Phew so another year just ticked over and and I just caught a glimpse of my personal christmas aftermath; if yours is anything like mine then perhaps we were a little more cavalier with our nutritional requirements than we should have. However like all good motivated people we makes imaginary promises to ourselves to be better, eat better and observe a strict regime of exercise will begin immediately, or in this years case, Monday 2nd January. Surely you all know that all well intended diet and exercise regimes begin on Monday right? So hoards of happy, enthusiastic people flock to the local gyms to donned in the latest and greatest active wear with all the best wireless headphones in order to sweat it all out! But what happens to these people? As regular 300+ day-a-year-gym-goers will attest, these new years resolutioners came, saw and conquered mostly nothing and left financially poorer and a spiffy new wardrobe some eight to 12 weeks later. Now this certainly doesn’t represent everybody, but where are the 70% (**figure pulled from my storage of personal generalisations) going wrong? Lets analyse it…
As a former top sales consultant for the major chain of health clubs across Australia I was in a unique position to observe the yearly Homo-sapien (*means wise man in latin, the irony is not lost) migration to the gym. It dawned on me one day that people in this day and age crave instant gratification; we can’t handle even the slightest delay. Speaking of delays, how were the courier companies this festive season argh #angry #package-a-day-late **stomps around the house… I rest my case. So when people would come in to the gym that want that immediate release of endorphins when they purchase a shiny new gym membership. Of course they get given all the bells and whistles to go with it, such as, the health chain branded back pack which no style conscious person would ever purchase themselves and matching towel that was made by the cheapest bidder. That said we have committed right? but what about when the backpack loses its lustre? life intervenes and we lose the motivation to continue little by little? So how do we avoid this decline in motivation? How do we reach our goals for body and fitness? First I will outline my tips having worked in the health field, some of the common mistakes I saw, and then ill share my tips for you to get the best deal when you are ready to join a gym.
**none of this constitutes health advice, this is purely a list of my observations
♣ I workout so I can eat what I want…
This is incorrect, if you have a regular calorific intake that is far beyond what is considered normal (2500cal for men and 2000cal for women) then the chances of you outworking it is nearly impossible, you will have to bust a gut just to break even! Think of those fast food meals that have 4500Kj ( roughly 1000cal) per meal and they are everywhere! Talk about motivator killer! thats 60 mins on the rower going flat out… Nutrition is everything
♣ How can I maximise my bodies response to fitness?
Thats easy, hydrate yourself with min 2lt water per day and more if hot and exercising. Feed your body really food you know the kind that doesn’t come in packets (apples in a plastic tray and wrapped fine but seriously lol this world hey). Don’t just count your macros, protein, carbohydrates, and fats are not the only thing your body needs. Micronutrients are often overlooked, they help to rebuild the cells that will get damaged on the cellar level when you workout.
♣ I want to live for ever and be superhuman, how?
Cut out all refined added sugar. Sugar reads havoc in the body! don’t believe me? google it… it will ahh give you super powers. **may not be factually accurate
♣ I’m not sure what my health or fitness goals are…
Goals in life are critical and they need to have a time frame! Hold yourself accountable. If you want to get fitter, great how will you measure it? your 2km run time?4km? If you want to lose weight, is it actually weight (body fat) you want to lose or do you simply want to convert your body fat to muscle as in a transformation. Whatever you do have your goal clear cut and never say to your PT you just want to “tone up” that holds no meaning yet is the universal word of new years revolutioners.
♣ I haven’t been to a gym before but she’ll be right…
Again depending on your age and/or ego, you are likely to hurt yourself, overtrain, or burnout all of which are counter productive. Get a gym buddy one who is experienced and sensible or hire a personal trainer with a solid reputation. You happily pay to get an education right? Fitness education is no different; once you are confident then you can go it alone but get some advice and guidance when first starting out.
♣ OK i got it!! So where do i join!?
Ok so you have a gym buddy and your diet wired pretty tight and your ready to join a gym so how do you get a good deal? Well gyms like any other sales industry works on monthly cycles, and each gym has a required target to meet in order to fill those quotas. Usually in any given gym you may have a target of between 100 – 180 new members each month. thats to counter the 90-170 old members who 12 month contract is expiring and they fall off the system. So approach you choose gym and take a tour mid month, be strong and don’t sign up that day! They will give you a gym pass to try the place out for a week or so.
The idea is that you will try it out a few times, they will have a reason to call you to follow up, you say you love the place ,then they, “say ok great lets get you started”. People really struggle to say NO to others, after all we were given something we really should feel obliged to given it some thought and why not its a nice gym. You need to postpone and be uncontactable, by the end of the month if their call rate increases…you know you can get a good deal. Bargain for free time, free stuff (oh you have back packs you say!) or cheaper rates for access to all clubs nationally ect.
♣ Sweet I can do that! Anything to watch out for?
Yep! So if you negotiate free time, say free 4 weeks free at the start of your membership before you give yourself a pat on the back make sure is actually a free 4 weeks… Many places will give you 4 weeks free but do this by simply delating the start of your contract, i.e. you still pay for 12 months worth, you just get 13 months access. To the gym it makes no difference to them they still get their pound of flesh.
Second beware of “joining fees” and the sales guys checking with their boss to get the joining fee waived if you join today. Its a price designed to be removed, a tool to get sales only – never pay joining fees. **you may have to pay for a access tag, but you can negotiate the price on these too, they cost somewhere in the order of 2$ for the gym.
When negotiating in sales there is a saying, he who speak first loses. Often savvy sales consultants will use “the pause” if you speak first to break the silence, they have got you.
Lastly beware of free PT sessions. Ever heard the saying nothing in life is free? The PT that get these free sessions are either novices in need of leads and you will experience the hard sell on your last session or they will be uninvested. I think PT are great but like i said earlier, find one with a solid reputation of your choosing.
In the end have fun, negotiating is a skill and one worth having and you can really improve you hand. Now you know the game, when they go for authority you can have a little chuckle to yourself. Fitness however should be a life choice and if you stay the course you will reap the benefits in years to come. Think of it like banking health to weather the storm of older age. I hope this has been of some help as you prepare for the annual migration, If you can any questions or feed back feed free to comment below or send us an email via the contact tab. Heres to a happy, health 2017.