The New Year is upon us. Does your resolution have something to do with weight loss or getting healthier? It’s likely acquiring a gym membership is part of that plan. January is the most popular month to join a gym for this reason. People have the best intentions of tackling a workout regimen, vowing to go daily. Over time that daily plan becomes every other day, then just during the week, then weekends only, until it’s down to a monthly charge on your account and a passkey on your key ring you haven’t used in ages.
Gyms are usually intimidating for people first starting out in their workout. They feel completely out of shape and out of place. New patrons walk in automatically comparing themselves to others physically. There seems to be every piece of complicated exercise equipment ever made, the most physically fit Adonises jogging effortlessly on the treadmill, and a mirror on every wall.
The space is usually busiest during traditional work ours, just before work in the mornings between 6 am and 9 am, and after from 4:30 pm and 7 pm daily. That means less access to the more popular machines.
Gym memberships can be fairly expensive, especially when you don’t use them, but the costs can be negotiated when setting up. Try to take advantage of free trial periods at several different facilities to see which is right for you. You do not need to contractually bind yourself to a multiple year membership as many gyms offer month-to-month plans.
Personal trainers are an option, not a requirement. Don’t feel pressured to pay extra for a trainer unless you feel it is the best way to achieve your fitness goals.
Gyms have varying rules regarding the use of equipment and the facility. Learn some simple etiquette skills, which include not dominating certain equipment for longer than you actually need it. Share. Be mindful that you sweat. Therefore you are leaving said sweat on the equipment you are using. Wipe down everything including weights that you have touched out of consideration for the next person.
Gyms differ by size, rules, and atmosphere. The Downsize Fitness facilities require their new members to be overweight in order to join. Downsize Fitness founder Francis Wisniewski indicates that the gym chain he started caters exclusively to people who want to lose at least 50 pounds. Wisniewski had been overweight most of his life and felt embarrassed whenever he considered going to a gym to workout. The goal of his gym is to make it one that feels like there is no judgment or pressure. There are no mirrors, the windows are opaque, and the equipment is designed to accommodate a larger, heavier body-type.