I can see how it can be overwhelming these days for the average person looking to adopt a fitness program. Chances are there are several options within just a few miles from your home. From the big box gyms slamming you with ads about 'judgement free zones' to places like your local fitness warehouse that promises you'll leave the gym barely able to walk. In all honesty, my goal here isn't to bash types of fitness atmospheres and styles. Bottom line is if you are consistently exercising, seeing results and feeling great, then keep doing what you're doing. This is meant to help those on the fence about starting a fitness program with tips to help push them in the right direction.
So, how can you tell what type of atmosphere is right for you? This question may have a different answer depending on who you ask. What is your current fitness level? What are your fitness goals? Do you have previous injuries or surgeries? Are you self motivated when it comes to consistently training? While there are many circumstances that can affect the answer to this question, I'd like to give you a few key factors that apply to most people when choosing where to get your fitness on!
This is huge. What type of atmosphere gets you motivated? Do you prefer working out with no one else around? In a group? With a coach? The right atmosphere can get you working harder, achieve more results, and possibly all while having a little...... FUN! If you enjoy your training, you'll be more likely to stay consistent and make it a part of your lifestyle.
2. Coaching/Personal training staff
If you decide to work with a coach or personal trainer make sure they are the right fit. A coach should be contagiously enthusiastic about his or her profession, have systems in place for training and tracking progress, and practice what they preach!
3. Training Style
There are more fitness fads out there than I care to count, but a few questions you should ask yourself are, is it safe? Can it be modified to my fitness level? Is there a system in place or are the exercises random? Is there emphasis on actual resistance training? There are so many facilities out there trying to combine resistance and cardiovascular training selling it as the best of both worlds. The truth is to really consistently get stronger you need to lift moderate to heavy weight; If this is done instantly after a few minutes of burpees, your form will likely suffer and an injury is inevitable.
Budget can greatly affect what type of fitness program you choose. A big box gym membership is generally the cheapest option, but also typically results in, well, lack of results. In 2014 less than half of people with gym memberships went regularly and at an average of over $500/year, can start to get expensive when you're essentially not getting anything in return. If you can get results and stay consistent this may be the option for you, but if you struggle with self discipline and need some accountability and motivation, a coach may be the better option. A great coach can get you results safely and efficiently and even make your training sessions enjoyable!
Although the fitness industry is saturated with ways to get healthy and fit, it really all comes down to the individual. At some point you have to make a choice and a commitment to yourself to eat right and exercise regularly. This is not an easy task with all the things working against Americans these days. From the advertisements and accessibility of 'junk food', to the amount of refined sugars on our grocery shelves, to the typical sedentary jobs most people have, it seems that we are set up for failure. My advice would be to surround yourself with people on the same mission as you and find ENJOYMENT in your healthy food choices and exercise regimen.
- Coach Colin, Training For Warriors Jacksonville