Should You Join The Gym To Get In Shape?

As a personal trainer and someone that exercises 5 days a week, I get to see all types of people that come into the gym.  Whether it is someone looking to weight train, run on the treadmill, or simply just looking to socialize and meet new people believe it or not.

When making the decision to get in shape, there are many reasons that go through the mind of the individual.  Maybe you have health issues and your doctor is advising you to be more active.  Or maybe you have friends that are in great shape, and it’s uncomfortable being around them in your current condition. Or maybe you just want to look good.

Whatever the reason is, just make sure you’re not doing it just to make you feel good.  What I mean by that is, many times when I go to the gym, I see people that are there not really doing anything. They are either there peddling on the bike machine while on their phones, or they like hanging out on the massage chairs.

These are not good reasons to join a gym.  Making the decision to join the gym should have purpose. Because there’s no point in joining the gym just so you can get that key tag so it appears to others you are being active in life.  So how should you go about deciding to join the gym? Well knowing what your interests are would be a good start.

What Are Your Interests?

Are you looking to build muscle? How about cardio?  Maybe you’re looking to be around a group of people and join a class.  It’s important to know what you are looking for when deciding if you should join a gym or not.

See the great thing about fitness is, if you’re creative enough, it can be done almost anywhere.  People think you need all this fancy equipment to get the results you want, but in reality, all you need is motivation and drive.  

Because without those two, it can be hard to do the necessary things like eat healthy and exercise. Everyone would love to be healthy and be in great shape, but many don’t have the motivation and drive to put in the work to get there.  So it is important to find those two key factors.

One thing that helps in keeping the motivation high, is doing something that is fun. Studies have shown that if people enjoy an exercise they are doing, they are most likely to stick with it.  And from my experience, I have come to realize that the gym is not for everyone due to lack of enjoyment.

Pros and Cons of Joining A Gym

  • All the equipment you need is available
  • Many group classes to take
  • Personal trainers there if you need one on one
  • Affordable membership options depending on gym
  • Great way to meet like minded people
  • Can be intimidating and overwhelming
  • Don’t really care about your goals
  • Many people stop going after signing up

Do You Struggle With Motivation?

As stated earlier, motivation and drive are two key factors needed when you have goals you are trying to accomplish.  If you are someone that feels that it can be hard to find motivation, then the gym may not be a great place to find it.  

When speaking to those looking to get in shape, I always ask them if they are members at a gym.  Some say no, but most tend to say yes.  The problem is when I ask them when was the last time they had been to the gym, the answer usually ranges from months to never.  

The reason for this is, the gym isn’t the best place to find motivation. No one is there to hold you accountable and make sure you stay consistent.  

For someone like me, fitness is my life, so going to the gym is easy for me.  But for others, it can be very difficult.  Whether it be due to lack of confidence, or just plain not knowing what to do when you get there.  These two reason can easily deter someone from going to the gym on a regular basis.

Don’t Let New Year’s Be A Reason To Join The Gym

We all know that gym memberships tend to increase come the new year.  People decide to make health a priority and feel that joining the gym is the best way to go.  Although that may sound good in theory, rarely does it work long term.

Joining the gym during the new year is probably the worst time to join the gym.  It’s almost like when people say I will wait for monday to start their workout routine.  Until you find a more meaningful reason to get in shape, you joining the gym will not last long.

Longevity when it comes to this type of lifestyle change is having a why.  Having a why keeps you motivated for the long run.  Whether it be to have more energy to play with your children, or maybe seeing a friend or family member who has health issues.  

Knowing your why can be a very good motivator to keep you in it for the long run.  Just make sure you don’t use something like new years as a reason to join the gym.  Because too many times I see that in January the gym is packed, only to die down come March.

Joining A Gym Isn’t The Only Way To Get In Shape

Home Workouts – if you feel that you’re not comfortable being part of a gym, working out in the comfort of your own home is great way to go.  With so many online workout programs available, you can get access to a coach that is committed to helping you reach your goals.  

Along with a community of like minded people to help motivate you along the way.  You have access to your own equipment, and don’t have to worry about having to wait on machines.

Studios – compared to the gym, the great thing about joining a studio is the dedication to getting your results.  The goal of big box gyms is to get as many memberships as possible. Rarely do they care about your goals and if you reach them.  

Studios need you to reach your goal so that you can keep coming back.  Their success is predicated on your success.  So I usually recommend many people to join a fitness studio if possible.  

The only downside is that studio can be expensive for some, but definitely worth looking into.

Outdoors – if you consider yourself an outdoors person, then there’s no better place than exercising outdoors.  Of course this depends on where you live and how nice the weather is.  

So if you happen to live in an area that gets great weather, then you should definitely enjoy the fresh air that comes with exercising outdoors.

Final Thoughts

So what should you do?  Should you join the gym to get in shape? It depends on what you are looking for when it comes to your fitness needs.  Yes there are many ways to get in shape. You just have to find out which method works best for you to keep you motivated.

Joining the gym is a very inexpensive way to get in shape.  But for many it can be very expensive since they are just throwing money away by not going.  

So if you feel you struggle with motivation, a great way to combat that is by joining a community of like minded individuals. Having a community of individuals that are there to hold you accountable and make sure you stay on task

So I hope that you found this helpful in your decision process.  If you have any questions or thoughts, please don’t be afraid to share them below.

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