Sunday, August 23, 2009

Why A Big Box Gym May Not Be For You, Part 2

On Friday, I had a guest blogger, Becky, write about her experience at a big box gym. If you missed it, you can read it here ==> Why A Big Box Gym May Not Be Right For You

Unfortunately, Becky's experience was not an isolated incident. Obviously there are plenty of good trainers out there but there are bad ones, too. Just like there are lousy doctors, plumbers, lawyers, contractors, accountants, etc.

Contrary to popular misconception, gyms are not filled with superfit people who know all about exercise.

You don't need to be in shape to join a gym.
You don't need color coordinated spandex outfits.
You don't need to know anything about exercise.

You just need to find a gym where a knowledgeable trainer will work with you at your current fitness level.

Obviously, the key word here is knowledgeable. Becky, clearly, didn't have that during her trial workout and it's obvious on so many levels.

* There are differences of opinions about how best to warm up but everyone should warm up before lifting weights. Period. If your trainer says something like, "I/we don't do that", run.

* Personally, I would not have someone who hasn't exercised in 20 years doing 3 sets of 15 repetitions of any one exercise their first day in the gym. Others may disagree but I don't see the point unless your goal is making the person so sore they don't want to return.

* No one should be putting a novice exerciser through a workout using weights that are too heavy for the person to lift. If on your first visit to a health club, you can't lift the weight the trainer has selected, it needs to be reduced. No debate. If the trainer says s/he'll help you lift the weight, run.

If you're a former athlete or someone who's exercised most of their life, the gym you select may not be that big of a deal. However, if you never belonged to a fitness center, haven't exercised in years, have medical issues, or are intimidated by rows of strange looking equipment, you need to find a place where someone will work with you.

At my gym, Body & Soul Fitness Studio, every new member gets an individualized program designed specifically for her based on her specific goals, current fitness level, medical issues, exercise experience, etc. There are places like mine out there, you just need to look for them.

Yes, it will probably cost you a few bucks more than the bargain gym with little or no service. But is it a bargain if you join there and...

* don't get results because you're confused about what to do?
* hurt yourself?
* don't go or stop going because you feel overwhelmed and stupid?

You are an individual and you deserve to be treated like one. Find a gym that will. Just say no to one-size-fits-all exercise programs. :-)

If you're in the Lancaster, Pennsylvania area, call me today at (717) 509-7777 so we can discuss your goals and schedule a tour of Body & Soul.

It took a year before Becky ventured back into another gym. Tune in next time to read about that experience.


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