Are You Living in Zombie Nation at the Gym?

A Cambridge gym post by Callie Durbrow


How Do You Train at the Gym? Are You a Member of Zombie Nation?


I have a Planet Fitness right near my house in Somerville and it’s in a pretty large building with tons of windows. Every time I drive by there I see a bunch of treadmills, ellitpicals and machines lined up with people just going through the motions on them. Every time I drive by there I shudder and also kinda laugh about Planet Fitness and their “judgement free zone” ads.



I don’t want to knock Planet Fitness because it’s one of the fastest growing franchises in the country, so more power to them, but I am going to knock what I see inside those Planet Fitness gyms and other big box gyms like it.


I see way too many people living in Zombie Nation at the gym.


What the hell is Zombie Nation?


It’s my own little inside joke to myself when I see people continually going through the motions with their gym workouts. Zombie Nation is going through the motions, getting little to no results, continuing in the same pattern and still getting no results.



Sure, you’re burning a few calories but in this day in age when time is money, why waste so much time?


Who really wants to get on the treadmill for 60 minutes like the doctors used to tell you 5 or 10 years ago?


You gotta do your cardio to lose weight.




In order to lose FAT (notice I didn’t say weight) you MUST get out of Zombie Nation. If you are doing the same thing for more than 1 week than you my friend, are in Zombie Nation. Am I saying switch your entire workout? Nope, just switch a few of these things….


  1. Speed of the exercise
  2. Repetitions
  3. Weight
  4. Duration of exercise (if you always go for reps, mix it up and go for time)
  5. The exercise itself
  6. Number of exercises


If you switch one of these things or a combination, you WILL see results and you will bust out of Zombie Nation.

At our training studio in Cambridge, we work on 3 week cycles of exercises but during each workout we make small changes to exercises, durations, weights, etc so every time our clients walk in the door they are seeing a new stimulus to help them blast fat and stay into it mentally. The 3 weeks give people the opportunity to progress without burnout or plateau. The small changes within those 3 weeks keep it fun and fresh.


The other part of Zombie Nation as far as I’m concerned is cardio. I HATE cardio and I really don’t prescribe steady state cardio training to anyone unless they are training for some type of race. If you’re looking to lose fat and sculpt your body you should never be doing more than 30 minutes per workout. If you are, you aren’t going hard enough. Sure an occasional longer cardio session is good to keep the blood flowing and if you’re just not feeling it that day, but most of the time you want to hit it and quit it. Get in there and work hard for a set of intervals and be done with it. Here’s an example:


  1. Perform a dynamic warm up with squats, lateral lunges, hurdler lunges and foam rolling
  2. Find a moderate hill in your neighborhood
  3. Sprint up that hill as hard and fast as possible
  4. Walk down and rest 1-2 minutes
  5. Repeat this sprint and walk cycle 5-6 times depending on your fitness level
  6. Stretch


This type of workout will force your body into overdrive which means more calories burned, a higher metabolic rate (burning calories at rest and after the workout) and the faster your metabolism the faster you shed fat. The other great thing is that it will take you only about 20 minutes and you get out of the gym and away from the members of Zombie Nation. When I sprint up the School Street hill in Somerville I swear people are looking at me like I’m kidnapping their first born. It’s unusual to see someone actually WORKING when most people are just jogging along, living happily in Zombie Nation with the same old body, day after day.


The moral of the story is if you want results you must WORK. There are no easy solutions. Training for fat loss and health is SIMPLE but it’s not EASY. Get your butt off the machines, shorten your workouts, change your workouts and get out of Zombie Nation forever with a toned, athletic and lean body. Enjoy!

Leave me a comment about your favorite exercise NOT associated with Zombie Nation and why it works for you.

—>If you are serious about busting out of Zombie Nation forever, then join us for the ultimate workout here on Friday mornings….

Cambridge Anti-Gym Workout