has, to some extent began to take over the world. What I’m shocked at is how good these games actually are. I was prepared to write it off as a child’s game. Bringing another gigantic universe into the mix with the Marvel stuff was sure to be a bit too keen for this style of game but they’ve interlinked origin stories and familiar stories incredibly well and in a funny and entertaining way.

All the above said, would I spend full retail price on a Lego game. No absolutely not. But that may be, because I’m now one of those guys who looks at my phone and says is Software really worth much more than £0.79 to me? I can gain hours of entertainment from Angry Birds and it’s free. £10 is about the right price point for a game of this type and despite being incredible, I’m sad to say that I couldn’t walk into GAME and purchase the disk version for full price.