3 Questions to ask yourself before you join a gym/group fitness program...

Often people will decide to get fit and jump straight into a gym membership, personal training package, or bootcamp program.  This is sometimes done without much thought about how each type of training will suit them.  They might go along with a friend or relative because they have raved about it for a while.  This can sometimes work, but it can also be the wrong setup for their personal needs.  So here are a few questions to ask yourself before joining a training program or gym.

1. What is my goal? Often this will be to lose weight, but what if you want to get really strong?  Or gain muscle mass?  These three goals have very different training and nutrition needs.  A personal trainer would be able to help you with all of these goals, but a bootcamp is not the best setup for gaining a whole lot of lean muscle - the training programs are not usually designed for this goal.  

The same could be said for the strength goal - and I mean powerlifting type strength here.  A bootcamp will most likely make you stronger than when you started, and is great for burning calories, especially if you are a little out of condition to start with, but there is a limit to what can be achieved in a group setting in regards to strength of this sort.  

So before you sign up, think deeply about what you want to achieve and why you want to achieve it. 

2. What type of training do I prefer? Are you comfortable working out in a gym on your own?  Do you have some training experience and you just want to pick up where you left off?  Then maybe getting a Personal Trainer to write you a program and take you through it a couple of times before letting you loose in the gym will be fine.

If you prefer training in a group environment, then a good spin class or bootcamp might be more your speed.  This way you get the encouragement of a group working towards the same goal and have a trainer looking after you at the same time.  But again, match the type of training to what your goal is and what you look for in training.  Getting a shouty bootcamp instructor in your face at 5am may not be your cup of tea, on the other hand it may push you beyond your limits and you may love it.  Each to their own.

Look at the type of training that you enjoy and the environment you thrive in before joining a training program.

3. When do I like to train?  This one will determine a lot in terms of your training also.  If you do shiftwork and can only make it to the gym at 2am then the chances of finding a group fitness session to join is pretty remote.  You would also have a pretty slim chance of getting a personal trainer to see you at that time.  Are you an early riser? Then a 6am bootcamp could work for you.  Are you a night owl? Then again group fitness sessions can be found after work too.  Again, it depends on your situation.

Try and find a training program or gym with opening hours that suits your preferences.  There are plenty of 24 hour gym options these days if you like working at off peak times.  But don't try and join a program that won't suit your way of working.  There are plenty of other things that will make you want to skip sessions, don't fight yourself on this, especially when first starting out.

Match the training situation to your preferences not the other way around, you will be more likely to keep at it.

So there are 3 questions to ask yourself before you decide to join a training program.  By asking these questions you can help set yourself up for success in the long-term.  So make it easy and do a little thinking before you fill out that contract/signup sheet.
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If you would like to talk to me about training options, please get in touch and we can talk through some options.

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