Originally released in January, 2019
"It’s a potential minefield out there – Personal Training, Open Gyms & Group Fitness Classes. Where do you begin? Well, before diving in and signing up for the cheapest option, figure out what fitness option is best for you", writes Alan Wilson, Head Coach at Lifestyle Fitness & Personal Training, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford.
Congratulations! You have made the first step towards changing the direction of your fitness (or lack thereof). It’s not an easy decision to come to but when you’ve finally made that decision, took that leap of faith and recognised that something needs to change, it can almost be a relief. But you have done it! Now, what's next?
As a Coach, I always advocatechoosing a fitness journey that can easily integrate into your lifestyle, ifyou can achieve this, you’re on a path that you can sustain for much longer.This can simply be getting out for a walk at lunchtime, starting a couch to 5kprogramme, join a Gym, squeeze in that exercise class you’ve been talking aboutor begin working with a Personal Trainer. Each of these options have varyingfinancial & time implications which should be carefully considered, and inmy opinion choosing the right option from the very outset is crucial to yousucceeding and achieving your fitness GOALS.
Below are some points to beconsidered when you begin a new fitness programme:
✅ Start small and build your fitness week on week
✅ Choosing the right fit for you Gym, Classes or Personal Training
✅ Staying hydrated(2-3 Litres of water per day)
✅ Quality sleep patterns
✅ Get back to 90/10 rule
✅ Write down your 2019 Fitness Goals
✅ Break these down into short (4 weeks), Medium (3 – 6 month) & Long (6-12 Month) Goals
✅ Benchmark fitness levels by testing.
One of these eight steps was to choose the right path for your health and fitness goal. In this blog we are going to discuss the Pros and Cons of a few variations of fitness options.
As a nation we are becoming very aware of the importance of Health &Well Being in our daily lives. Some of this is corporate driven trying toaddress the work/life balance and reduce stress levels in our work force, somefrom ex pat’s returning to Ireland with the current economic boom, they bringback to our little country a completely different attitude to working out, andsome through Strength & Conditioning which is now becoming prevalent inmost club sides. But whatever the reason it can only be a positive influence ifit drives us to improve of lifestyle choices.
Ireland now has a vast selection of training facilities; from largecommercial gyms, small private gyms, personal training studios and so on. Thelist is endless, and a lot of people don’t really know what the best option forthem is. So, let’s examine the options.
Large Open Commercial Gyms
These are becoming more visible in large urban centres across Irelandand it’s quite normal now to be living nearby to a large gym chain. However, ifyou happen to live in smaller towns there are still very good options to choosefrom.
Most of these facilities are well fitted out with plenty of top end equipmentand offer a vast number of free classes along with plenty of other services. Manywill also offer extras like a pool, sauna, jacuzzi, nutritionists and physiotherapy.
Some of these facilities have long opening hours making it easy for youto train at your own convenience and the cost involved generally isn’t thathigh for the person who ends up using it quite regularly.
They generally have a large team of staff on hand to cater for the largenumbers of members coming through their doors.
Peak times can disrupt your planned workout or increase your rest periodsbecause equipment is in high demand due to poor gym etiquette being employed bynew members.
As opening times in the gyms increase to cater for different workpatterns or schedules it causes issues with availability of gym instructors,this can cause inconsistencies with programming and classes and members canfall through the cracks so to speak.
Certain times of the year cause congestion in the gym and this appliesto classes being booked up quickly, so however you book your classes whetherit’s a repeat booking, a timesheet or through an app make you’re booking earlyto avoid disappointment
Not having a fixed time to train leads to accountability issues, we’veall been there, come home from work after a tough day, sit down on the couchand that’s it, it’s like your super glued and can’t move.
When signing into gyms ask about any other costs like a joining fee andtake note of the notice period needed when freezing or cancelling yourmembership.
Private or Personal Trainer
In recent years the increase intraining facilities and trainers have multiplied at a fast rate, we only mustlook around our immediate locality or the web to see what’s available.Everything is being offered from Personal Training Studios, strength & conditioningand small group training.
All these options are quite different and have their advantages and disadvantages.
Employing a Personal Trainer whether on a 1 to 1 or small group PT enables eachclient to gain technical ability and the obvious advantages this offers.
For me it’s important to treat you as an adult and make you accountablefor your actions which means you will have someone there to show up to,providing you with plenty of expertise, motivation and guidance. PersonalTraining is like any other service but unique in that you are being assistedalong your fitness journey and involved in an information exchange, which canhelp you down the road when you want to train by yourself.
A good trainer will get to know everything from your lifestyle, yourfitness levels and most importantly your goals.
They should know what is best for helping you achieve those goals.
A great trainer will create a good community feel to sessions whichmakes it that bit more enjoyable for some people as you are encouraged tointeract with a friend or gym buddy.
A key factor is having your session planned for you and is timeeffective usually lasting 45-0 minutes. These time efficient and effectiveworkouts are so important in these ever changing and busy lifestyles
With a solid training plan, prepared by a trainer, it’s about getting itdone and getting in and out of the gym.
One-on-one personal training is a premium service and trainers will chargebetween €50-80 per hour while you can join an open gym for as little as €30 permonth.
€30 per month may seem cheap but if you rarely show up and if you do, howeffective is your workout really?
Semi-private sessions can cost on average €10-25 per person. It is stillexpensive, but you get most of the same benefits that you’d get with a personaltrainer for a fraction of the price.
Generally, you can’t just show up to these places. Usually appointmentsneed to be made and you need to work with that, which can be good or baddepending on your availability. Good as it may encourage you to lock yourselfin and bad meaning you may not be able to train at the time you want to.
A lot of these smaller facilitiesdon’t have all the up to date equipment which obviously means you may bemissing out.
If like me, you have been aroundgym’s you can see those who are motivated but for some it’s almost a socialoccasion, chatting away with anyone and going to the leisure facilities earlierthan they should, not wanting to exert themselves too much.
As a Coach, I really relish inchallenging your fitness beliefs, all too often I introduce a chin up or a pushup and the immediate reaction is ‘I can’t’ but I really get great satisfactionin watching that turn into ‘I CAN, AND I WILL’.
When training from these facilities alot of the time you will find yourself being pushed to your limits but notthrough them. Depending on yourindividual outlook on life his can be a disadvantage or an advantage.
Chip through the eight points I mentioned at the beginning of this article which is highlighted above.
Find a journey that keeps you interested and motivated towards your goals in 2019.
Don’t sign up for a gym or Personal Trainer just because they are perceived as the best or have the lowest price, the best equipment, and a huge presence on social media. Look around, visit and talk to the owners. I often describe this process as an interview or a first date, not all go to the next stage.
If they offer a free trial, avail of it and make sure the atmosphere is to your liking.
Find a gym/trainer who is about technique, has a good pedigree and has a proven track record of getting results and with whom there is a connection.
I hope you’ve found this information useful and if you need any more advice you can pop me a direct message from the links below.