When it comes to choosing the right gym, being honest with yourself is the best way to guarantee success. Every year, the most-made and least-kept New Year’s resolutions are to get healthier and get in shape. As a matter of fact, in early 2017, there were more than 62,776,640 Internet searches on this topic. The sad fact is that 90 percent of people drop out within the first five months after making the New Year’s resolution. Now, with summer upon us, many are wondering if paying for a gym membership and buying the new clothes and shoes were a wise investment.
Many people think they stop going to the gym because they lack time or willpower or dedication. However, as a personal trainer and owner of a fitness gym, I understand the primary reason people stop going, or never even start going, is because they are not choosing the gym that best meets their needs.
Often, people choose a gym or class because they have friends who go there. Although social support is important, it should not be the primary reason for choosing a gym and it is not the reason people keep going.
So, how do you weed through all the websites, testimonials, social media pictures and recommendations to find the best gym?
This is where the “rubber meets the road,” so to speak. Choosing the right gym starts with an honest evaluation of your needs, personality and goals. To get the ball rolling, ask yourself the following questions and really be honest with your answers, even writing your answers and thoughts down on paper:
- Can you hold yourself personally accountable?Even as a trainer, I know for me to workout consistently I need someone to workout with. Having to be accountable to someone, whether it is a workout buddy or a personal trainer, keeps us going when we find the excuses not to. Some people don’t need accountability, but most people do, especially when getting started.
- In your daily life, do you prefer doing things on your own or with friends and family?This is important because this is the difference between a personal trainer, group training or a large gym where you show up and do your own thing.
- What can you REALLY afford to pay? How important is your health?These questions are really one in the same. I often hear people say it is expensive to have a gym membership; yet, these same people pay $5 for a coffee cup every morning, which can be more than $100 to $150 a month. If coffee-shop style drinks are more important than overall health and fitness, then so be it. For those who want to improve their health and fitness, they will find a way to budget for the healthful expense that offers long-lasting rewards.
- Do you really know how to “workout” at a gym?Many gym-goers don’t want to pay for a personal trainer and think they know how to lift weights, etc. However, most people don’t have the proper techniques to prevent injury, increase strength and truly enjoy the experience. Many people have injuries or body imbalances that can cause pain or prevent them from getting the most out of the workout. Working with a trainer, either individually or in a group class, can truly change your life because now the exercises are directed to your goals, not causing pain and injury. Clients report feeling stronger and more committed because they see the results.
- How far are you willing to travel?If you only have 30 minutes or an hour to spend getting healthy, then don’t choose a gym that is 30 minutes away. Look for a gym or trainer that is close to home or work. Spend your time moving, not sitting in a car driving.
After answering the questions above, you will have a better idea of what suits your needs and can eliminate some gyms off your list. To help make the final cuts of the remaining gyms, be sure to also consider the following:
Does the gym offer a free session, class or week? Does the trainer ask about any history of injuries? Is proper form the priority? Does the gym have the right equipment? Is the gym clean?
Remember, not every gym is right for everyone, but there is a gym that is right for you. Honestly asking yourself the questions above is the key to finding it. FBN
By Preston Gilbert
Preston Gilbert is the owner of True Fitness Center, located at 5200 E. Cortland Blvd., in Flagstaff. Gilbert has more than a decade of experience working as a fitness trainer, boxing instructor and athletic coach. He trains people of all ages and all fitness levels. Gilbert is a certified CrossFit Trainer and USA Certified Boxing Coach. To learn more about True Fitness Center or to make an appointment with Gilbert or a member of the True Fitness team, visit TeamTrueFitness.com or call 928-707-9558.