I'm going to catch some heat for this post, I'm sure of it, but hey - it's cool.
I have very strong opinions as to why I think people should opt out of their fancy, over-priced, under-utilized gym memberships, and rather look to invest in some of their own equipment and a knowledgeable coach/trainer. Sure, this would better serve me in my profession as an independent personal trainer and wellness coach, but this is not my reasoning.
Ask any one of my clients, and they will tell you that my goal is to not only train them on how to get stronger, better conditioned, more flexible, etc., but to teach them as well so that they can go on to live the "fit" lifestyle without me always being there. If they decide to stick with me well after they've developed their own foundation and knowledge, then GREAT. If not, no stress, and I'm glad they've achieved some of their goals, and are on the right track to crush some more.
I want all of my clients to develop self-efficacy, and go on to live happier, and more fulfilling lives with the new knowledge and confidence that I have helped them to develop. The truth is that they all have this capability within them, and I do nothing else but help uncover their OWN POTENTIAL. That's why my slogan is what it is; "Fitness Designed For YOUR Potential!"
You are all great, and capable of great things. I just help people uncover their greatness when their own perceptions are cloudy.
Here's why you should cancel your gym membership...
- They're expensive: It's true that gym memberships have declined in price over the past few years (right around when the recession began, because people realized that the gym is a luxury - not a necessity. There are other ways to stay strong and healthy without cranking out reps on a machine...), but these cheaper membership fees add up. Let's concentrate on this for a second: If the average membership is roughly $20/month, and there are 12 months in a year, your yearly membership will cost you about $240. That's just to have access to their facilities. Now if you want to hire a trainer at one of these facilities, that could run you anywhere between $30-$90/ session or more! Of course you can't just go with one session though, you'll need to invest in a package of about 5 sessions or so, which will set you back about $250 (nice rounded estimate), and now your total is up to about $500, give-or-take for the year. Now multiply that by 2-5 years, and, well, you see where I'm going here... Why not invest in some basic equipment for your home that will be less that your yearly membership, and you get to keep that stuff for more than a year; it's yours FOREVER! Take some of that money that your saving, hire a coach/trainer who knows his/her "stuff", and become educated yourself so that you can continue training on your own eventually, without feeling attached to that scan-card that's deteriorating on your key-chain.
- Under-qualified/Uninterested trainers: Yea, I know, he or she has a certification in personal training (I hope, at the very least), but do you know anything about the organization that certified them? Don't get me wrong here, I'm not attacking all trainers that work at gyms/fitness clubs/wellness centers, a lot of them are great. That being stated, there are a lot that are AWFUL. Period. Some people go online, take some test, and 2 hours later they're a trainer because they read an anatomy and exercise physiology book and passed with the bare-minimum. They have the mindset of, "hey, I can charge people crazy-high rates to show them some exercises because I am certified!", and the sad thing is that people will. Then you see them not paying attention when their clients are training, forcing their clients to do things that they don't want to, or are incapable of without compromising their safety, or even pushing them to injury! You should challenge your coach/training every once in a while. Test them by asking them and occasional question and see how they respond to you. Does it sound like they're just regurgitating bullshit, or do they actually have the knowledge necessary to train YOU. If not, leave them, and leave fast. (If you're questioning whether or not your trainer is being genuine from the get go, that's probably a red flag.)
- The whole gym "community" atmosphere: I figure that if you've made it this far through this post, then chances are that you see things from my perspective, at least a little bit. So I'm going to go off on a bit of a rant here. I HATE the gym "community" atmosphere. I call it a community, because in a community everyone has a specific role to fit into, or carry out. In the gym community, you have the sharks (trainers trying to sell you sessions and supplements), the know-it-alls (fitness magazine meat heads who interrupt your training to try and "correct" your form, only to mess it up more), the impatient individuals ("How many sets you got left??") the lazy individuals (why are all the 20 lbs by the 80 lbs, and wait a second, where are the 50's at?!) the attention whores (men and women included here, with their fashionable workout attire and loud grunts/mating calls - probably barbell curling in the squat rack because there's a mirror in front), the liabilities (loading up the bar with crazy weight when they can't work through a full range of motion in just a wet t-shirt), the creeper (probably some old dude staring at you from afar..for and uncomfortable amount of time), the high school tough-guys ("Come at me, Bro"), the has-been (some former amateur athlete who wants to talk your ear off about how he use to lift this, and back in his day he did that), and the locker room swingers (middle-aged/senior citizens walking around, airing out the ol' twig-n-berries. I'm pretty sure the creeper is lumped into this one as well.). Did I forget anything? Oh yea, and the HORRIBLE MUSIC. Sorry, I will not be training to Pat Benatar, Justin Bieber or Taylor Swift...Not happening... Oh DAMN, I forgot to charge my iPod last night!