If you live in a region with a Planet Fitness, you might be aware of a peculiar perk at the gym chain: Pizza night.
On the first Monday of every month the gym is filled with more than treadmills and weights. Slices of pizza are laid out so you can exercise your jaw muscles as well as your biceps.
The idea always seemed self defeating to me. Why sweat it out for hours on end only to undo your hard work with artery-clogging grease and cheese? But being a member of a different gym, I only gave it passing curiosity -- an cock of the head through the telescope, if you will.
Well, I've re-relocated from Central Pennsylvania to Central New York and joined up with a new gym -- Planet Fitness. Yesterday was my first visit to Pizza night, forcing me to confront the peculiarity head-on.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised.
It certainly wasn't my initial impression that won me over. I forgot all about pizza night until I arrived at the door at 6:30, ready to work out some built-up energy from a day spent sitting behind a desk at work. Instead of being greeted by the gym's familiar "come hyperventilate with me" scent of exercise and sweat I was bowled over by the heavy smell of pizza crust. It wasn't appetizing at the time.
The juxtaposition of Italian food and my workout also failed to sway my opinion. Nothing about seeing fellow gym-mates milling about the entrance chewing on cheesy dough made me want to squeeze out an extra set of triceps extensions or finish another mile on the exercise bike. Here too my nose took the lead in the dissatisfaction. Exercise plus pizza smells equals the urge to vomit, not the desire to stuff your face.
The pizza quality didn't do much for me either. It also wasn't hot. I suppose lukewarm slices are to be expected since they're available all evening.
My opinion of pizza night only changed after a decent stint on an exercise bike. It was about 7:30 p.m. and I'd yet to eat dinner. My blood sugar was plummeting, and I needed a jolt. Pizza was there to save me, offering an unmitigated dash of sustenance when my body and brain were feeling fuzzy.
Sure, it probably set my waistline back a few days. And I'm still not completely behind the Pizza night idea. Yet having tried it, I'm much more at peace with the concept than I was before.
The verdict is still out. For right now Pizza Night gets an undecided two-and-a-half sporks out of five.