Daily Life, Health, Housing, Kenya, Nairobi
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Working It All Out

Home Gym

We are settling into our new home and are setting up the home gym. You can tell from the image above that it is a work in progress. Once it’s set up fully we’ll have an area to store some items, a stand for the monitor (for exercise videos), a clock, maybe more mats, and some art on the walls. We might rearrange a little too. There will be tweaks to the set up as we get things in order.

In the meantime, other than the pilates and Core Fusion DVDs (which we’re not set up for quite yet), everything else is fully functional—and we’ve been making good use of the gym.

The bench

The bench

So far, the weight training has been good. We have a better set up for weights than the what was available at the gym at Gardens Apartments. With a proper bench and adjustable weights, you can do a lot. You can see the adjustable weights tucked over by the wall. We also have resistance bands, sliders, foam rollers, and a Swiss Ball, which we still need to inflate.

I’m using the workouts that my former personal trainer put together for me. I am so happy that I saved those! They are solid routines that I can safely do on my own.

On top of that, I’m putting together workouts based on the Equinox Stacked and MetCon3 classes. I’m also finding a lot of workouts online. Pinterest has actually been useful in that regard and not just a way to kill time.

Spin Bike

Sole SB700

Pinterest has also helped me to find spin profiles (workouts). That has been a huge help. I thought that as long as I had music I could do rhythm rides and that plus the various workouts I knew from taking classes at Equinox would be enough. Wrong!

In a class, you have the instructor keeping you motivated. You have the energy of the other cyclists feeding into you. Cycling outside, you have the whole world around you. Indoors, on your own, it’s just you and it’s much harder to really push.

You need a set plan, similar to when you do a weight workout. You can’t just put it together on the fly or make it up as you go. It’s not quick or easy to put together on your own. This is where finding the profiles and playlists online really helps. It has made the difference between a moderate ride and an excellent workout that leaves me breathless.

I have a new appreciation for spin instructors – who are really instructors, motivational speakers, team leaders, and DJs all in one. Two people I’ve found online whose profiles and playlists I really like are Lean Lena and Dennis Mellon (who has a podcast on iTunes). Spotify is also good for finding spin (and other) workout playlists. Motion Traxx has some good cycling podcasts as well. I’ve started a Pinterest board to help me save some of the profiles and playlists that I like or want to try.

At some point, I may branch out more. In particular, I’m eyeing CrossFit Kwetu. This is partly to expand what I’m doing in terms of exercise. The other part is for the social aspect. I’m trying to meet more people and joining a CrossFit gym is a great way to do that. Plus, it’s at a convenient location for me.

There are a good number of gyms, yoga studios, spin studios, bootcamps and other fitness options all over Nairobi. The CrossFit gym and Taut Body (a barre and TRX studio) are the most convenient for me. I know how I am. If it’s not nearby and easy to get to, I won’t go. But I’m not even ready for to branch out yet.

As I mentioned in a prior post, I am still adjusting to the altitude. I’m not at 100% of my fitness level from when I was in New York. I’d say I’m somewhere around 65-70%, which isn’t bad given that it takes six months for your lungs to fully adjust.

It’s been just over three months so far. Slowly and steadily, with determination, I am getting there. I’m starting to sense progress in my breathing and exertion and that is keeping me motivated.

Special thanks to Faith, Rico, and Diane at Equinox 74th Street for everything they taught me in spin class, to Dominick at Ponzio Performance for teaching how to lift safely and effectively, and a very special thanks to Diego, Mark, and Niles for being our gym buddies at The Forum.


  1. Pingback: Trying New Things #5: CrossFit | nyc2nairobi

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