Starting at the Gym
A new gym has opened in Powassan, @250 Clarke. This brings tremendous opportunity to the community and I am excited to partner with them to create more avenues to explore fitness.
This got me thinking about some of the struggles which can arise from joining a gym as a beginner. Believe it or not, roughly 50% of gym members will go through this negative cycle within 6 months of joining:
Step #1 Excited and ready for change you join a gym
Step #2 Go to the gym but are unsure of what to do
Step #3 Participation begins to drop off as a result of lack of direction
Step #4 Lack of results to lack of direction halts motivation
Step #5 Lack of motivation begins to hinder attendance
Step #6 Drop out because the value of the membership is gone
In my former job as head of the personal training department at the YMCA YWCA of Guelph, we had access to member attendance statistics through market studies. Our job was to find a way to use these statistics so that we could educate members, create value for them, and ultimately keep them.
Here is what I learned and before I tell you some general tips for beginners, I will say this: Hire a trainer if you have not worked out before! I know the value of a quality trainer in helping you achieve what you are striving for. I have many clients who have professed a history of supplements, wasted memberships, diet books, etc. What you learn from a reputable trainer whether it be single or multiple appointments, can make a life changing difference. Just because you can go to the hardware store and bu
y plumbing supplies, it does not make you a plumber. The same can be said of having access to a gym but no knowledge of how to use it. If you are someone who is not familiar with the gym or has already struggled through the cycle above, invest in learning about fitness, health, and nutrition with a trainer.
As promised, here are some general guidelines to help ensure you are comfortable and make the most of your time at the gym! Enjoy!
#1 Find something in the gym that you like to do. You are more likely to go if there is something you enjoy!
#2 Nobody is judging you! People are much more concerned about their own workouts than what you are doing.
#3 Do not be afraid to ask for help. Many gym patrons are happy to pass along advice or assist you. If your questions are of a more technical nature, consult a trainer.
#4 Something is always better than nothing. Progress will happen, however, it may be at a slower rate than you imagined. Remember, fitness is not a 6 week program, it is something for life!
#5 Get familiar with gym etiquette such as returning equipment to where you found it, toweling off machines you have used, sharing equipment etc. It creates a much better experience for all members.
#6 Maximize your time in the gym. Try to keep your workouts short and intense. This creates better results and opens up more time for you to do other things!
#7 Eat something prior to working out. Your body is a giant engine, it cannot perform without fuel. Ensure a snack of protein and carbohydrates before your workout to get the best results! Don't forget the water!