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Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Don't think about joining a gym before you read this.

The Coach Chris blog is back with Fit School. I hope you had a nice break over the festive period. I'm going to be doing a series of blogs for those 'gym bunnies out there. So if you fit into this category, these are for you.

You will no doubt be seeing the various offers for gym membership. Perhaps you're thinking that 12 months for the price of 11 or 10 is actually quite appealing. Or the persuasive sales assistant shows you how 'at home' in the gym you will feel. Queue the Family Fortunes 'X' sound.

Here's the thing. Gyms are great for people who like the gym or are motivated to get a good return on investment by going 2-3 times per week. You also need to like exercise. The odds of this being you are pretty slim. When I worked at a gym, the average gym usage was 1.5 visits per month. I once told a story about a client who paid to join an exclusive health club. He went once and always referred to it as the most expensive swim of his life!

On a serious note though, all I care about is you getting a good return on for your hard earned cash, and that you enjoy whatever it is you do. Think long and hard about the deals offered to you. If you get offered a free month,  consider the fact that you will probably only use the gym for between 4-6 months. You basically get more time to not use the gym. In my teens, I went to the gym to hang out with my mates. Young boys go through a vein stage so we were trying to outdo each other in our workouts. The social element is crucial for you to make exercise a habit, so try to plug in to a community that is fit and active.

My final point is the reason why you are enticed to join in the first place. You possibly lack the motivation or the inspiration to get fit and healthy. Having a gym membership will not give you this. A gym will only give you a place to exercise, when you can be bothered. Then, when will power wears off, you're back to square one. Don't be in a rush to part with your cash unless you know it will tackle this issue. Classes or training for an event are a good way to tackle the lack of willpower.  I actually like the gym and think they are great places to train your body to move better. However, I hate people being hoodwinked into joining somewhere they don't like, and doing things they hate! If this is you or you know someone like this, tell them to not join a gym!!

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