A Swiss in Petersburg – doing body keeping in Планета Фитнес

Four weeks in Petersburg – is there a fitness center not too far away from where I live?

The Russians have a nice expression for people who are in constant movement; they say that these people have an “awl” at a specific location of their body (шило в …). Larissa points out that we are both gemini and this might be the reason, why we both belong to this group of people.

To get control over my “awl”, I look for a fitness center in Petersburg, as close as possible to the place where I live. And I am lucky. “Planeta fitness” (Планета Фитнес) is just a two minutes’ walk away. Elena supports me to get an entry pass for one month for about 2000 Rubel or 60 Swiss Francs. The center is in an old gymnastics hall, as I remember them from my school days (a long long time ago) and it is located in a small dead end street at Kasanskaja Uliza.

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Dimitrij shows me all the body keeping machines

Body keeping is what I do in a fitness center; as a baby boomer, I can no longer call this body building. First I try the elliptical trainer and watch what is going on around me.  The equipment in this fitness center is not as new and as highly polished as I am used to from Switzerland, but it perfectly serves the purpose. Young Russian are working at the machines – with success. Also Dimitrij, the fitness consultant, is a walking example of what you can achieve here. He has reserved an hour for me and introduces me to all the machines of the various brands. I like the diversity –  it is not just Nautilus, and there are also barebells, weights and mats around. A room separated by a glass wall is for group events such as Pilates, “total workout” or Zumba. Dimitrij tackles muscle building with more flexibility than our Kieser. Also he warns me not to use one of the machines for the back. I think he might be right. “Do not use weights, when you already have problems with your back,” he says. He carefully adjusts the machines for my body  and reduces the weights, before I tackle them.

To round it all of, Dimitrij proposes that I work out a program for myself that he then would check out with me. He always observes me and confirms what I am doing. A second trainer, also called Dimitrij and also very strong, shows me later, how to use the barebells instead of the machines to train the same muscles.

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Now, I am a regular visitor in Planeta Fitness, and I like it

In my four weeks at Petersburg, I am now a regular guest in this fitness center. I go there every other day and work at the machines – as Dimitrij has trained me, make my heart beat faster on the elliptical machines (which have a tendency to clatter, and I like them for that noise that accompanies me rhythmically), watch groups dance and bend in the hall behind the glass wall, once observe two acrobatic ladies dance elegantly under the roof in two red  ribbons hanging from the ceiling (what a pleasure to watch them) – and then I take a refreshing shower in the wardrobe. On my last day I say farewell to Dimitrij who has supported me with his enthusiasm.

Yes, I can recommend this welcoming fitness center.

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