I was at the gym today for the first time in awhile, and I had a thought…
Do I want to be here and should I have Joined the gym.
The reason I had this though is because being away from the gym for such a long time to come back and re experience it as a regular gym goer rather than a personal trainer. Right from the start stepping into the gym felt strange.
You might be think “But Chris? you are a personal trainer you should love the gym?”
First point I would to make is, the gym means something different to everyone. For me when i was younger (18ish) the gym for me was a way to get out of the house. I spent many hours there and enjoyed it. It was like an escape a bit of me time plus i enjoyed the physical training and exercise. Our bodies are designed to move and be active.
The usual gym types were there, a couple of trainers and a receptionist. They played the same music as most gyms I remember, had the same smell etc, etc.
And I thought to myself should I be here.
More than that it got me thinking should anybody anywhere join a gym. The short answer I feel is no. You shouldn’t join a gym.
And here is why. From what I have heard from the powers that be, my last gym had some statistics that less than 8-10% of the population actually signs up for a gym membership. The number that actually attended is far less from that. I know from experience. You know your self, maybe you’ve signed up for the gym and you only went once or twice.
One of my friends signed up for the gym and then never went. They of course paid for that membership for 12 months never setting foot in the door.
Wasting all that money, but some how you were ok with it because at least you made the effort and joined and its there when you want to use, cause eventually you’ll get there and start working out.
So if the 10% figure is true it means that there are 90% of people who don’t exercise at a gym.
So what is all the fuss about gyms then?
Each to their own at the end of the day. If you love the gym then you should be there as much as possible.
If you have never joined a gym before you should to see what its like, you may love it. For others that have joined before and never used it, you shouldn’t join again you should try another physical activity.
Why do i suggest this? Because the best activity is the one you love and do on a regular basis. Gyms are very confronting and that is on purpose. When I take somebody new through an induction of the gym you know what the most common comment about the machine and exercise is?
“I’m afraid i’ll be doing it wrong”.
This is profound. Why is someone afraid of exercise and working out? My take on this is, it is the fear of failing , the fear of being watched, the new gym goer feels intimidated to within an inch of there life and can be very scary for them to even set foot in the gym.
I remember an instance in the gym where a person was working out and was struggling a bit with the exercise. I was resting doing an exercise and just sort of drifting off into space not really looking at anything in particular.
I glanced over to this person doing their workout, they were being trained by another trainer at the time and i remember the trainer was encouraging the client to keep going, pushing through the pain etc.
The client was obviously out of shape and doing the best they could, then i over heard because i was right next to them.
The person doing the exercise mentioned that i kept looking over and it was making her feel uncomfortable. This was a bit odd i though as the gym was packed at the time and there was any number of people looking around doing there own workouts.
Maybe because i was the closet person that why they noticed. none the less, it was obvious that the client was very uncomfortable doing the exercise and felt like she was being watched and judged. Hence the reaction.
Which brings me back to my point. Gyms will expose your lack of fitness and health there is no where to hide. Unless you do not show up. So I would suggest do not join a gym if this is how you feel. Take your time doing other exercises like walking for example.
My personal favorite exercise because you can walk, get fresh air its free, and its great for your health. If you need the accountability then getting a personal trainer might be the best choice for you. As a personal trainer myself i can safely say that having a form of accountability will see you succeed far quicker than going it alone.
However there are many ways for you hold yourself accountable, training with a friend maybe the thing that motivates you.
In summing up the best exercise is the one you love and can do regularly, if that is going to the gym then perfect. If not find something that you love and your body will thank you for it!
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