Do I Need To Join A Gym?
The way I see it, I’ve got two options. The first option is to really lay it on thick. I can really drag out whether or not you should join a gym by listing counter-arguments to every common question under the sun and generally overanalysing every single detail.
The second option is for me to just be honest and give my opinion. Cut out all the crap you don’t need and stick with what will actually help you out. Seems like a pretty clear choice to me, wouldn’t you agree?
Like Everything Else, There Are Pros And Cons To Joining A Gym
This could easily turn into pointless ramblings so I’ll try and keep it to the point. First off, gyms tend to have a lot of equipment – that’s kind of what they’re there for. They have a lot of plates so you can lift really heavy things, they have lots of different machines so you can put together a pretty solid starting routine and some of them have steam rooms which are nice after a hard workout! If you look at CrossFit gyms as an example they are great at building a community which makes the overall workout experience that much more enjoyable.
The gym also has personal trainers who can help you put together a program and will help you with your technique. As an aside, I think a lot of people don’t utilise the trainers at the gym as a resource and that is a mistake. They come as part of your membership – you’re paying to be there so you’re also paying for them to help you! Don’t be afraid to go and speak to someone if you need their knowledge or assistance.
Then we have the more annoying aspects. Sometimes people hog the same equipment for 45 minutes. Even worse, half the people in your gym will forget that the equipment even exists the moment they finish their last rep and walk off leaving the gym in a huge mess! Then you have the strange characters which always show up when you start working out, like the guy who wears shorts that are clearly too small or the other guy who just follows you from exercise to exercise talking at you (not to you) and never actually works out.
Sometimes the gym can be rather stressful. But that hasn’t really answered the question. So, should you join a gym?
To Be Honest, It Really Depends On Your Goals
Yep, that’s right. I’m using the ‘there’s no right answer’ card again. I can’t help it though, because it’s not the wrong answer! Let’s say you like running on the treadmill. To put it politely, I’m not the biggest fan of static cardio training equipment with the rowing machine being the only exception. Why would you want to sit and cycle whilst looking at yourself in the mirror or run for 30 minutes whilst listening to music on your headphones whilst occasionally staring at someone else’s backside?
Anyway, if you like running on the treadmill at the gym – good for you. Keep on doing what you’re doing if it’s what you enjoy. If your goal is to lose weight then the gym is a great place to start. There’s classes to join where you can meet other people with the same objectives and again, trainers there who can help you.
Maybe your goal is to build muscle. The gym is a great place for that too! Lots of heavy things for you to pick up and put down again. Just make sure you stay away from steroids, that’s cheating.
That’s all well and good, but what if you don’t want to build muscle or lose weight you just want to become healthier through exercise?
Here’s The Truth: You Don’t Need To Join A Gym To Get Fit
What? Blasphemy! Of course you need to join a gym to get fit! WHERE ARE THE PITCHFORKS?! Listen, calm down. I feel like for a lot of people, joining the gym is the default setting when they think about becoming healthier or even becoming fitter. Personally, I don’t think this should be the case. Some people, myself included, really enjoy giving 100% in the gym 6 days a week. Some people don’t.
If you’re not one of those people, don’t feel like you have to join the gym just to suffer through your workouts – that’s not fun for anyone!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s infinite ways to keep fit and have fun without the gym. Take up yoga, go swimming, go hiking with your dog, learn a martial art, go rock climbing you shouldn’t be struggling to find things to do, and the best part is you get to try loads of fun new things until you find the one that fits you!
So, we have our answer. Join a gym if you like the gym; don’t join a gym if you don’t. I feel like I ventured slightly into option one instead of sticking with option two, however once you start thinking about a subject you’re passionate about it’s hard to just turn it off!
I hope that this made things a little clearer for you if you were within two minds. There’s no wrong way to keep fit (figuratively speaking) so just find something that you enjoy and see where it takes you!