Should I Get a Gym Membership to Start the New Year?

DSCN0492I worked in the Gym industry for about 7 years. During that time I was amazed at how many people would flood into the gyms each year about this time to go purchase their gym memberships. The assumption was that if they had their membership to the gym they would of course go use it and therefore be in better health. The members who have had a membership for years and were constantly using the gym would go crazy. The “New Years Rush” meant long lines at equipment, trouble finding a parking spot, and an aerobics class packed with people.

These issues typically disappear after the middle of February when most of the New Years Resolution crowd realizes they are not going to stick with it and they begin to fall off their over eager workout schedule. This was always a little disappointing to witness each year. People would go in to the new year and workout out at a level that was not appropriate for their current ability levels and completely burn themselves out after a month or so.

Sadly the gym world relies on this to make their money. I remember seeing statistic sheets when I was an assistant manager at one of the gyms that less than 20% of the people who were paying their monthly dues actually used the facility more than once a month. We also noticed that many of the percentage who came in were doing so for the amenities like tanning and massage but not to actually workout.

Sign people up for a three year financial commitment, then watch as they slowly lose interest. They stop coming in but you still get their money. It is the sad truth about gyms. Don’t get me wrong. Many gym offer some incredible training and classes designed to keep people motivated and going to the facility. It is not the gyms fault necessarily, it is just the reality of the gym world.

So if you are considering going out to purchase a gym membership this year to help achieve your resolutions, here are a few things I would recommend you consider before you do so.

1. What is your motivation? Are you trying to lose weight, run a marathon, play some pick up basketball help your aching knees and back? Make sure you have your goals firmly in place before you go to the gym. Then consider what all you will need to make this happen. Make sure the gym you are considering has the things to offer that you will need to meet your goals.

2. What do you enjoy? If you have always loved swimming, make sure your gym has a pool. If you enjoy playing games to get in shape, does it have a basketball court or a racquetball court? Are their leagues you can get into?

3. What time are you going to use the gym? Most gyms will give you a free pass to try the facility out. Take it and make sure to spend some time at the gym when you will normally be there. Many people go to purchase a membership during their lunch break only to find out that in the evening when they are going to workout the gym is so busy they can barely move around.

4. Try to get a month to month deal. If you can go in and purchase just one month, do so. Even if they want to charge you quite a bit for it, go in and prove to yourself you are going to use the facility. If after the month you are consistent and enjoying it, now make a longer commitment.

5. Try exercising at home to see if you are actually willing to do it. We have some very inexpensive programs that you can try in our Store that will not only help to get you in better health but will also be a great supplement to your gym membership if you decide to get one.

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