Have you thought about what will help you actually stick to your fitness or weight loss plan this year?
What are the things that will be the difference between success and failure for you?
There are some things that you will need to do personally like making a genuine commitment to changing habits, recognising that change will take time and being organised with planning your food and training. Along with these ‘givens’ one of the best things you can do to make sure you succeed this year is to join the right gym or training facility if you plan to train away from home.
I think everyone at one point or another has joined a gym with a rush of adrenalin and then not been back after a few visits, which is why choosing the right environment in which to train is so important. Notice I said ‘environment’ then instead of facility….. because if you break it down to just machines, weights, exercise areas, some equipment and enough space, EVERY gym is the exactly same, so what makes one gym different from the others?
Firstly you need to make sure that the facility you choose fits your needs practically, these are the things to look for:
This one is obviously, but you would be surprised how many places don’t open until 6AM which can make morning training tough if you want to train early and be at the office by 8AM or have the kids to school on time. Likewise at night, make sure that the opening times suit your lifestyle and the times you want to train. You also have the option of the new wave of 24/7 gyms that are out there that are proving popular with those that want the flexibility to train anytime.
Class Times & Group Training
These normally are scheduled at the right times for before and after work or after school drop off in the morning, but it pays to check these if you plan on racking up the classes this year. Also check the variety of classes that are on offer, the best gyms are usually updating their classes regularly to keep up with the very latest in group training ideas. Lots of places will also let you book into classes now which is great so you don’t have to get there half an hour early to put your towel on a spin bike! Another great option that is being offered now are outdoor classes so you can get your boot camp fix through your normal gym without having to sign up with a separate company.
This is important for most people but I always think that it’s a ‘get what you pay for’ kind of situation. The gym owners are running a business so usually the quality of the facilities, classes and people are directly related to the price you pay. If you are a very self motivated person and are just looking for somewhere with the equipment you need, then one of the 24/7 gyms could be a great option for you are they are very low cost, but if you are looking for lots of service, classes, engagement and training options then you probably want to spend a bit more weekly to get what you want.
If personal training is something you are looking for, ask if they have group PT as well as One on One. Group PT (where up to 8 people train with one trainer at once) can be a great way to get a fantastic personalised workout without the price tag of a one on one session.
Secondly, you need to make sure that your new gym fits your personality, to me this is a lot more important than the practical things. Class times and the right equipment are important but it’s how your gym makes you feel that’s going to keep you coming back session after session with a smile on your face.
Here are the things to look for:
Culture & ‘Feeling’
If you are looking for somewhere cheap to train then this might not be important to you, but for most people the right culture and feeling is essential to keep you coming back.
Do you get a friendly vibe when you walk into the gym?
Do staff engage and welcome you from the start?
Do you like the music or other entertainment options they have on offer?
Do they offer anything like regular challenges or educational seminars?
Do they have any other events on that you are interested in i.e. social events, gym teams for outside training events?
These are the differences between a run of the mill gym and somewhere you will want to train and stick with long term, so please take your time to ask yourself these questions and evaluate them properly.
Staff & Personal Trainers
This is a big one for me as in the past I have heard of many trainers who just go through the motions! The staff and trainers where you train should be super friendly and helpful (after all you are the reason they are there) so never feel bad about asking them questions about anything. When it comes to selecting a personal trainer you need to be very careful. A good idea would be to walk for an hour on the treadmill , put your headphones in and just observe the trainers that are working with their clients, you will soon see who you might like to train with and again don’t be afraid to ask for the person you want! When you meet them (and you should be offered a free chat or trial session) ask them about themselves, their knowledge and see if they are truly passionate about their business and clients. These are the trainers that are going to want to help you succeed long term.
As I mentioned, before you sign up on a contract of any kind you should be able to get a week’s or at least a few free sessions to try out and see if it’s for you…. If you are not offered this or you get the ‘hard sell’ for a contract straight away then I would be ticking that facility off your list pretty quickly.
I started my career working in gyms and training studios so I hope you find these tips useful when it comes to selecting the right place to train.
I feel very lucky that where I train at Tribe Social Fitness in the Sutherland Shire in Sydney ticks every single one of the boxes I have mentioned above. It’s taken me a long time to find somewhere where I absolutely LOVE to train (and I’ve tried plenty) but Tribe is by far the best gym I have ever stepped foot in and it’s no surprise that its owned and run by two well know industry identities & brothers, Mark & Scott Capelin, who I actually worked alongside in my first ever PT role waaaaaay back in 2002!
If you live in the Shire and are looking for somewhere amazing to train in 2015, click here for Tribe’s free 2 week trial (where you will also get a month’s free membership and free PT sessions!), you won’t look back.
Look out this month for a series of new blogs on how to succeed with your fitness journey in 2015…. I want to help you take that initial burst of enthusiasm and turn it into real results this year!