There are many reasons why people decide to sign up for a gym membership. Some people want to lose weight due to health reasons or just wanting to feel better about themselves. Others go to the gym for strengthening and conditioning, to keep their body ready and prepared for strenuous physical activities such as sports. There are also those who visit the gym for social reasons, including friends who were invited to act as moral support for someone trying to burn enough calories for a certain fitness goal. Whatever the reason is, buying a gym membership is, more often than not, a wonderful investment to make.
Even though you might not plan on it at first, going to the gym and seeing other people working out with dedication can strongly encourage you to do the same. You will want to make your own training programs, too, and if you’re able to stick with it you will surely get some serious health improvements for your mind and body. Unfortunately, not everyone manages to maximize their gym membership, and some even fail to get back their money’s worth. People often wonder, how can I keep my motivation to work out after a tiring day at work? How can I make sure I have time to visit the gym every week? Gym memberships can be quite expensive, so it would be best to make the most out of it if you decide to buy one.
In this article, Matt, a local personal gym trainer, shared a few tips on how you can thrive with your gym membership and make sure you get the full benefits of the experience.
How Do I Prepare Myself for the Gym?
Going to the gym can be quite intimidating, especially if it’s your first time. It will significantly lessen the pressure if you prepare yourself well before going to your first session. A good way to start would be to identify what your goals are, and how you plan to achieve it during your membership run with the gym. It would also help a lot if you go for a sit-down with a gym trainer and have him/her help you establish where you are right now in terms of fitness and personal health. This way, you will be able to set more realistic expectations for what you want to do.
Planning ahead also includes making sure you set time every week to visit the gym. A lot of people fail to reap the advantages of their gym membership simply because they fail to show up. Make sure that you dedicate at least one day on your weekly schedule to go to the gym. It will be easier for you to regularly visit a gym if the location and hours are convenient with your work schedule, so keep that in mind when choosing which gym to sign up with.
How Can I Feel More Comfortable There?
Many gyms encourage their members to bring friends as they workout. It works like free marketing since it allows non-members to explore their services firsthand, and they can be potential clients if they find the amenities to their liking. More importantly for you, working out with a familiar face has been known to increase productivity. People who exercise with friends feel less pressure and also have more fun doing so, and sometimes even exhibit additional motivation thanks to the friendly competition. Visiting a gym with a friend instead of going alone also helps beat anxiety issues a person might have.
Try All Of The Gym’s Features
The gym experience won’t be a hundred percent complete until you’ve tried out all the amenities offered, and this includes taking advantage of all the equipment you can find. Ideally, you only use the machines that will help you progress with your goals, but it wouldn’t hurt to try every piece of equipment at least once. Just always make sure to get proper assistance from one of the trainers if you feel unsure about how to use something, as some gym machinery can lead to injuries if utilized incorrectly. Explore, but always be careful.
A number of gyms give out free coffee and other beverages at the end of certain programs or classes offered, so try not to miss out on those. Take advantage of the shower rooms, too – they’re part of what you paid for. Some gyms even offer steam baths and sauna rooms, so make sure you try these facilities once or twice before your membership ends.
Learn To Lift Weights
Regardless of your fitness goal, you should at the very least learn how to properly lift some weight while you are at the gym. A good number of people try to avoid going to the weights area because it’s usually occupied by big guys who can appear to be intimidating. If you feel uneasy trying to lift weights around other people, you can try to ask a trainer to help you set up a schedule where there are minimal observers around. It’s easy to feel self-conscious when lifting weights especially if you don’t know the proper form yet, so starting out in an environment you are comfortable with can yield better results for your training.
Always Find Room For Improvement
Success at the gym can only be achieved with due diligence, hard work and complete commitment. The mindset is very important: whenever you come to the gym, you should always believe that you will be able to complete your sets so that your mental energy is in sync with your physical endurance. In order to avoid mental fatigue, try to change up your routine from time to time. Repetitive exercises have a tendency to wear out a person, so a little injection of variety can seriously affect how one feels about continuing to work out.
If you don’t have a personal gym trainer to help you incorporate new exercises into your program, you can always find new options online or in fitness magazines. Just make sure that you don’t stray too far from your program’s original purpose, remember that although you are looking for a little change, you also need to have continuity so as not to affect your current progress.
Don’t Forget To Recuperate
Many people are prone to overworking their bodies at the gym because they give little priority to resting. What they do not know is that your muscles need the downtime to grow and recover: no rest means no chance for your muscles to patch themselves up and get bigger or stronger. Learn to listen to your body during workout sessions. If you feel that you can still carry on with a few more sets, feel free to do so. However, if you’re already starting to feel tired or even pain in your movements, consider calling it a day. There’s no use beating up your own body when your goal is to actually improve its condition.
Scheduling two to three days of rest in between workouts is a good way to ensure your body has enough time to recuperate. Getting much-needed physical and mental rest can also renew your drive and help you become more productive in your next session.
Join Group Exercises
Working out on your own can sometimes feel too lonely, and might even lead to demotivation in the long run. To prevent this, you can sign up for classes wherein you get to work out with other people in a group. Much like working out with a friend, class exercises can ease the pressure on your individual workouts while still getting yourself into shape. There are several classes offered at every gym, from yoga, aerobics and spinning classes to more intense activities like Crossfit. Try as many as you can until you find which you enjoy most, and you can start adding it to your weekly routine, too if it helps you reach your fitness goals as well.
At the end of the day, the success of your gym experience will still fall on your own shoulders. Regardless of the gym’s facilities and amenities, the bulk of working out is dependent on your discipline and dedication to the program.