Waking up on the second morning of the program, I knew I couldn’t procrastinate any longer. If I was going to get all three cardio workouts in that week, I needed to start exercising NOW. I ambled off to American Family Fitness where I’m a member, and decided to try the interval training setting on the treadmill as Dr. Lowry suggested.
Since I didn’t know how to use the setting, I asked someone at the front desk for assistance. The two women at the desk were completely befuddled. They had no idea how to use the equipment. They asked a man in khaki pants, white shirt and a tie standing with them for help. I recognized him as one of the aerobics instructors. He hesitated and then begrudgingly said he’d help me. I’ll call him “John,” because that’s way more polite than what I really want to call him.
John escorted me over to the machines and after a brief explanation of what I was looking for, he started to punch some buttons on the treadmill.
“Just start walking,” he said to me. I obliged and then he said, “Do you want 1-to-1 or 1-to-2?”
“What’s that?” I replied.
“You know, 1-to-1 or 1-to-2,” he reiterated in a condescending tone.
My brow furrowed and shaking my head, I repeated, “I don’t know what that means. 1-to-1 what?”
At this point John was clearly irritated with my ignorance. I could see the annoyance in his eyes and his pursed lips.
I hate people like John. He has the arrogance of a Wall Street banker and whips around unintelligible lingo like a government bureaucrat.
Assuming that I was either deaf or possibly a foreigner, John said loudly and slowly, “If you pick 1-to-2 you’ll go from two minutes to four minutes. If you pick 1-to-3 you’ll go from two minutes to six minutes. Got it.”
No I didn’t have it, but realizing I was getting nowhere, I said simply, “What do you think I should do? This is my first time at interval training.”
“1-to-2 should be fine.”
“Okay, thanks,” I replied.
After setting the treadmill for the appropriate level, he had to audacity to say as he was leaving, “Let me know if you need anything else.”
Yeah, I’ll be sure to do that.
Thankfully, the treadmill had a digital display and it soon became clear what 1-to-2 meant.
It’s the ratio of rest intervals to work intervals. Each rest interval is a minute long so a 1-to-2 ratio means for every one minute of rest there are two minutes of work. The program he selected for me set my rest interval at two minutes, which means my work interval was four minutes. If I had selected a 1-to-1 ratio then I’d have two minutes of rest followed by two minutes of work.
Got it. No thanks to John.
And John if you’re reading this, I’ve got some lingo of my own you can decode.
(I Think You’re An …)