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My search for the best gym in Toyota-shi has yielded surprising results.

Today I got back to the gym for the first time since arriving in Japan, woohoo!  I reunited with my dear friend Mr. Barbell for the first time in over a week.  It was just spectacular.  So I had to take a picture outside the gym, as phones are not allowed in the gym (as indicated by the circa 1995 laminated drawings of flip-phone cellphones with this  lining the walls).  This is a picture of me standing in front of the giant facility known as the Toyota Sky Hall, which houses the tiny training room where I found myself today.  Outfitted with a bunch of treadmills and bicycles, a small machine area and an even smaller bench/barbell area (we are talking 2 bench presses and one squat rack, lol), this place may not be a gym-goer’s wet dream, but it certainly hit the spot for this desperate wretch.

Luckily there don’t seem to be too many people in line to do squats (as in not one), so I had one of the bars all to myself.  The staff there seemed to get a kick out of me, even going so far as to tell me my Japanese was good, which made me laugh because the Japanese/French hybrid spewing out of my mouth is pretty, pretty bad.  Felt a bit like a bug under the lens of a microscope after eschewing the cardio area for the weight section, which I seriously doubt has ever before been used by a female.  There were a couple of dudes using 3kg weights to do some arm exercises, though.

Started with the bench press, prepping the bar, when one of the attendants (a very nice older gentleman) rushed over to explain to me that the bar weighed 20KG (45lbs)!  I assured him I would be ok, after which he scurried away to watch me from the corner of the room.  After proving that I could press up that amount of weight – and more – without any problem, he continued to watch me as I moved through the gauntlet of my training regime (squats, deadlifts, pull-ups, flys, pushups, etc.), probably wondering what kind of steroids I am eating for breakfast.  Definitely some kind of gaijin (foreigner) food.

Still on the hunt for my full-time gym, but for now, I will be eking out my routine in the good ol’ training room with my new pal, Mr. Cool Old Gym Dude.  I guess I should probably ask him his name next time.  We visited a couple of other gyms in the area, with no luck.  The nicest gym in town, whilst well-equipped with a beautiful bath and sauna area, had one barbell. ONE.  And the personal trainer was using it.  This same gym also had a “ladies” section, with a small handful of purple-colored ab and inner/outer thigh machines (dear god).  Anyhow, I will keep you guys posted on my search. I am sure it will be entertaining.  Now, on to the next adventure!  Take care, pals.

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