Saturday, January 18, 2014

6 Tips for New Gym Members

I have been a working professional in the fitness industry for almost five years (WHAT!), and I've spent a majority of those years at the same health club. I started out as a certified personal trainer, became a group fitness instructor, and now I am the fitness director, too. All of these roles are different, but they bring me into close contact with the same person quite frequently—the new gym member.

It's not easy being the newbie in any situation, mostly because we're humans with feelings and we get nervous and self-conscious. But seriously, there's no greater environment than a gym when it comes to integrating yourself into a new situation. If you're reading this and you've just signed up for your first gym membership, I congratulate you for taking that step. And I'm here to help:

Gyms are all run quite differently, but most should be well-equipped to help new members get started. If this is true, you'll notice a camaraderie among the old members, all sharing in a warm and welcoming environment. They've all been in your shoes at one point, so you can take their actions...their confidence in navigating the a positive form of inspiration. But still, what should you do those first few days after you've activated your membership? Start with these six tips:

1) Ask about equipment orientations or free training sessions.
Many gyms will offer new members a free equipment orientation which should, at the very least, introduce you to the fitness floor and its equipment. Sign up for one even if you don't think it's necessary. During this orientation, you should learn everything you need to know about navigating the machines. You'll get one-on-one time with a qualified fitness professional...especially if it's an actual training session.

2) Speak with a group fitness instructor.
Group fitness schedules can be overwhelming. Class descriptions are great, but they don't tell you whether or not the class is right for YOU. If you speak with a group fitness instructor, that person can give you even more details and perhaps even recommend a plan of attack.

3) Ask for a tour of the facilities.
If you walk into a gym and request membership information, the staff should be more than willing to show you the facility right then and there. If, however, this doesn't happen for whatever reason, then you should totally ask for a tour of the facilities. I mean, how can you take full advantage of your membership if you don't know where everything is?

4) Seek out like-minded individuals.
If you're a triathlete, find out who the triathletes are. Odds are, they stick together. If you like yoga and see a woman with a yoga mat, introduce yourself and ask her about the programs. Essentially, put yourself out there and make some friends at the gym. In doing so, you'll create a social environment that buzzes with activity and inspiration.

5) Read through all of the materials.
Whether you get a folder full of pamphlets or a brochure with a few pages of information, you should totally take the time to read through everything. From policies to parent-tot classes and pool times, you might find something within that resonates with your fitness goals. And, trust me, your experience will be a lot better if you know all the rules, regulations and policies up front. Because let's be honest, no one likes to argue the fine print.

6) Be confident.
Gyms can be very intimidating, but as I've indicated, they really are not when you get to know the environment! But the only way you can truly do that is if you enter with confidence. Don't worry, no one is judging your workouts. And they won't laugh if you trip, do an exercise wrong or clang the plates on a machine. It happens, they've done it, too. You are a paying customer and you deserve to be there just as much as the next guy or girl.

Now, if you're not a new gym member, remember that you play a role in the newbie's experience. There are certainly things you can do to make their experience a positive one!

Question: Did you recently join a gym? What did the staff do to make sure you're ready to tackle your fitness goals? What was your experience being the new kid on the block?

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...