Pumping iron is a great way to stay in shape and relieve stress. If you can do it, membership in a gym is your best investment, and there are several ways to make it happen.
Why join a gym?
You can buy equipment and work out at home, but in my opinion it makes more sense to get a gym membership. Here’s why:
Injury: If you hurt yourself, the gym will offer immediate assistance, as will fellow patrons. You probably won’t find that immediacy at home.
Ambition: Sometimes you just don't feel like working out. If you are paying for a gym membership, you’ll feel obligated to head towards the gym and work harder.
Variety of equipment: You can spend all day at the gym and still not have enough time to try every machine. For example, on a day you are strictly working out your legs the possibilities are endless, from squats and leg presses to extensions and calf raises.
Routines: Tedious aerobic or lifting routines can start to fade your drive for a good workout. Besides equipment, gyms offer tons of group classes such as Zumba, spinning, yoga, and kickboxing.
Social connections: A gym's environment provides the opportunity for social experiences. Even if you don't prefer to interact with anyone, observing others working up a sweat can be a source of encouragement.
Space: Even if you can afford the equipment you want, how much room do you have for it in your house? A gym provides a much larger area for your workout, without clutter.
Trainers: Most gyms offer the option to hire a trainer who can help you construct a workout program and reach your fitness objectives at a faster pace. Sometimes the cost is included in your membership.
|Gym||Gold's Gym||Planet Fitness||L.A. Fitness|
|Initial Investments||Option 1: $149.99 Option 2: $49.99||Regular card: Low start-up fee, then in a few months annual fee of $29 Black Card: 1-year contract, higher annual fee||Varies by area of residence|
|Monthly||Option 1: $29.99 Option 2: $39.99||Regular card: $10.00 Black card: $20.00||$39.99|
|Benefits||Access to 650 gyms, free classes, free training sessions.||Month-to-month contract Lots of equipment and free training to use it||Free classes, Kids Klub, open 7 days a week, pools and sauna|
|Extras||7-day VIP pass||Black card: Guest privileges, unlimited tanning, access to all gyms. For an extra monthly fee, you can use the tanning beds and massage chairs.||Guest privileges: additional $20.00 Courts: $5.00|
Avoid potential setbacks
There is a plethora of germs at a gym, as well as sweat on exercise equipment. Even the thought is nasty. You can remedy this easily by constantly washing your hands and bringing your own towel. Many gyms offer hand sanitizer dispensers and cleaning wipes.
Preparing for and getting to the gym can be as much of a workout as being there. Look for a good gym that is close to your home or job, and find a co-worker or group of friends to share the ride. The hassle won't be as much of a sweat if you have a shorter distance to travel and someone to share it with you.
You’re not the only one who loves the gym. Sometimes the maximum occupancy will be tested. Remember, people usually go right before or after work. If you can go at different times the odds are you'll have the gym more to yourself.
Gyms cost money, but it's worth it...