Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Get with the program

Recently the American Council on Exercise released the results of a reader survey.
The question asked was “what keeps you from going to the gym?”
46% of the readers said the gym was often too crowded.
21% did not know what to do in a gym.
19% were afraid they would be the only one who wasn’t already fit.
11% said that rude gym etiquette keeps the away (the wait for equipment was too long or the equipment was not clean)
3% were afraid to ask questions while at the gym.

In this article we will discuss these issues and possible ways to limit there negative effect.

Most commercial fitness facilities have peak times when the gym is most crowded. The peak times are usually lunch hour and 4:30pm to 7:00pm in the evening and this is because many of the members go at lunch, with the biggest crowds showing up after work. If you can find time during off peak times you will see a drastic reduction in the number of people in the gym. Most large commercial gyms usually have enough equipment and square footage to accommodate a large amount of people. There are also many private fitness studios popping up all over. They cater to people who don’t like a commercial gym’s atmosphere and are an excellent alternative.

Secondly, lack of knowledge seems to cause most people to purchase memberships and not stick with it. If you lack the knowledge to complete a task you either must find it or hire someone with it to help. There is a ton of information on the net and in books. You can find videos of exercise technique and literature on exercise at any book store. You can sign up for free news letters with valuable information on fitness.  But be cautious about your sources. Have a personal trainer or Professional Fitness and Lifestyle Appraiser design a program for you. They have the knowledge you lack, so use it to your advantage.

The third highest reason, was the fear of being the only person who isn’t fit. People go to the gym to get fit. Everyone there was once unfit probably as unfit as you or worse. The bottom line is if you don’t work at something you will never achieve it. You are not intimidated by the guy with a really nice car so why then should you be by someone who is in better shape then you. If anything those are the people you need to talk to, find out how they did it and use that information to help build your program

Rude gym etiquette is something we all have to put up with at one time or another. If someone is being rude or not following the rules then report them. You paid the same amount for your membership as they did. They don’t have the right to abuse the privilege of the membership. Wait times on cardio equipment in most gyms is often limited to around 30 minutes. If all the equipment is taken then sign up and then do your workout and return the cardio area later.  If someone is on a piece of fitness equipment you want to work on then ask if you can work in as they take their break between sets.

If someone has not cleaned a unit, inform the staff and they will clean it and remind that member of proper etiquette. Some people bring their own towel to sit on as well as a gym towel to dry off with.

Finally never be afraid to ask questions the staff is there for you. The reason they have a job is because you bought a membership. We love answering questions, it gives us a chance to use our knowledge to help someone and that is why most of us got into this business in the first place. If you’re too shy then purchase a session with a personal trainer. You will get all your questions answered and have the undivided attention of an expert!

Never let fear or misconceptions stop you from attaining a goal. Fitness is something you need to work at and the results far out weigh the negatives. “So get with it”.

Until next time, stay fit and be strong.