11 Tips to Finding A Great Gym

 Is getting fit and being strong the new fad? There are so many options that are geared to the new you.  Finding something that will help you lose weight, and keep it off has become an increasing trend in society today. 

It is not just about losing weight.  It is about having fun and making friends while doing something you love and will stick to. 

My ongoing fitness adventure.  My goal to get to 130lbs started 4.5 years ago. Well, more than that- but officially..  because that was my last pregnancy.

First my goal was to get to 130lbs, then “I tried to be more realistic and move my goal to 140lbs.  Now it is just to LOSE some weight.

I mentioned in my previous post in regards to everything I have tried from personal training to crossfit to cardio kickboxing to hot yoga, to strength training, to my own thing- and now… to BOOTCAMP.

The only reason why I joined this bootcamp was because it kept coming up on my facebook feed.  Second, it was only a six week commitment.  Third, it was for $190 for six weeks of class and included a meal plan.  Now, I already belong to a gym that I pay $130 a month for.  The DIY gym included everything I could ask for, except for MOTIVATION.   Hence, I needed something else.

So, that is why I joined this bootcamp . I needed the extra motivation, the meal plan, and the extra motivation…. did I mention motivation??

The Trainer.  I saw this fit looking gentleman on facebook .  I messaged him, and he got me in.  I showed up at my first class, he weighed me in, and took my body fat analysis, my leg, arm and abdomen measurements.

The place… was a gymnastics gym… for kids… I am not a fan of an audience to begin with… and now I feel as though all these five and ten year olds were laughing at me.  The place was not very nice.   Dirty. Disshelveld .  But hey, it is a kids gymnastics place what did I expect??

The trainer… was definately not the fit person on the facebook profile.  This guy was way young, and all he was doing was barking out orders…. lol that is their job right?? Not really, he was a nice young gentleman.  He was not “barking”, rather just reading out loud… He was a Kinesiology student.

The clientele… was about 20 women.. mostly beginners.  I considered myself moderately advanced…. compared to these women. Not that I was knocking them, just that a lot of them appeared to be beginners.  Many out of shape, many a huffing and a puffing, many who could not complete the action that was given. And hey! Good for them for being there! But I was a beginner three years ago. Really not motivating for me, when I don’ t see that person I want to look like.

I like to see people of all ranges in a workout establishment.  In Kickboxing, I saw people who were beginners to people who were advanced.  People that were super fit, and people who were not. The difference is that you saw a range- knowing that those people who were there for a long  period of time really had the program work for them.  Also, the environment was friendly, family like.  Everyone was nice, kind and helpful.

Bootcamp was different. I did not know anyone… and everyone seemed to have joined with someone they knew.  It was a different “feel” to the whole atmosphere.  Probably because it was a 6 week program and that is why it was not a “family” feel for me.  It was my first 6 weeks.

The Challenge.  Anyway, I did not feel challenged at all. It was 45 minutes of class.  Probably 5 minutes of warmup, 5 minute of stretching, which left  35 minutes of actual working out.  For $190, for six weeks, three classes a week, meant 18 classes, at $10.50 a class.

The Meal plan.  I could not get pass the 3 day cleanse!!   I hate cleanses!  HATE HATE HATE. I tried it.  It was a juice and vegetable cleanse.  That is all you can eat for three days.  I need my MEAT!!!!  I failed the first day.

First day was fatigue, headache, and GRUMPINESS.  I completed the cleanse at 85%.  Which mean, I had a fistful of lasagna.   I was dying.  It was the end of the day.

Second day was a mess.  I took the kids skiing, had a green smoothie in the morning, and then brought my salad for lunch.  My kid breaks his leg and we are stuck in the ER for three hours.  I brought my salad, but no one had a fricken fork!  So I ate a muffin.  FAIL.

Support.  The actual trainer was sick. The fake trainer messaged me to tell me class was cancelled.  Yayyyyyyy… I was happy.   At the same time not going to a block of classes makes you less motivated to attend the following! Bahhhh!

So here is my 11 things to look for in a fitness class!

1.  Try a class before you commit!  Most give you that option, but if they don’t then don’t commit unless you are 100% sure.

2.  Who is teaching the class? Is it the owner?  Is it the owner who hired a student on minimum wage? What qualifications does he/she have?

3.  How many students per class?  If there is like 20 students to one instructor, then more than likely you will not be getting much help.  Technique is important in many exercises, and if you are doing it wrong- you can hurt yourself or not have an effective workout.

4.  What are the workouts like?  Is it a mix of strength and cardio?  I’d it all cardio? If there is something you do not enjoy doing… even if it is “good” for you, then chances are you will not continue classes.

5.  Do they promote friendships? I know it is sometimes lame to introduce yourself, but getting to know someone, and making friends is important to sustaining a membership.  Friends encourage one another and make working out a lot more fun.

6.  Do they offer a meal plan or additional support?  Exercise alone will not get rid of all your excess weight. Eating right, sleeping right, and having the right exercise regime all go hand in hand.

7.  Does your gym follow up? Assessment should be done every 4-6 weeks.  If the program is working or your body is not responding then you need to adjust your regime, your diet, or move on.

8. Is it fun? It has gotta be fun!  Having friends with you makes it fun.  Also the instructor has to be fun!! Upbeat!  Loving it.  Most of the instructors I have had,taken the exact class as you and I would. Having an instructor just tell you what to do is not fun.  I’d rather stay at home and put on my Shred DVD.   Having someone do it just to get paid is not fun. Plus going to a class you absolutely dread is not worthwhile.  Do something you love.

9.  Are you being challenged? Does the instructor see that you are excelling and give you new tasks?  Or do they leave it up to you?  For me, I always need a good swift kick in the ass.  If you leave it up to me, I am happy with what I have.  No need for changes here… nope.. not me.

10. How long is the commitment, how much per class, and can you get out.  I invest a lot of money into my active lifestyle. I sank a ton into personal training where the trainer never showed, was a total dick and they wanted me to switch trainers… ummm ya but the dick is still there!! No refunds!  Thanks have a Goodlife.

11. Flexible time slots.  Make sure you see all the times they have available including nights, weekends, and holidays.  After training mornings for a while, it is good to switch it up to nights if you can.

Investing in fitness could cost some people nothing and others way more. What it boils down to is how much motivation you have, and how far you are willing to go.

Have fun- have goals- work hard. Nothing comes easy.  Especially finding that perfect gym or fitness routine.

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