I was a member of various fitness facilities for years. My gym experiences started very well, helping me to vastly improve my health. After having a lot of fun and gaining considerable experience exercising, I went on to become certified as a personal trainer.
Some gyms have their own trainers on staff, and frown upon their members hiring independent trainers. Unfortunately, that was true at my gym. As I thought about this inflexible policy, I realized that I was mostly training at home anyway. It seemed like a good time to cancel my membership, despite the low rate that I had locked in after several years of membership.
This may give you the impression that I am “anti-gym”. Not so: I enjoyed being a gym member, and for some people, going to a gym may be the best option.
Reasons why a gym membership may be a good idea:
- They have a lot of quality exercise equipment, often difficult or impossible to have at home.
- The social element of working out with other people avoids the feelings of isolation and boredom that many people have when exercising alone. The success of Curves is a testament to this.
- There are many distractions at home that may prevent exercise. When you’re at the gym, there’s not a whole lot to do other than exercise.
Having said that, there are negatives, too:
- Gym memberships may be expensive.
- Waiting in line for a machine is not fun. At some gyms it’s so bad that they have waiting lists on popular machines.
- It takes time to get to and from the facility. Along with the time needed for exercise itself, changing clothes, and possibly showering, this can be a considerable time commitment, and may encourage making excuses not to go.
- Really annoying alpha males. Gyms attract wayward testosterone.
- Some people don’t feel comfortable being seen by others while exercising.
Different people need different workout environments. What works for me may not work for you. The good news is that there are enough ways to exercise to accomodate almost anyone!