Starting the gym for anyone can be a daunting prospect. The fear of starting is something we call gymtimidation. With all the fears and worries running about our heads sometimes no matter how much we want to change, we will have ourselves talked out of it before we even get out of the door.
Have you heard yourself saying any of the statements below?
What if I don’t like it?
I’ll be the least fit/fattest there.
What if I don’t fit in?
I don’t know if I can afford it.
I don’t want to get injured.
No need to worry, if you do your homework you can easily find your forever gym. Let us walk you through the three bits of homework to do and finally get over your gymtimidation and start living the fit healthy life you have always wanted to.
1: Identify the gym culture
Not every gym will be the right fit for you but just like with goldilocks and her porridge, there will be the perfect gym for you. You just need to find the right culture to match your values. The culture within the gym will be clearly seen with a little bit of research. Where to research?
Facebook page. Look at their posts, reviews and photos/ videos. Does this look like your type of people? Does it look fun and inclusive?
Google reviews. Have their members taken the time to review them and what did they say? Is it only about the intensity of the workouts, the blood and tears or it all about how they feel part of something special, a true accepting community?
Gyms will not write up their flaws so look deep behind everything and find the gyms authentic culture. A good gym culture will make up for any of their shortcomings.
2:Change your thinking around who gyms are actually for.
Gyms are there to help people get fit and healthy. Normal people, like you.
Though instagram would lead us to believe that gyms are full with ultra lean, half-naked gym bunnies and topless shaved and tanned man-gorillas the reality is quite different.
90% of the time you will be surrounded by likeminded individuals that offer nothing but support, encouragement and a hand up when you need it.
3:Pick a gym type that suits your needs.
Just like anything in life not all gyms are created equal. Sometimes we can look at a group of gyms and think they are all the same, the only difference being the price and the colour of the walls. In truth, there are as many different types of gym as there are options on the McDonalds pound saver menu….so I’ve heard.
Here are a few different types of gym/ class set ups and the pro’s con’s of each.
The Open Gym.
Free run of the gym floor to do work on your own and complete your own programme.
Work at your own pace.
Have flexibility with your start and finish times/ session duration.
Wide variety of equipment. (gym dependant)
Low price point.
Limited/ no accountability.
Once again, you have flexibility with your start and finish times/ session duration. Not always a positive.
Training experience, personal motivation and technically expertise required.
Not ideal for beginners.
No guaranteed results.
High chance of injury.
Big Group Sessions
Large group offerings normally are run as a part of a gyms operation or can also be the main offering of a facility.
Big group atmosphere/ energy.
A level of instruction/ motivation.
Different class style options.
Flexibility of time slots.
Low price more than likely.
Training with others.
Limited level of coaching.
Easy to fade into the background.
No follow up if you dont attend. (accountability)
No personalised plan.
One shoe fits all approach.
Not ideal for beginners.
No guaranteed results.
Increased chance of injury in larger groups.
1-2-1 Personal Training
Personalised programme and coaching delivered in a private studio or on a gym floor.
Perfect for beginners.
High level of accountability.
Perfect for those with special training requirements.
High level of programme personalisation.
Higher actuality of achieving results
Coaching can adapt on a minute to minute or day to day basis.
Lower chance of injury.
Higher price range.
Limited flexibility when it comes to changing slots.
Most likely you will need a gym membership on top of PT fee so as you can train more often throughout the week.
Accountability in some cases can break down over time as ‘friendship’ type relationship grows and trainer-client relationship breakdown.
Small-Group Personal Training
Personalised programmes delivered in a small group format. For those that want the results and personalisation of 1-2-1 Personal training at a lower price point and more community.
Most cost effective method of training personalisation and results.
All community relationship benefits of training with others. Normally 4-6 people in each session.
Flexibility of session times.
Normally memberships are structured to allow you to train every day of the week if your plan requires it.
Monthly 1-2-1 goal setting consultations with your trainer.
Results based programme design.
Ideal for all levels of experience.
Low chance of injury.
Not the same level of 1-2-1 attention for those with certain special medical conditions.
Not for those who want to train on their own.
Not for those who want to design their own programmes.
The take away.
Over all you want to find the gym that will solve the problems you want solved. All money spent on gyms is a waste if you don’t get the results you are coming for, remember this.
Finalise your choice by identifying the right culture for you. When you find the one for you, commit as hard as you can, use the trainers experience alongside the sessions to get where you need to be.
The biggest and last bit of advice is take action, do it today, start your journey and change your life for the better.