Commercial gyms have a variety of small and large equipment but most people don’t know what to do with them or how to achieve an effective workout. Fitness staff are not going to give you free workouts every 6 weeks to make sure you’re seeing results. So what are you paying for? Variety of machines? Ability to go any time of day? Let’s be realistic, most people aim to train at the same time every day because it fits with their schedules which have become very limited due to jobs, commute times and family’s. So training any time of day is a reason we make up in our head because it sounds appealing and seems like a better bang for our buck. Also, knowing you can train any time of day ends up coming with excuses. It may seem nice at first to know you can go morning, evening or late at night but when push comes to shove if you don’t have it booked in your calendar you’re likely going to put it off for other things. Think of your workout appointments as important meetings. It’s slated and can’t be erased or rescheduled. You may not look forward to going but you will love the payoff.
Having access to that much equipment is nice only if you know what to do with them. Most people go in, warm-up on the elliptical or treadmill for 5 to 10 minutes and then go and use random pieces of equipment because they saw it in a magazine or YouTube video (not always a credible source). Sometimes you’re even provided with a free workout when you have your free fitness assessment (by one of their personal trainers) but the workout can either go one of two ways; the first is that it is a very basic workout to get you started but will be something you outgrow eventually if you’re consistent with your workouts. The second is that the workout has some partner work involved in hopes that you purchase personal training because you can’t do those exercises on your own. Either way the workout is not tailored to you, it’s tailored as a sales pitch. And for most people a monthly membership and personal training can be pricey.
After a couple of times of working out on you’re own you’re probably not seeing the results you were hoping for. You get discouraged and you stop going. Now you’re paying for a $60 a month membership and only going once or twice a month. Break that cost up over two visits and it works out to be $30 a visit. Eventually this becomes a once a month visit ($60 per visit) and in some cases once a quarter ($180 per visit). Joining a gym is not going to get you the results; just showing up for a workout will not get you the results; working out efficiently and the correct way for your goals and body type will. You need to be realistic about how often you’re going to go and you need to have a plan. This method doesn’t work for 80% of the population. Instead of spending $720/year (total based on the $60/month example) why not allot that amount to something you will use. This is why personal training and boutique facilities are thriving. It gets you results, is a ton of fun and what keeps you going back. Transformations are happening more and more with personal training and boutique fitness then at a commercial gym. The secret? Because there’s a method. There’s planned out workouts that are geared towards all fitness levels that will get the results done. Periodized programs that are planned out for the entire year is what gets you the results and educated personal trainers and fitness coaches know how to do this. For me personally, I always have an end result in mind where I would like my clients to be but of course I’m not going to start them with those exact workouts. They just aren’t ready for it yet. But I know with the exercises I prescribe to them that they will eventually get there. You need to respect the process and get it out of your mind that you’re going to see a significant change in 2 weeks. Quick Fix’s don’t work. These have been around for years. Our parents’ were taking part in them in the 80’s and it led to yo-yo dieting and exercising. If it didn’t work for them what makes you think it’ll work for you? They are known as fad diets for a reason. Fad means it comes and goes and that’s exactly what’ll happen with your weight. You’ll lose but then you’ll gain it all back if not more which will make you more miserable and moving onto the next quick fix. When you work with a trainer you get counselling as well as training. Having a trainer is not just showing up for a 60 minute session. It’s collecting your goals and figuring out how to get you there, it’s coming up with a game plan and seeing what type of habits will work for the individual because everyone interprets and executes tasks differently.
I’m not trying to bash commercial gyms because for the select few who already have a full program tailored to them and they know how to progress with it on their own. But for majority of the people that just joined because it’s their New Year’s resolution need to be realistic. Ask yourself, is this the first time you’ve attempted to join a gym and make fitness your New Year’s resolution? If the answer is no you need to change the habits that you had in the past because you’re already setting yourself up for failure. Everyone’s lifestyle changes and so do your habits so choose a method of fitness that is going to work for you. Your health should not take a backseat to other things that you may spend money on such as trinkets for the house, daily coffee at a high end coffee shop, a bottle of wine or two on a weekly basis, etc. These are vices. Substitute these for your health and you will have money for personal training. If you pay for the positive things that will keep you healthy now you won’t have to pay for the medications and rehab later. Why is it that we wait until our bodies hurt or a doctor orders us to workout because of high blood pressure that we take action? Why do we only take care of our bodies when there is something negative happening? Why not start taking care of it when we are not hurting and we’re feeling great about ourselves to prevent the onset of illness and injuries. You only have one body. Don’t you want to be around to play with your great-grandkids? This is a brutally honest post but when it comes to your health you can’t lie to your body and expect to see change. Find your why….your “a-ha” moment and once you do you’ll start seeing results.