We all know that the gym industry make a fortune from people who pay for a membership, and then don’t go. On top of that, people feel guilty for not investing in their health so they don’t cancel their memberships!
If you are one of these people, read on for 5 ways to get the most out of your gym membership.
Crunch the numbers
Lets say you spend $15 a week on membership. If you go there three times a week each session will only cost you $5 and if you go twice, it will be $7.50 etc. Considering all the benefits that a gym provides it is worth the financial cost when used regularly. But at the other end of the spectrum, if you only go once a month you are forking out $60 for only one workout! Unless you’re Clive Palmer that just doesn’t make any financial sense!
Don’t go for cardio
A gym is beneficial for a whole host of reasons! They have stuff there you don’t have the space for at home! Why would you go there just to do cardio? Walking, running and cycling are all best done outside! It does wonders for your mental health as well as your physical health! Walking on a treadmill inside a dark gym with pumping music would bore pretty quickly (unless your nose is in a good book!), but the worse part about it is, how do you find the drive to go and do it two to three times a week? As an avid lover of exercise, the thought of doing cardio in a gym is not at all motivating!
Speaking of motivation
We all start our gym memberships with the best of intentions and go religiously… for a while. Often motivation dies a slow death. At this stage, you have just about had enough of your stock standard gym program, and you’re not really seeing any improvements or feel as though you’re not going anywhere. Meanwhile, life has gotten in the way and your energy is spent elsewhere. Gyms can be pretty isolating places especially if you are not a confident gym bunny.
But I have to lose weight
Buying a gym membership will not help you loose weight and tone up. Exercising and eating well will. This can be done in a gym, or out of a gym. If your only reason to go is to “loose weight”, is this what will get you out of bed at 5 am every day? Even those who have the most to gain from going to a gym don’t find “loosing weight” motivating.
Do you know what you’re doing?
How many of you signed up for a free session at the start of your gym membership and got yourselves a program? How did you enjoy that program? Did you find it worked for you? How long did you continue doing the same exercises over and over again? Did you dabble with a few other exercises that you saw other people doing? How did they go? Did you have a conversation with anyone at the gym about the answers to these questions? More and more these days gyms are about business and not about customer service. Once upon a time trainers used to work the floor and offer advice, help and chat with members. Now, it is very clear that unless you are paying the premium dollar for a personal trainer, you get ignored and there is no middle ground.
So what should I do? (5 ways to get the most out of your gym membership)
Find the reason to drag your sorry butt out of bed early in the morning and get to the gym (other than the standard “weight loss” mumbo-jumbo). Whatever it is that your inner self desperately wants to do. Set yourself targets to achieve or plan to participate in an event that will challenge you. Once you have something to work towards (something specific), you will find the drive to get to the gym. Even when life gets in the way, you will find ways around these obstacles and continue on, because that is what happens when you are intrinsically motivated. Focussing on a positive outcome is much more rewarding than a negative one!
If you know what you’re doing, you will feel more confident. Dedicate time to learning new things you can do at the gym. If you don’t understand how something works, read the instructions (if on the machine), seek advice or watch some videos on you tube. Learn about different ways to train, there is a universe full of different strategies to use while exercising, all with their merits, and problems. Don’t be held back by your own ignorance.
Hire an Exercise Physiologist
An Exercise Physiologist (EP) is not the same as a Personal Trainer. EP sessions are always aimed towards self-management, giving you the skills to help yourself. You may need sessions twice a week at the start, and then gradually reduce your sessions until you just need to check-in once a month. You will be set tasks to complete on your own and then provide feedback about your performance. You remain in control of your own health and fitness, but you have a support crew behind you helping you stay on track and in the gym!
Make it social
Time with friends is much more fun when you are working out! Rather than sitting on your bum in a café, join a gym together to catch up AND have a workout at the same time! This is great for those days you drag your feet to the gym because you don’t want to let them down.
Don’t have a friend like this? Make one at the gym! Don’t be afraid to talk to people and make friends. You clearly have at least on thing in common!
Use the childcare
Childfree time is worth its weight in gold! Even if it’s only twenty minutes, if you hit it hard, you can still walk away with jelly legs and a sense of accomplishment.
Use these strategies to keep you in the gym and on track! If you need help along the way, feel free to contact us at Fluid Exercise Physiology for expert advice.