If that question brings up thoughts about how much you hate the gym, then there may be some reason for your aversion. Is it the intimidating people who look like they’ve never missed a workout day in their life? Or perhaps the oddly-shaped equipment makes you feel confused and out of place. Explore many of the greatest benefits to committing to a gym for a full year, and put some of those fears and drawbacks that keep you from being your best to rest.
Why Do Americans Love the Gym So Much?
With so many fitness options available in America, more than60 million people choose to purchase gym memberships. Reasons that neighborhood gyms are gaining popularity every year include:
- Convenience - Find all the workout gear you need in one place.
- Atmosphere - Being surrounded by other motivated people can be inspiring.
- Grow and Improve - From expert trainers to new workouts, you’ll learn a lot.
- Versatile - Exercise on your own or with others; do strength or cardio workouts.
- Value - Many gyms have to be competitive and can be joined at a fair price.
Why Avoid the Gym? Responding to Common Gym Complaints
No matter where you are in the country, odds are pretty high that you’ve heard some of these excuses for not getting your workout on -- or perhaps you’ve uttered them yourself. Either way, behind every reason for avoiding the gym, is an even better one not to. Explore these common excuses for avoiding the gym and discover an alternative for each of them.
“The Gym is Too Crowded”
It’s true that a crowded gym can be a bit inconvenient. You may have to wait for the machines you want and there’s just an added element of noise and chaos when a lot of people are there. However, this complaint can be countered with a bit of creativity:
- Try a new machine that you don’t normally use.
- Join a class that would give you an excellent workout.
- Talk to a trainer and let them guide you through the crowd in a solid workout.
“I’m Too Sore from My Last Workout!”
If you had an epic workout the day before, then you may have a point. But if you’re using this excuse when your workout was days or weeks ago, then it’s clearly just an excuse. The fact is, some degree of soreness is part of the workout process.
When we lift heavy weights, it breaks down our muscles, and with a high-protein diet, you can build them up so they’re stronger and larger than before. Ultimately, it’s best to see mild soreness as a positive sign of progress. These tips may help as well:
- Show up and work on muscles that aren’t sore.
- Jog or cycle for cardio - it stimulates blood flow and aids recovery
- Take glutamine or invest in a post workout to help your muscles recover faster.
“I Haven’t Seen Any Changes!”
If you’ve been seriously hitting the gym on a consistent basis for months and haven’t seen improvements, then there’s most likely two culprits that are responsible: Your diet or the wrong workouts. Either of those factors could be derailing your progress, and keeping your time at the gym from being it’s most effective. If lack of results is an issue for you, try these tips:
- Consult a trainer at your gym to ensure you’re doing the workouts correctly.
- A poor diet can ruin your progress, so consider trying Keto, Paleo, or avoiding sugar.
- To grow, you need enough protein, so consider adding protein shakes to your diet.
Getting Started at Your Gym of Choice
Once you’ve done the research and found a gym that’s compatible in terms of cost and location, you’re ready to begin working out to get in the best shape of your life. Here are some things you’ll want to consider as you prepare for your first workout:
Clothes and Gear
While you can walk into the gym and achieve a solid workout in pretty much any attire, it’s preferable that you have some clothes that are made of a moisture-wicking material or at least one that’s flexible and comfortable. Common types of gear that people typically bring to the gym include water bottles, towels, and FitBits, but none of it is absolutely necessary since they’ll have water and possibly towels on the premises.
Have a Plan for Your Workout
What you don’t want to do is show up and wander around, doing whichever workouts look easy or fun. Instead, it’s important to enter the gym with a plan. Which muscles are you going to work on which days? How much cardio do you plan to do, and will you do it before or after your strength workouts?
Need Help Finding a Reliable Workout Plan? Try These to Get Started:
- Muscle & Fitness Magazine’s 4-Week Beginner’s Workout Program
- How to Build Your Own Workout Routine from Nerd Fitness
- Beginner Gym Workout from TheoFit with Videos
Living the Gym Life - What Benefits Can You Expect?
If you have the discipline, motivation, and raw desire to continue increasingly challenging gym workouts every week, you’re going to see exceptional results you never thought possible. Aside from the obvious benefit of a stronger, great looking body, you’re going to reap major rewards for your health as well. Here are some of the bonuses you can expect for sticking to your gym workouts throughout the year.
- Gain real muscle definition in your arms, legs, and core.
- Feel more confident because you like what you see in the mirror each day.
- Become knowledgeable in workouts that can keep you fit for the rest of your life.
- Get to know people as you become an active part of your chosen gym.
- Enjoy health benefits like low blood pressure and reduced stress.
Ready to Make the Gym a Staple Part of Your Life this Year?
While there are hundreds of ways to commit to a life of fitness, gyms are a fun, popular, and convenient way to make it happen. Once you’ve found a gym that matches your workout goals and expectations the rest is up to you. Those who stick it out, even through the tough times, will reap benefits that their peers could only dream of.