We can all probably agree that memberships to fitness centers can get pricey. We shell out all kinds of amounts every month in an effort and all the best intentions to get as fit as we possibly can, and yet so many of us waste our precious, hard-earned cash because we don’t know how to utilize the very thing we’re paying for.
At the end of the day, gym memberships are useless if you’re spending most of your gym time waiting for someone to get off that exercise machine that you want to use. Even worse, there are even more of us wasting our money by simply not mustering enough will power to get to the gym in the first place.
For most, it actually all boils down to confidence and planning. If you’ve decided that it’s time for you to stop wasting your cash and start making the most out of your fitness center, give these 10 outstanding tips a try.
Tip 1: Assess Your Fitness Goals
There are some goals that your fitness center will help you accomplish and there are others that must be accomplished elsewhere (like your home). List down your goals, take stock of them and determine which ones can be achieved and the gym and which ones should be tackled in another place.
Once you’ve figured out what your goals are for the fitness center, start figuring out what amenities or equipment in the gym will help you meet those goals. For example, if you’re training for a triathlon, you may want to hit the pool and the stationary bike. This will also help you figure out if you’re even at the right fitness center.
Tip 2: Make Sure You Like the Place
Don’t pay for a fitness center membership if you aren’t even sure if you’ll like the place or not. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask for a free trial or complimentary pass. Most fitness centers offer this as an incentive to sign up so why not make the most of it? You can use this as an opportunity to figure out if a particular fitness center is the right one for you.
Tip 3: Location, Location, Location
This one is short and simple. You’re more likely to make the most of your money and membership if your fitness center is near you or on the to work or home, so start your search close to home.
Tip 4: Figure Out What You Like
If you’re new to working out, this one might take a bit of trial and error, and if you’re not then it should make picking a fitness center easier. Know what kind of workouts you like and which ones you’ll be most likely to do. This can help you narrow down your choice of fitness center even further than it already is.
Tip 5: Make the Most of the Classes
Most fitness centers these days offer free classes for their members (and if yours isn’t then it might be time to find a new gym). One of the easiest ways to make the most of the money you’re spending on your membership is to capitalize on as many free classes as you can. You can try spinning, yoga, high-intensity interval training classes or other group training exercises.
Not only will these classes help you meet like-minded individuals, they’ll also help you burn more throughout the day. If you’re still figuring out which group classes you even like, pick a spot near the rear of the classroom. If you’re still not feeling the class 20 minutes in, then you can duck out without feeling too embarrassed about it.
Tip 6: Say Goodbye to Your Reservations
Yes, yes, we know this is easier said than done, but it’s absolutely important that you take every inhibition you have about working out at your fitness center and leaving it at the door. Sure, there are a few people who are at the gym for the wrong reasons, but we’re pretty sure that more often than not, they’re all there to get fit and accomplish goals. Don’t let others intimidate you from performing your work out. You’re not there to impress them anyways and if you are, then you’re not there for the right reasons.
Tip 7: Try Out Personal Training
Some fitness centers offer a free personal training session or two for newbies and beginners. If yours is one of those fitness centers, sign up asap! Not only will you learn some important basics at the gym, the trainer will also help you figure out what exercises you should be doing to hit your goals. It’s a win-win because if you’re happy with the personal trainer, you may even decide on investing in more sessions.
Tip 8: Give Every Amenity a Chance
If your fitness center has all kinds of amenities, don’t be shy. Give them all a try. There’s no way for you to know which part of the gym is the best for you unless you give them all a shot. Let your body be the one tell you which exercises will work for you and which ones won’t. If you don’t feel confident, ask one of the fitness center’s staff to lend you a hand.
Tip 9: Come with A Plan
With a little research and some trial and error, it’s going to be easy for you to come up with a fitness plan or a workout routine to do at the gym. If you can’t think of one for the life of you, there’s always the internet and fitness magazines. Come to the gym with these plans so you can make the most of your time and your money.
Tip 10: Add Strength and Resistance Training to Your Regimen
Chances are that you don’t have weight equipment, various weighted dumbbells or squat racks at home. That being said, make the most of the equipment that you don’t have at home while you’re at the fitness center. Not only will you build strength, you’ll tone your muscles and burn far more calories than you would have if you’d stuck to the cardio machines.