Five Things They Won’t Tell You at the Gym


The resistance that you fight physically in the gym and the resistance that you fight in life can only build a strong character. ~ Arnold Schwarzenegger

1. “Every new member will get a cookie-cutter workout.”

Nearly every gym offers a free “customized” workout or orientation with a personal trainer that is supposed to help the new or existing members get to their goals. Unfortunately, everyone has different bodies, health history, goals, and needs that no single exercise program or method can address. However, most gyms don’t really care about that. They just want to get all members to use the same equipment and system and then they let them loose.

Furthermore, many of these free workouts are just using the machines that places a person in a sitting position with a fixed range of movement. For someone with back pain, stiff hips, and weak core, this type of “service” can make the problems worse for the gym member—which brings to the next point:

2. “Our trainers don’t really know what they’re doing.”

Unlike most health professionals, like nurses, acupuncturists, and athletic trainers, personal fitness trainers (PFTs) do not require any standard qualifications to become one. In fact, a PFT can have a graduate degree in kinesiology with several years of experience or a weekend, online certification for less than $99 and with no experience other than working out at the gym. As aforementioned in #1, most gym trainers would babysit their clients or new members on exercise machines and act as a rep-counter. As Coach Vern Gambetta, author of “Athletic Development”, once said, “This type of service is a sign of laziness and unprofessionalism.”

What to do: Seek a PFT with a degree and/or accredited certification (EX: ACSM, NASM,  PTA Global) with at least a year of full-time work experience. The PFT must also understand your needs and set a customized plan to help you attain your goals.

3. “Don’t touch anything! This place is crawling with germs.”

If you think hospitals are dirty, gyms are breeding grounds for bacteria. With hundreds of bodies touching and sweating on equipment and floor everyday, it is easy to get infecteted with all kinds of germs.  According to Philip Tierna, author of  “The Secret Life of Germs”, he found samples of community-acquired MRSA — a strain of staph resistant to some antibiotics—after swabbing a sample from medicine balls.

What to do: Bring your own towels and mats and wear workout attire that covers most of your skin, such as pants and long-sleeve shirts, and wash them as soon as you get home. While in the locker room, wear flip-flops and do not sit anywhere in the nude. Heavens know how many butts have sat there before you.

4. “If you’re still here in April, it’s a miracle.”

About 20-30% of gym members quit the gym in less than 90 days, and gyms count on that, according to Meg Jordan, editor of American Fitness. Otherwise, the facilities would be overpacked with people, scruffling over machines and stretching spaces. If the number of people who join a gym actually stayed and worked out consistently, most gyms would run out of room very quickly.  Therefore, it is actually better business for them to have a high turnover rate where people keep paying but do not come, resulting in less expensive in the end for the gym which will continue to profit from absences.

5. “We won’t let you quit!”

Quitting the gym may be much harder than shedding five pounds of fat or training for the Ironman. Many people have experienced the charges from gym memberships on the credit cards or bank accounts long after they had told the gym that they would like to cancel.

What to do: Make sure you read the ENTIRE FINE PRINT on your contract that you signed when you join. Keep the contract along with your important documents, such as tax returns and lease agreements. You also want to cancel in writing within 30 days of your termination, and keep an extra copy for yourself.

If you are looking for an alternative to the gym, try outdoor trainer. Open sky, clean air, unlimited possibilities. Plus the overhead cover is much less than going to the gym with higher quality of training and lower costs. Call us today at 858.722.5216 to schedule a quick tour of our 31 acre park.

Nobel Athletic Fields in UTC

8810 Judicial Drive  San Diego, CA 92122

 

Top 5 Things They Won’t Tell You at the Gym

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