Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shedding of Innocent Stuff: A Gym Warriors Rig

This would seem like the logical place for an “Ego Over Matter” post, but I’m not actually talking about working out this time, I’m talking about doing all of the stuff one needs to do to look like a presentable human being afterwards (LOL!).

As of late, I’ve upped the intensity on my workouts considerably. I used to just go in and lift weights for about half an hour or 45 minutes, then come back to work and call it a day. Cardio was, for the most part, nonexistent when it came to my working out. Since I am now in “T-minus 8 weeks until High Wire’s show on August 22nd” mode, my morning details have changed. For the last few weeks, my routine has me arriving at the gym early enough to allow for two hours of workout time and clean-up. I’m currently putting in at minimum one hour of cardio training, along with my regular daily workout. The net result is that I sweat a lot more when I train, and as such, showering is not just a nice thing to do, it’s totally mandatory.

A few months ago I posted about my home rig that I use for shaving. It’s fabulous for at home, but let’s face it, I’m not going to lug a scuttle, brush and Merkur 1904 with me everywhere I go. First, there’s not enough room for it, and second, I’d look like a total tool using up half the counter space at the gym. So in the mode of getting the best bang for the buck and minimal footprint (as well as minimal total time to use), I had to rethink my approach to those manly morning rituals when I’m out and about at the gym. Here’s what I came up with.

1. Shave in the shower. Now, for me, this is a really simple thing to do; I’m clean shaven both on the face and on the head, so really, I can do the whole thing blind. What I don’t want to do is use a DE in the shower; I’ve tried it and end up cutting myself more frequently than not (this may speak to my technique, and I may revisit this in the months ahead) but for now, I’ve backslid when I “road warrior” and I’ve resurrected the use of my Mach 3 and blades. There’s an interesting product that I use called King of Shaves, and it’s a low water gel that almost defies description… it almost feels like you are slathering on hair gel… but once you whip it up and rub it on your face and scalp, and then run the blade over it… wow, it’s close, quick and comfortable. Note, this is not what I would use for a luxurious at home shave, but for a quick five minute blast in the shower at the gym, it’s awesome :).

2. I keep a small bottle of Anti-plaque rinse, a tube of whatever toothpaste I have on hand (if given a choice, I like Tom’s of Maine, but I’m really not all that picky and I’ll get whatever is on sale more times than not) and my toothbrush in my toiletry bag (which has a neat little belt clip attachment that I can hang from the shower dividing rod). Rinse, brush, put away, all in a matter of minutes and all without leaving the shower (is this too much information for some of you (LOL!)?).

3. One of my best discoveries over the past year has been the ubiquitous and beneficial uses of Witch Hazel. It makes for the most effective after shave, skin cleanser, breakout protector, and it even helps with sore muscles at times. I keep a spray bottle in my bag full of witch hazel, and after the shower and shave, I spray it on and rub it in. Feels great, has a neutral scent, and it’s inexpensive enough in quantity to replace several other products, so it’s a money saver, too :).

4. The final item is a standard deodorant, but even this is close to being phased out as soon as I can find a good source of large alum block. Alum block serves two purposes. The first is that it’s an excellent hemostat for shaving nicks and cuts. What’s more, it’s also a terrific body deodorant (it’s not a true antiperspirant, but it hugely cuts down on the bacteria growth that causes odors).

All together, these items allow me to take care of business quickly and completely, and it takes very little room. As I get older and find my time compressed from many angles, I grow much more appreciative of ways that I can get more out of less in less time and with less effort. This constitutes what I consider to be a pretty good gym warriors rig. If you have other suggestions for doing more with less in similar circumstances, let me know :).

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