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BJ Penn UFC Gym - Honolulu

Having spent three weeks hiking, surfing and mountain biking, my 56 year old body along with the injuries accumulated over those years needed some straightening. I'd also had a two day lay-up due to catching a cold and sore throat that is going around my hostel.

I’m a believer in trying to heal yourself, although my shoulder injury will only properly heal with surgery, having a muscle detached from the bone, from a mountain bike fall. I can keep it under control by limiting what I do, how much I do it and practicing yoga and stretching.

I’d been to the Sydney UFC gym, and it was a great experience, so when I found that Honolulu have one too, I just had to go. It’s only a short walk from the bus stop, and an interesting one at that, with many buildings being adorned in street art.

Only $15 for a day pass was great value, more if you want to do any of the many classes they hold, and you can stay there all day. The cafe serves excellent smoothies, snacks and meals, so no need to leave for a lunch break.

The Honolulu UFC gym, named after the Hawaiian born champ BJ Penn, may not have as fancy a building at the Sydney one, but that’s made up for by the, in my opinion, fantastic facilities.

From equipment, space, cafe to merchandise, this gym has it all. There are resistance machines I’ve never seen before! And don’t get me wrong, the building isn’t bad, it’s just not as modern a building as the Sydney gym.

No need for a warm up, the walk had gotten me ready, as I tend to march everywhere like I'm on a mission. I started with some yoga in the grapple room, which was so good for an old skinny bird, as no pressure on the joints. Then some further stretching and gym ball work.

After the yoga and stretching for around an hour and a half, a few runs around the huge grapple room and I was feeling better already. My shoulder had gotten back into position, it feels like my shoulder blade gets tangled in my back ribs when I put it out. Bloody painful!

So feeling straighter, I planned to only work on my arms, as I'd done plenty of leg work whilst having fun, but hadn't worked my arms particularly hard at all, a little whilst mountain biking and paddling back during surfing.

I started out with three sets of ten on six of the arm resistance machines. I didn’t feel like doing free weights, as I’m not always sure if my technique is good and didn’t want to undo what I’d achieved thus far. Then I did another two sets of ten on the resistance machines.

After that, a few rounds on the bags, with no gloves and having not punched a bag, except for a quick go in Sydney, for four years, I totally lost the little technique I had! But still good fun. I tried not to kick, as I’ve an injury in my hip/bum joint from Muay Thai, that I didn’t want to aggravate, but it’s difficult not to, when presented with a full length heavy bag!

A quick cool down stretch then shower, I stopped off at the cafe, and sampled their Muay Thai smoothie, it was so good…..except for the brain freeze! I was tempted by the reasonably priced salads, but resisted as I had food back at the hostel.

So that was me done, nearly four hours later, I was ready for the walk-bus-walk home, feeling two inches taller.

I can’t recommend the Honolulu UFC gym enough, it’s a cheap days entertainment, with the bus fare, smoothie and day pass I'd spent around $25.

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